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Flagpost is a blog on current issues of interest to members of the Australian Parliament

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Al-Shabaab: links to background and analysis

 It has been widely reported that the Somali militant group al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility for the attack on a Nairobi shopping mall on 21 September 2013 which cost at least 62 lives. This FlagPost provides information on the listing of al-Shabaab as a terrorist organisation in Australia and other countries, and links to publicly available information on the organisation.Terrorist listingsAl-Shabaab has been listed as a terrorist organisation by the Australian Government since 22 August 2009, with the listing last renewed on 18 August 2012. The statement of reasons outlines details about al-Shabaab, including its objectives and activities, the basis for listing it as a terrorist organ... Read more...

New psychoactive substances: Key challenges and responses

As outlined in an earlier FlagPost, the availability and use of new psychoactive substances (NPS) have increased globally over the past decade. This has created new public health and law enforcement challenges that existing frameworks have failed to address, prompting a search for workable alternatives.False sense of safety associated with use NPS are often marketed as ‘legal highs’ and professionally packaged, which can give the impression that they are safer to use than illicit drugs with similar effects. However, very little is known about their health impacts, partly due to the dynamic nature of the market and because the content and concentration of different batches of the same branded... Read more...

Trafficking in Persons Report 2012

On 19 June, the US Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, released the 2012 Trafficking in Persons Report. The TIP Report is produced annually by the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons within the State Department, and is seen by the US Government as its ‘principal diplomatic tool to engage foreign governments on human trafficking’. Released on Juneteenth or Freedom Day, the 2012  Report has particular resonance for the US as 22 September 2012 is the 150th anniversary of Lincoln's preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, Proclamation 93, Declaring the Objectives of the War Including Emancipation of Slaves in Rebellious States.As explained in a FlagPost on last year's Report, each ... Read more...

New Zealand: Foreign Charter Vessels to be reflagged

On 22 May 2012, the New Zealand Government announced that it would require reflagging of foreign owned fishing vessels working in New Zealand waters, to "address labour, safety and fisheries practice concerns."Commercial fishing in New Zealand is managed by a quota system, with all fishing quota owned by New Zealand companies. Foreign Charter Vessels (FCVs) are foreign owned and flagged fishing vessels leased by a New Zealand company to fish in New Zealand's Exclusive Economic Zone. As discussed in a Flagpost last year, the then Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture, the Hon Phil Heatley MP, and the Minister for Labour, the Hon Kate Wilkinson MP, had jointly convened a ministerial inquiry i... Read more...

Report of the Ministerial Inquiry into labour exploitation on Foreign Charter Vessels in New Zealand

The New Zealand Government has "resolved to take a stronger line on the operation of foreign charter vessels (FCVs) in New Zealand waters" in response to the Report of a Ministerial Inquiry.  As an earlier flagpost explained, the Inquiry had been convened in response to serious concerns about abuse and exploitation of crew of commercial fishing fleets operating in New Zealand's Exclusive Economic Zone. Commercial fishing in New Zealand is managed by a quota system, with all fishing quota owned by New Zealand companies.  Foreign Charter Vessels are foreign owned and flagged fishing vessels leased by a New Zealand company to fish in New Zealand's EEZ.  Twenty-seven such vessels (and around 200... Read more...

Not in New Zealand? Labour exploitation on foreign flagged fishing vessels.

A Ministerial Inquiry is underway in New Zealand into the use and operation of Foreign Charter Vessels in New Zealand's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). The review has been convened jointly by the Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture, the Hon Phil Heatley MP, and the Minister for Labour, the Hon Kate Wilkinson MP.  Its principal objective is to ensure that foreign owned and flagged vessels chartered by New Zealand companies:  Protect New Zealand’s international reputation and trade access Maximise the economic return to New Zealand from its  fisheries resources, andEnsure acceptable and equitable New Zealand labour standards are applied on all fishing vessels operating in New Zealand’s fish... Read more...

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