East Asia and the Pacific: Associate Resettlement Officer – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Application Deadline: March 20th 2015

Applications must be emailed to [email protected] by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Daylight Savings Time on the date indicated in order to be considered. Thank you.

How to Apply:

Please note that PRM-sponsored JPO positions are open to U.S. Citizens only.

Applicants must submit a completed United Nations Personal History form (UN P-11) via email to [email protected] by the deadline noted above. The UN P-11 form is available for download from the UNHCR website at http://www.unhcr.org/recruit/p11new.doc. PRM will accept the UN P-11 form without a signature. If desired, you may also submit a resume or curriculum vitae and letter of interest. Please specify the position for which you are applying in the Subject line of the email (i.e. Associate Protection Officer – Kabul, AFGHANISTAN). You must send a separate email and application for each position for which you are qualified and wish to be considered. For more information, please see the Frequently Asked Questions on the PRM website.

PRM Notes:

• For more information about UNHCR’s operations at this post, please visit the UNHCR website at www.unhcr.org.

• University degree in (International) Law, with at least 2 years of relevant experience. Advanced degree strongly preferred.

• Experience in refugee work or humanitarian work desirable.

• Strong working knowledge of a second UN language (French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, or Russian) in addition to English is highly desirable for participation in the JPO program.

• JPO contracts are initially issued for one (1) year and then renewed. American JPOs are expected to serve a complete (2) two-year JPO term.

• The JPO job description and related information below are provided by UNHCR.

Associate Resettlement Officer
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Job Description (JPO)

GENERAL INFORMATION:

Title: Associate Resettlement Officer

Sector: Resettlement Unit

Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Duration of the assignment: 1 Year renewable (total of 2 years)

SUPERVISION:

Supervisor: Jaylene Quemin, Resettlement Officer

Title of other international staff members in same duty station: Representative, 02 Senior Protection Officers, Senior Programme Officer, Administrative Officer, Registration Officer, Refugee Status Determination Officer, 2 Associate Refugee Status Determination Officers.

Content and methodology of the supervision:

Under the direct supervision of the resettlement officer, the incumbent will undertake a comprehensive briefing and induction that shall cover all aspects of group and individual resettlement processes. Towards the end of the first quarter it is expected that the incumbent will draft individual RRFs for submission to resettlement countries at the rate of 4-6 per week and across a number of nationality caseloads. The case assessment work of the incumbent shall be reviewed by the Resettlement Officer.

The post the induction phase will include an immersion in complicated deferred resettlement cases for resettlement consideration, including the assessment of fraud, resettlement eligibility and complex family unity cases. In order to comprehensively cover all aspects of assessment, reporting and case management, a work plan covering such activities will be devised and will be regularly reviewed between the incumbent and the Resettlement Officer during weekly intervals.

DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

– Stay abreast of political, legal, social and economic developments that have an impact on the protection environment.

– Assist in implementing Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for promoting the resettlement of persons of concern as protection tool and durable solution in the context of comprehensive solution strategies.

– Assist in the development of country resettlement strategy and annual resettlement planning exercise.

– Propose the development and enhancement of policy and guidelines for resettlement practices.

– Assist in guiding and capacitating the country operation to prepare consistent and quality resettlement submissions.

– Assist in monitoring resettlement activities to ensure progress against targets, transparency and efficiency in case submissions and appropriate follow-up with resettlement countries and other key stakeholders

– Identify, interview, assess resettlement needs, and process persons identified for resettlement following established procedures; provide counselling to individuals.

– Contribute to resettlement outreach activities (information campaigns, focus groups, and counseling) for eligible populations outside of the Office, in the Kuala Lumpur area and, as appropriate, on mission to other areas of the country (namely Penang and Johor) where refugees reside

– Assist with resettlement selection missions.

– Systematically apply an Age, Gender and Diversity perspective in all aspects of the resettlement process; comply with UNHCR policy and guidelines on HIV/AIDS.

– Assist in mitigating resettlement fraud through oversight, advice and guidance.

– Assist the country operation with group resettlement procedures, including planning, profiling, logistical arrangements, verification and post-verification follow-up.

– Maintain regular contact and close cooperation with resettlement countries and partners to ensure effective resettlement delivery and adherence to adequate protection and resettlement standards.

– Participate, where appropriate, in country-level discussions with resettlement countries and partners.

– Assist in managing a process to ensure that persons of concern and partners receive up-to-date and accurate information on UNHCR’s resettlement policies and procedures.

– Assist in the submission of up-to-date and accurate statistics, resettlement reports and needs assessments are submitted to management as required.

– Identify and recommend relevant training activities of UNHCR staff and implementing partners.

ACCOUNTABILITY:

– Resettlement delivery in the country is needs-based, non-discriminatory and prioritized for refugees most in need of this solution.

– UNHCR’s resettlement policies and standards are correctly and coherently applied.

– Persons of concern are made aware of UNHCR’s resettlement procedures and have fair and transparent access to and participation in the resettlement process.

– Fraud in the resettlement process is promptly identified and addressed.

AUTHORITY:

– Decide and prioritize resettlement interviews of persons of concern.

– Approve submissions for resettlement.

– Represent UNHCR’s resettlement positions.

– Enforce compliance with, and integrity of, resettlement standard operating procedures

QUALIFICATIONS AND EXPERIENCE:

Languages: Excellent knowledge of English (essential) and working knowledge of another UN language (desirable).

Qualifications: University degree in international law, international relations, political science, social sciences or related fields of discipline.

Experience: At least 4 years (2 years with Advanced University degree) of professional work experience relevant to refugee protection work.

Skills:

– Excellent analytical and legal drafting skills;

– Computer literacy;

– Fluency in spoken and written English;

– Ability to work effectively in challenging situations including field locations;

– Strong interpersonal skills.

REQUIRED COMPETENCIES,which illustrate behaviors that are essential to achieving deliverables described above, and that are critical to successful performance. All jobs require the staff to abide to the Values and Core competencies of UNHCR.

– Empowering and Building Trust (M001)

– Managing Performance (M002)

– Strategic Planning and Vision (M004)

– Analytical Thinking (X001)

– Planning and Organizing (X005)

– Political Awareness (X007)

TRAINING COMPONENTS AND LEARNING ELEMENTS:

Training components:

Training shall be received through regular coaching and feedback sessions with the supervisor. Access to online and GLC learning programmes such as the Resettlement and Protection Learning Programme will be supported should they become available during the deployment.

Learning elements:

– Experience of all aspects of individual case management including the drafting of Individual assessments according to RSD procedural guidelines.

– Experience of drafting complex case assessments, including those concerning exclusion issues and consistent with the output expected in the office.

– Experience in the assessment of operational guidance material and its implementation.

– Experience in researching country of origin information.

– Experience in providing coaching and guidance to staff.

– Identifying gaps in procedures and country of origin information and finding ways to address these.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION:

As of 30 November 2014, 139,199 individuals were registered with UNHCR Malaysia, of which 93,556 were refugees and 45,643 asylum-seekers. The asylum-seeker and refugee population in Malaysia is entirely urban, often living in or around major cities. Out of the overall number of registered refugees, 93 per cent originate from Myanmar while the remaining 7 per cent come from more than 50 countries, the largest numbers being Sri Lanka, Somalia, Syria, Iraq, Occupied Palestinian Territories and Iran.

Malaysia is neither a signatory to the 1951 Geneva Convention relating to the Status of Refugees nor its 1967 Protocol. It has no legislative provisions in place dealing with the international protection of refugees. The Malaysian Government takes no direct role in the reception, registration, documentation, and status determination of asylum-seekers and refugees.

By law, refugees are not differentiated from undocumented migrants. They are therefore vulnerable to arrest for immigration offences and may be subject to detention, prosecution, corporal punishment and heightened risk of deportation. In the absence of a national administrative framework, UNH.CR conducts all activities related to the reception, registration, documentation and status determination of asylum-seekers and refugees.

UNHCR considers that the majority of refugees in Malaysia are in need of resettlement so long as conditions in their countries of origin make voluntary return unlikely. Given the lack of prospects for return and limited local integration prospects, aggravated by a precarious protection situation demonstrative of widespread arrests, detention and heightened risk of refoulement, resettlement is and will continue to be pursued for many of the refugees in Malaysia. Processing takes place via individual referrals and group submission, on a dossier-basis, via selection missions and through ongoing processing at local Embassies and High Commissions.

UNHCR Malaysia has been pursuing resettlement for Myanmar refugee groups as well as for refugees from other countries for whom it is deemed the most appropriate durable solution. In doing so, UNHCR continues to promote fair and balanced resettlement opportunities for mixed refugee populations in an urban context, with processing numbers proportional to the overall population size of each refugee group to the greatest extent possible.

In 2014, as at the end of November, UNHCR Malaysia has submitted 10,608 refugees for resettlement. A total of 103,513 refugees have been submitted since 2005. Malaysia is one of UNHCR’s largest resettlement operations worldwide.

The Resettlement unit at BO Kuala Lumpur currently comprises 01 Resettlement Officer/Head of Resettlement Unit, 01 National Officer, 01 Senior Resettlement Associate, 02 ICMC Deployees, 05 Resettlement Associates, 06 Senior Resettlement Assistants, 04 Resettlement Assistants, 01 Database Assistant, and 01 Administrative Assistant. 16 staff (73%) are engaged in direct resettlement casework, 04 are engaged in overall coordination and direct supervision of activities, and 02 staff are engaged in scheduling, database management and administrative support.

Kuala Lumpur is designated as an “A” duty station and access to health and education services are easily accessible and available. Amenities such as water electricity etc. are available 24 hours a day and good quality housing is also easy to find.

December 2014

Some Malaysian inequality measures more equal than others

Author: Hwok-Aun Lee, University of Malaya

Is inequality in Malaysia going up or down? Answers differ. Official statistics unambiguously show household income inequality going down in the past decade, but almost everyone seems to think it has gone up. So what’s going on?

 A boy runs at a temple casted with shadows of traditional Chinese lantern decorations ahead of the Chinese Lunar New Year in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on Tuesday, 17 Feb 2015. (Photo: AAP)

The most common measure of income inequality is the Gini coefficient. It suggests falling inequality in Malaysia. The Gini coefficient fell from 0.46 in 2002 to 0.43 in 2012. This Gini coefficient series was calculated using Malaysia’s Household Income Survey — a large sample, consistent and nationally representative dataset. Statistics derived from this source carry substantial weight.

But popular perception and anecdotal accounts view the issue differently. Most people seem to think that inequality has been rising, or at least persisting at high levels. The dissonance between the official figures and public perception warrants further investigation.

Rising inequality also loomed large in Malaysian popular discourse in the 1990s. But across that period, official statistics backed up popular perceptions — Malaysia’s Gini coefficient increased.

Public policy has for decades been preoccupied with targeting and monitoring reductions in inequality between ethnic groups. But the data and the policy direction seem to be at odds. Since 2010, some ethnicity-blind programs have been introduced to target the exclusion and lagging socioeconomic progress of the bottom 40 per cent of households. But this group actually had the highest income growth in the preceding decade. From 2002 to 2012, mean household income for the bottom 40 per cent grew by 6.1 per cent annually, compared to 5.6 per cent for the middle 40 per cent and 4.6 per cent for the top 20 per cent of households.

Why are low income households still considered to be in great need of assistance when their incomes have improved significantly?

Inequality is a zeitgeist issue that has resonance materially, politically and emotionally, regardless of official Gini coefficients. The notion that inequality has risen is believable because of a wider malaise in Malaysia. Malaysians are dissatisfied with rising prices, sluggish wage growth and economic insecurity. Many also resent the concentration of wealth among elites, especially through political-business connections or suspiciously corrupt means. Continual reports of misappropriation of public funds and the lavish livelihoods of corporate, financial and political elites tend to reinforce perceptions of unfairness and unequal opportunity.

Surveys by the Merdeka Center offer some insight into public opinion. In recent years, concerns over economic conditions, especially inflation, employment and wages, have grown. In April 2005, the top concerns were crime and public safety (16 per cent of respondents deemed this the biggest national problem), inflation (10 per cent), business opportunities and economic growth (9 per cent), with unemployment/lack of job opportunities (4 per cent) further down the list. In October–November 2012, the majority considered price hikes/inflation/rising cost of living to be the most pressing issue (23 per cent), followed by crime (7 per cent), unemployment/lack of employment opportunities (6 per cent) and unfavourable economic conditions (6 per cent). It is possible that Malaysians are simply conflating the general economic environment with inequality.

But it is also important to remember that everyone experiences inequality differently. For example, household income inequality need not move in the same direction as personal wage inequality or household wealth inequality. And the Gini coefficient isn’t the only way of measuring income inequality, either.

Malaysia’s official inequality statistics are calculated based on gross household income — that is, adding together all forms of income from multiple sources, including earned income (wages and self-employment earnings) and non-earned income (rent, dividends, transfers, remittances, and so on). It also counts multiple earners in the same household. This highly aggregated calculation can mask the effects of wage growth and asset accumulation, and other factors that affect inequality.

The full Household Income Survey datasets are also not available, meaning research in this field must assemble data from other sources.

One of these sources is data from the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF), which allows us to calculate wage inequality over time. Formally employed private sector workers maintain accounts with the EPF, which had 6.5 million active members in 2013. Members regularly contribute to their accounts from basic wages and receive dividend payments, at uniform rates regardless of the size of the account. So changes in the distribution of EPF accounts will likely reflect changes in the distribution of wages. And the Gini coefficient of EPF savings accounts has been rising, giving us grounds to believe that wage inequality has increased in the past decade or so.

Other sources concur with a broad picture of steadily rising inequality. In the public sector, the number of managers and professionals at the upper regions of the wage distribution has grown disproportionately faster. Luxury cars constitute an increasing share of passenger vehicle sales, while property sales show rising concentration at the upper end.

Popular perceptions of rising inequality, it turns out, are supported by empirical evidence. Household inequality may be falling, as the data suggests, but other forms of inequality are rising.

Malaysia needs to pay more attention to wage distribution and labour market dynamics as well as wealth inequality. There are indications that wage inequality is rising, as well as widespread concerns over wage growth, household livelihood and housing affordability.

And the rich Household Income Survey datasets need to be made available for exploration — again, to investigate earnings and wealth, and to disaggregate personal and household dimensions. Only then can we really begin to untangle the complexities of inequality in Malaysia.

Hwok Aun Lee is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Development Studies at the University of Malaya. This article draws on a working paper co-written with Muhammed Abdul Khalid.

Malaysia’s ASEAN chairmanship priorities all in order

Author: Daniel Wu, Pacific Forum CSIS

ASEAN needs a ready and capable steward in 2015 and Malaysia looks to be in the right place at the right time. Malaysia has made clear that realising the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) by the end of the year will be its main goal for its 2015 chairmanship of ASEAN. In this regard, a recent essay by Malaysia’s Minister of International Trade and Industry Mustapa Mohamed provides subtle but significant indicators of the government’s leadership objectives and the approach to accomplish this. While the essay by no means represents a definitive official policy statement, it provides an encouraging affirmation of the growing need to address non-tariff measures (NTMs) and to galvanise the concept of an ASEAN identity.

 Former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad presents a souvenir to visiting Indonesian President Joko Widodo as Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak looks on at the head office of automaker Proton Holdings Bhd. in Shah Alam outside Kuala Lumpur on 6 February 2015. (Photo: AAP)

First, Minister Mustapa makes clear that Malaysia will not avoid the crucial and politically sensitive task of addressing protectionist measures imposed by other ASEAN members. If successful here, Malaysia’s effort could help set expectations for a new standard of behaviour. This would help mitigate and nullify the most significant challenge that stands in ASEAN’s way to realising a region characterised by ‘free movement of goods, services, investment, skilled labour, and freer flow of capital’.

Protectionism in ASEAN — such as local content requirements, mandatory product standards and import restrictions — is rampant, and this is most remarkable for the trade in goods. Binding tariff elimination commitments under the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA) has resulted in duty-free treatment for more than 90 percent of tariff lines. ASEAN members generally have little recourse to shield unprepared or nascent local manufacturing industries from exposure towards the AEC.

Consequently, the number of NTMs imposed has grown even though they contravene the goals of the AEC and distort intra-regional trade. Despite commitments under the ATIGA to identify and eliminate NTMs, little to no progress has been made. Malaysia’s plans to prioritise this issue can help set the tone and momentum for ASEAN to conduct a serious and honest examination on NTMs.

Second, as Minister Mustapa rightly highlights, misinformation means there is persistent scepticism — especially from industry — about the tangible benefits (and costs) of liberalisation measures under the AEC. Consequently, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has stated that under Malaysia’s leadership, ‘the people must understand what actually ASEAN is and what ASEAN is doing’.

There has already been an effort to address the information gap. In November 2014, ASEAN foreign ministers launched the ASEAN Communication Master Plan (ACMP) to provide a framework for communicating the character, structure and overall vision of ASEAN to its stakeholders. While the publication sets a useful baseline, Malaysia’s Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) could help upgrade this effort. It could push for precise and actionable information to all of ASEAN, particularly concerning market access opportunities and preferential treatment from the AEC. Leading by example, MITI’s ‘Promoting Trade’ webpage is arguably one of the most updated and comprehensive sources of public information on trade agreements available today.

Malaysia will also seek to lead ASEAN in overcoming the rising backlash of nationalism against liberalisation under the AEC. The AEC has a public relations problem that has arisen not from the nature of free trade but from the way ASEAN member states have packaged it. Citizens feel disenfranchised and overlooked by the AEC.

Governments need to apply narrative that registers with the public and leads to a sense of ownership. In the near term, ASEAN will need to carefully assess and methodically build popular support for the next phase of the ASEAN integration process. Success will be essential for the ASEAN members to build support for greater economic integration under AEC 2025, which envisions an emphasis on a green economy, greater connectivity and common positions on global issues.

Finally, referring to the institution’s longstanding consensus-based and non-confrontational working style, Minister Mustapa stresses that the ASEAN processes will continue in the ‘ASEAN way’. This principle, which effectively grants veto power to each ASEAN member state, has met numerous criticisms. But it has helped ASEAN pursue regional liberalisation and integration, while ensuring that less-developed economies have an equal opportunity to participate in and benefit from them.

It is worth noting that Article 21(2) of the ASEAN Charter allows a sub-group of ASEAN member states to move forward on a regional effort if there is consensus to do so. While applications have been limited, the risk of creating a fragmented two-track, two-speed system remains. Certain ASEAN member states have continually lagged behind and have no capacity to participate in or debate different approaches. Malaysia’s back-to-basics approach through the ‘ASEAN way’ may reflect the interest in ensuring all ASEAN members are fully on board for future major regional integration efforts. More importantly, they will have the roadmap and resources to do so at the outset.

It would be unrealistic to expect Malaysia to overcome several years’ worth of delays and disagreements over non-compliance in the AEC implementation process. But MITI’s clear perspective on the leadership ASEAN needs provides a basis for optimism that ASEAN can focus its will and resources to implement the ‘last mile’ integration measures the region needs in 2015.

Daniel Wu is an international trade analyst based in Bangkok and a Non-Resident WSD-Handa fellow with Pacific Forum CSIS. All views expressed here are his own.

USA is Pulling Military from the Ebola Fight

At one point nearly 3,000 troops were deployed to the region. “President Barack Obama is set to announce on Wednesday that he will bring back nearly all of the 1,300 U.S. troops deployed in West Africa to fight the Ebola epidemic by April 30, the White House said late on Tuesday. Obama, who was excoriated last fall for a slow start to his Ebola outbreak response, will hold a White House event to showcase how U.S. leadership helped stem the epidemic, which has killed almost 9,000 people, mainly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. The number of new cases each week has dropped to about 150 in recent reports, down from more than 1,000 new cases per week in October, the White House said.” (Reuters http://reut.rs/1E66qjc)

Just in time for the new season of House of Cards…Netflix began selling its Internet video service in Cuba in what appears to be a largely symbolic move driven by the recent loosening of U.S. restrictions on doing business with the communist-run island. (AP http://yhoo.it/1ATjvig)

Bend it like…David Beckham has marked his 10th year as a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF by setting up a new personal fund, saying he wants to “raise millions” to help protect the world’s most vulnerable children. (AP http://yhoo.it/1vgC3lq)

Humanity Affirming Missive of the Day: Slain aid worker Kyla Mueller wrote an extraordinarily beautiful letter while being held captive by ISIS. She was confirmed to have been killed today. (Vox http://bit.ly/1E65yv9)

Stat of the Day: The number of deaths from Ebola has risen to 9,152, a sharp increase following weeks in which the outbreak appeared to be weakening. (VOA http://bit.ly/1E3nzdp)

Nigeria/Boko Haram

The UN food agency on Tuesday voiced concern for the 125,000 Nigerian refugees who have fled to southeast Niger, where Boko Haram militants have launched attacks in recent days. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1DfPwAC)

Nigeria’s Boko Haram Islamic extremists have abducted about 30 people including eight Cameroonian girls and killed seven hostages in two bus hijackings in Cameroon and Nigeria, Cameroon residents and a Nigerian intelligence officer said Tuesday. (AP http://yhoo.it/1y7wt4Y)

The decision to postpone Nigeria’s elections by six weeks has met with criticism at home and abroad. Voters in Nigeria say they are disappointed. (VOA http://bit.ly/1vgC5tH)

Niger’s parliament unanimously authorized sending troops to battle Boko Haram militants as part of a regional force, lawmakers said after a vote late Monday. (VOA http://bit.ly/1y7wupH)

Africa

International troops clashed with ex-Seleka rebels in Central African Republic Tuesday, just a day after at least 10 villagers were killed in a new flare up of violence. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1ztxvsx)

Rebels in South Sudan stormed towns in two states on Tuesday and were repulsed, the army said, barely a week after signing another ceasefire deal with the government that was meant to end 15 months of conflict. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1DfPxo3)

International donors at a conference in Nairobi have pledged an additional $529 million toward humanitarian relief in war-torn South Sudan. But despite the outpouring of goodwill at the conference, there was an undercurrent of frustration with the country’s leadership for prolonging the civil conflict. (VOA http://bit.ly/1vgBV5x)

Around a dozen Guineans were wounded Monday in clashes with police after the arrest of an imam who led funeral prayers for a suspected victim of Ebola. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1ATk5N0)

Rights activists have demanded the release of a former government minister and a top army officer they say are being held without charge by Gambian secret police. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1vgBYhJ)

Rebel fighters in South Sudan bombarded government positions Tuesday in the oil town of Bentiu, a day after the UN launched a $1.8 billion aid appeal to stave off famine in the war-wracked country. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1y7vdPk)

Nearly a quarter of a million people have been affected by the devastating floods that ripped through Malawi a month ago, and with rains still falling, many of the 230,000 who were forced to flee their homes have been unable to return and rebuild their lives, the UN said. (Guardian http://bit.ly/1Df09ne)

In Guinea, where West Africa’s Ebola outbreak began, hostility towards aid workers – fuelled by ever more far-fetched rumours – is undermining efforts to contain the deadly virus. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1y7wLZH)

Some 16,600 children are registered as having lost one or both parents, or their primary caregivers to Ebola in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, but less than 3 per cent have had to be placed outside family or community care. (UNICEF http://bit.ly/1CdSELK)

More than 300 people, including opposition leaders, remain in detention in Democratic Republic of Congo after protests last month, reinforcing concerns that President Joseph Kabila plans to cling to power beyond his legal mandate. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1y7wG8s)

A British gold mining firm whose hired police officers​ were involved in an incident that saw ​Tanzanian villagers killed and injured has settled claims brought against it in the London high court. (Guardian http://bit.ly/1DB7nSV)

MENA

The Islamic State group’s affiliate in Egypt has released video purporting to show the beheading of eight Bedouin men it accused of working for the Egyptian and Israeli armies. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1Df0bve)

Saudi Arabia’s state news agency says authorities have executed a Syrian man convicted of smuggling a large quantity of amphetamine pills. (AP http://yhoo.it/1DeZMcg)

Human Rights Watch urged the Louvre and Guggenheim museums Tuesday to pressure the United Arab Emirates to end worker abuse on a project that will host branches of the institutions. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1E3nuX7)

The offensive by Islamic State militants in northern Iraq has displaced an estimated 2 million people, and psychiatrists say as many as half of them may be suffering psychological effects from their ordeal. (VOA http://bit.ly/1DfPU1L)

Asia

An upstart anti-establishment party crushed India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in a Delhi state election on Tuesday, smashing an aura of invincibility built around Prime Minister Narendra Modi since he swept to power last year. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1CdSIes)

Malaysia’s highest court has upheld a sodomy conviction against Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, rejecting a final appeal in a case dating back almost seven years. (VOA http://bit.ly/1M9IyB5)

Nepal formed two commissions Tuesday that would probe crimes committed during a decade-long communist insurgency and investigate the cases of hundreds of people who disappeared during the period, a government minister said. (AP http://yhoo.it/1y7v6Do)

Thailand and Myanmar are working on big plans to boost trade and entice businesses to locate along their long land border. The influx of money is reshaping a region that has suffered from long-running ethnic conflicts. (VOA http://bit.ly/1DeTOIl)

Ten infants and young children died in a single night in an overcrowded state-run hospital in northeastern Bangladesh, prompting authorities to investigate whether staff negligence was involved, officials said Tuesday. (AP http://yhoo.it/1DeZFxe)

The U.N. Human Rights office said on Tuesday it was “disappointed” by the Malaysian Federal Court ruling upholding the conviction on sodomy charges of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1y7viCD)

East Timor’s president chose former health minister Rui Araujo to be the new prime minister of the poverty-stricken country, the government said on Tuesday. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1y7wAO8)

Myanmar troops fought Kokang ethnic rebels in clashes near the Chinese border that the government says the guerrillas provoked, state media reported Tuesday. (AP http://yhoo.it/1E3niqU)

The Americas

Mexican officials have been approached by more than 100 people who fear their relatives are among 60 bodies found rotting in an abandoned crematorium in Acapulco, authorities said. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1M9IjWK)

Police in Haiti have clashed with anti-government protesters angry about the high cost of fuel. Several people were injured as police moved in to clear roadblocks set up in the capital, Port-au-Prince. (BBC http://bbc.in/1CdSBj0)

An Argentine prosecutor’s mysterious death days after he made criminal charges against President Cristina Fernandez is part of an attempt to unseat her and bring neoliberals back to power, a senior government official said”. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1M9Ivp5)

Condoms are the latest item to become scarce — and costly — in Venezuela. Once easy to find, condoms disappeared from pharmacy shelves as the year started, along with many food and cleaning products. (AP http://yhoo.it/1vgC5d7)

The HIV pandemic in the Caribbean is fueled by a range of social and economic inequalities and is sustained by high levels of stigma, discrimination against the most at-risk and marginalized populations and persistent gender inequality, violence and homophobia. (IPS http://bit.ly/1ztxiFL)

A plan to reduce climate-changing emissions from Brazil’s steel industry has failed, causing the amount of carbon pollution produced by the sector to double in less than a decade, researchers said. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1DfPlVZ)

Opinion/Blogs

Why democracy may have to wait in the Central African Republic (IRIN http://bit.ly/1y7fIa7)

People Power, the Solution to Climate Inaction (Inter Press Service http://bit.ly/1Df05DZ)

Can Somalia Pull Out of Perpetual Crisis? (VOA http://bit.ly/1ztxPaA)

When did extreme poverty end in today’s “rich world”? (Chris Blattman http://bit.ly/1vhtQh1)

Economics has an Africa problem (Africa is a Country http://bit.ly/1zTUccY)

Key Economic Debates in Nigeria’s Election (Sahel Blog http://bit.ly/1zTUhgT)

Things You Can’t Say in Burma (Wronging Rights http://bit.ly/1MaD214)

Making Sense of the Decision to Postpone Nigeria’s February 14 Elections (An Africanist Perspective http://bit.ly/1zTUrVr)

Debunking 4 arguments in favour of voluntourism (WhyDev http://bit.ly/1MaD6xX)

Research/Reports

Safety Nets in Africa: Effective Mechanisms to Reach the Poor and Most Vulnerable (World Bank http://bit.ly/1E3pdLZ)

Discussion

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