When I finished my research on the global poverty discourse, some twenty years ago, one of my conclusions was that the inevitable victims of the new neoliberal social paradigm would be the middle classes. This is why I have always preferred to focus on the importance of universal social protection instead of targeted poverty reduction. Lees verder
This week, representatives of around 100 countries are meeting in New York to talk about investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS). ISDS is a legal instrument that multinationals can use to sue governments for billions. External experts and observers fear that the new negotiations will amount to ‘old wine in new bottles’. They believe that those who benefit from this instrument (powerful states and top lawyers from the ISDS sector) are controlling the debate.
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SOME OF THE CHALLENGES WE HAVE WITH THE REALIZATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS HAVE HISTORICAL ROOTS IN THE INFLUENCE OF INSTITUTIONALIZED RELIGION (of whatever faith or denomination).
[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
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
Well, according to the OECD:
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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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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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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