Belarus presidential elections

The Belarusian presidential elections on 9 August 2020 saw President Lukashenko re-elected based on official results. However, media organisations have widely reported that the elections were not free or fair. The UK Government has described Mr Lukashenko’s subsequent inauguration as fraudulent. The election result has led to protests and allegations of human rights abuses in the country.

Belarus presidential elections

Human rights concerns in India

For several years, concerns have been raised by international governments and human rights organisations about alleged human rights violations in India. Concerns include the protection of religious minorities in the country. India has disputed the allegations, reiterating its commitment to human rights. This article looks at some of those incidences, as well as concerns raised by human rights organisations.

Human rights concerns in India

Cadet forces: funding and social impact

The cadet forces are voluntary youth organisations that are based on the traditions of the armed forces but are not part of them. The Government says they offer “challenging and enjoyable activities”. They receive some government funding. Independent analysis suggests that they provide benefits both for participants and wider society. An ongoing government scheme aims to increase the number of cadet units in state schools.

Cadet forces: funding and social impact
  • In Focus

    Educational and cultural exchange programmes

    Educational and cultural exchange programmes have existed for many years. They provide individuals, such as students, with the opportunity to learn and experience cultures outside of their home country. This article discusses exchange programmes such as the Government’s new Turing Scheme and the impact that programmes can have on participants.

  • In Focus

    Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) (Amendment) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2021

    The Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) (Amendment) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2021 would make it a requirement for workers in care homes to be fully vaccinated against coronavirus. The Government has said this is important to protect vulnerable residents. The House of Lords Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee has been critical of a lack of detail on the implementation of the policy. The Lords is due to debate the regulations on 20 July 2021.

  • In Focus

    Public services: impact of the Covid-19 pandemic

    In March 2020, the House of Lords Public Services Committee set up an inquiry into the impact of Covid-19 on public services which reported in November 2020. Among its findings, the committee identified five weaknesses highlighted by the pandemic that should be addressed to make public services resilient enough to withstand future crises. The committee’s recommendations also aimed to ‘lock-in’ innovations developed during the pandemic to reform public services over the longer-term.

  • In Focus

    EU Committee Report: future UK–EU relationship on professional and business services

    In October 2020, the House of Lords European Union Committee published a report into the future of the UK-EU relationship on professional and business services. It argued the UK’s professional and business services sector potentially could be damaged by the establishment of new barriers to trade at the end of the transition period on 1 January 2021. The report recommended the Government needed to do more to support the sector.

  • In Focus

    International non-binary people’s day

    Non-binary people may feel that the traditional binary of man and woman does not comfortably reflect their own gender identity. International non-binary people’s day celebrates the identities of non-binary people and takes place on 14 July. This briefing explores some of the basic ideas around non-binary identities and concepts of sex and gender.

  • In Focus

    Antarctic Treaty: impact and relevance today

    The Antarctic Treaty is a framework for peaceful coexistence and scientific cooperation in the continent. It was ratified in 1961 by the 12 countries active in Antarctica at the time. 60 years since its ratification, the number of parties to the Antarctic Treaty has increased. However, the challenges facing the continent have also grown, including the threat of climate change to the continent’s ice sheet and the impact of tourism on local flora and fauna.

  • In Focus

    UK Windrush Day: update on the Windrush scheme

    Following the 70th anniversary celebrations in 2018, the Government announced a national Windrush Day on 22 June each year, to pay tribute to the Windrush generation and their descendants. In this article, we examine who the Windrush generation are and the various Windrush schemes implemented by the Government since acknowledging the unfair treatment of members of the Windrush generation.

  • In Focus

    Foreign languages: skills in the workforce

    Surveys consistently indicate just under two in three Britons are unable to hold a conversation in a language other than their mother tongue. A number of organisations have drawn attention to this so-called ‘language deficit’ and its impact on trade and employment. This article looks at calls to improve language skills in England in the context of the Government’s ambition for a ‘Global Britain’.

  • In Focus

    Foreign languages: primary and secondary schools

    Ofsted, which inspects schools in England, has said languages are in a “pressured position” in primary and secondary education. Schools in England face challenges around both the quality of language provision and the take-up of languages by students. The Government has proposed changes to language GCSE subject content and assessment, but some have criticised the content and timing of proposals.

  • In Focus

    Domestic abuse of older people

    Evidence suggests domestic abuse affects hundreds of thousands of older people in the UK every year. Reports since the first national lockdowns have also drawn attention to how the situation for many older victims has deteriorated due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This article examines what constitutes ‘elder abuse’, as well as risk factors, prevalence rates, and government action.

  • In Focus

    Eating out and takeaways: calorie labelling regulations

    The Government has introduced draft regulations intended to require that large businesses such as restaurant chains display the calorie information of non-prepacked food and drink items prepared for immediate consumption. Ministers suggest the policy will deliver considerable benefits over the long term by reducing obesity and related demand on health services. However, the policy has been criticised by some in the hospitality industry and charities campaigning on behalf of those with eating disorders.

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