Human Rights and Institutionalized religions


[As some of you know, I follow the issue of human rights and religion closely. I have found materials that ask important questions. I share them with you here – Claudio Schuftan].

A battle between faith and science?

-Is science the great antidote to the poison of enthusiasm and superstition? (Adam Smith)
-Science says the body is a machine; advertising says the body is a business; the body says I am a celebration; does the Church say the body is guilt? (Eduardo Galeano, Apuntes para Fin de Siglo) So, as regards guilt, without explaining it, does Christianity actually considers the original sin as a defining element/determinant of human behavior? (Edmundo Moure)
-Considering the immense power of Christianity, does this remind believers of their basic and uninterrupted condition as sinners? (Milan Kundera) So one can justifiably ask: What results then when God instructs the heart, not by ideas but by pains and contradictions? (De Caussade) Lees verder

What does universal social protection really mean?

The notion that social protection is “universal” rests on two elements, namely that “everyone” is “covered.”

In many cases, the debate revolves around the “everyone” aspect – that is, the rationale and modalities to cover all members of society and not just some. Yet, this assumes clarity on the meaning of “coverage.” This is a big assumption.

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By Ugo Gentilini, Senior Economist, Margaret Grosh, Senior Advisor, and Michal Rutkowski, Senior Director, Social Protection and Jobs Global Practice, The World Bank

Illicit Financial Flows to and from Developing Countries

The always fascinating reports from GFI!

For 2015 this report finds:

The top quintile (30) of countries, ranked by dollar value of illicit outflows, includes resource rich countries such as South Africa ($10.2 billion) and Nigeria ($8.3) but also European countries including Turkey ($8.4 billion), Hungary ($6.5 billion) and Poland ($3.1 billion) as well as Latin American nations Mexico ($42.9 billion), Brazil ($12.2 billion), Colombia ($7.4 billion) and Chile ($4.1 billion). Asian states in the top 30 countries of this category include Malaysia ($33.7 billion), India ($9.8 billion), Bangladesh ($5.9 billion) and the Philippines ($5.1 billion)...

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State of power 2019

As every year TNI’s excellent ‘State of Power’ report, 2019:

Social protection: not simple, but worth the effort

Well, according to the OECD:

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The IMF on Basic Income

In advanced economies, universal basic income is often used as an instrument to address inadequate safety nets (and ensure inclusion) and a way to tackle the challenges of technological and demographic changes.

Discussions around universal basic income can be heated, both in a scholarly context and in public discourse, and there is no established common understanding. Very different income-support programs are often labeled “universal basic income,” even when they have little in common or do not aim at the same goal.

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Walking The Line Of Caution On Refugees And Migrants’ Health In Europe

Surely, the topic of human mobility has been the stumbling block in the common agenda of European countries for the last few years. In fact, the very existence of the European Union as we have known it so far is at stake, on this political issue. A certain degree of prudence would seem understandable, then, a few months ahead of the May EU elections. Surely, the intergovernmental nature of the UN agencies force them to interact with Member States, that is why exacerbating the political arena is a risky operation that may not pay off at all, in the long run. Moreover, for WHO Europe, the report on the health of refugees and migrant people in the 53 countries of the region is the first one of its kind, which may explain the hesitance of the beginner. But it is difficult to deny a bitter aftertaste, especially after the press conference.

By Nicoletta Dentico, director of Health Innovation in Practice (HIP)

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What happened to the WHO’s social justice project?

For 40 years, the World Health Organization has been subjected to pressure from powerful economic actors, separated from the people it serves and diverted from its public health mandate. Every principle and value of its 1978 social justice project « Health for All » has been undermined.


The people’s international health authority has fallen victim to neoliberal global restructuring, as have most social and economic institutions serving the public interest, including of course, many UN programmes and agencies. The WHO today is on its knees and deeply compromised. How did this happen ?


Health for All (HfA) became WHO’s slogan at the end of « Les trentes glorieuses » (1945-1975) – thirty years of genuine progress towards a fairer – and therefore a healthier – world. This was the era of decolonization when the need for redistribution of power and resources, including the rights of peoples to self determination and control over national resources was widely recognized and there was a strong commitment to universal, comprehensive public services to meet basic needs for health. It was a time of optimism, moral vision and genuine progress.  Lees verder

Hospital PPPs Undermine Healthcare

Despite all the evidence to the contrary, and substantial opposition from community groups, public-private partnerships (PPPs) are still being promoted to deliver sustainable development.
Public-private hospital partnerships are supposed to ensure that the private sector will offer much needed efficiency in healthcare provision.
However, any government considering healthcare PPPs should be aware of the Australian experience, especially after what has happened with the Northern Beaches Hospital, a PPP between the New South Wales government and Healthscope.
The A$600m facility was officially opened with much fanfare on 19 November 2018. With a A$2.2 billion 20-year contract, it was billed as the flagship project for the NSW government to hand over to the private sector delivery of a wide range of public services from prisons to technical education to health.
(Anis Chowdhury, Adjunct Professor at Western Sydney University & University of New South Wales (Australia), held senior United Nations positions in New York and Bangkok.
Jomo Kwame Sundaram, a former economics professor, was Assistant Director-General for Economic and Social Development, Food and Agriculture Organization, and received the Wassily Leontief Prize for Advancing the Frontiers of Economic Thought in 2007.)
Read more here

The ILO published its ‘Future of Work’ Report

New forces are transforming the world of work. The transitions involved call for decisive action.
Countless opportunities lie ahead to improve the quality of working lives, expand choice, close the gender gap, reverse the damages wreaked by global inequality, and much more. Yet none of this will happen by itself.
Without decisive action we will be heading into a world that widens existing inequalities and uncertainties.

Expanding youth populations in some parts of the world and ageing populations in others may place pressure on labour markets and social security systems, yet in these shifts lie new possibilities to afford care and inclusive, active societies.
We need to seize the opportunities presented by these transformative changes to create a brighter future and deliver economic security,
equal opportunity and social justice – and ultimately reinforce the fabric of our societies.

Seizing the moment: Reinvigorating the social contract
Forging this new path requires committed action on the part of governments as well as employers’ and workers’ organizations. They need to
reinvigorate the social contract that gives working people a just share of economic progress, respect for their rights and protection against
risk in return for their continuing contribution to the economy. Social dialogue can play a key role in ensuring the relevance of this contract
to managing the changes under way when all the actors in the world of work participate fully, including the many millions of workers who
are currently excluded.

Read the full report

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