SHARES blog

15 April 2014

SHARES News Items Overview: 16 March 2014-15 April 2014

This is our News Items Overview of 16 March 2014-15 April 2014, a summary of recent news relating to shared responsibility. (more…)

7 April 2014

The Shared Search for Missing Flight MH370

Neptune, Global Maritime Search and Rescue Areas map, at www.neptune-scuba.info/sarmap-en.html

Neptune, Global Maritime Search and Rescue Areas map, at www.neptune-scuba.info/sarmap-en.html

With Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 being officially declared lost at sea, and as the international search efforts hone in on the location of the aircraft, it is time to asses not only what this teaches us about aviation safety, but also the consequences of shared responsibility for international search and rescue operations.

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 went missing on the 8th March, losing communication around an hour after taking off from Kuala Lumpur on route to Beijing. The fact that the airplane was missing for a number of hours, and that its communication devices were mostly switched off, meant that from the outset it was unclear where it might have come down, if indeed it had come down at all. The initial suggestions were that the plane was off the coast of Vietnam, or further out in the China Sea. This was followed by information that it had made a sharp turn towards the Straight of Malacca, and thereafter might have followed either a broad northern or southern corridor.  (more…)

3 April 2014

Facilitating drone strikes: sharing responsibility for sharing intelligence

The exchange of information between Dutch intelligence services and the United States National Security Agency (NSA) is no longer taking place entirely outside the public eye. After a graph published in German news magazine Der Spiegel in August 2013 initially seemed to suggest that the NSA had intercepted 1.8 million records of metadata from Dutch phone calls in the period of December 2012 to January 2013, it became clear this February that Dutch intelligence services had gathered these records themselves, and had subsequently shared them with the NSA. This information consisted of metadata records gathered in the context of anti-terrorism and military operations abroad.

A substantial share of Dutch intelligence efforts is directed towards Somalia, and millions of Somali phone calls have been intercepted from both the Dutch town of Burum and Dutch navy ship HMS Rotterdam. The Netherlands has been collecting this information in order to support the Dutch contribution to the navy missions combating piracy in the Gulf of Aden. The (meta)data is shared with the NSA (who do not have access to Somali telephone traffic) and in return the US has provided the Netherlands with technical support needed to intercept local telephone traffic from the HMS Rotterdam.[1] (more…)

15 March 2014

SHARES News Items Overview: 16 February 2014-15 March 2014

This is our News Items Overview of 16 February 2014-15 March 2014, a summary of recent news relating to shared responsibility. (more…)

19 February 2014

Olympic Games turned Blame Games: Responsibility for Abuse of Migrant Workers in Sochi

© Sochi 2014 Olympic Logo

© Sochi 2014 Olympic Logo

The 2014 Winter Olympics are in full swing. The games, which take place in the Black Sea coastal city of Sochi, should have been a prestige project of huge importance for Russia’s image at home and abroad. Instead, they are turning out to become the most criticized games ever. The controversies surrounding the Sochi games are many: flagrant discrimination against the gay community, forced evictions of homeowners to make way for Olympic venues and infrastructure, environmental destruction of the surrounding land and, of course, the staggering costs of the whole enterprise, totaling an estimated 50 billion dollars. An issue that has received far less media attention is the abuse of migrant workers on whose backs the Olympic sites are built.

The transformation of Sochi from a quiet subtropical resort into a winter sporting paradise required the influx of thousands of workers from Central Asia, the Caucasus and other places. Dozens of these migrant workers were subjected to a range of abuses and exploitation, or so Human Rights Watch (HRW) reports. It claims that “employers cheated workers out of wages, required them to work 12-hour shifts with few days off, and confiscated passport and work permits, apparently to coerce workers to remain in exploitative jobs”. Since a host of different actors was involved in construction activities in and around Sochi, this blog post inquires which of these actors can be held responsible for their part in violating the rights of migrant workers. Let the Blame Games begin! (more…)

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