The Covid-19 pandemic has once again exposed the
fragility of global supply chains and the enormous risks
to human and labour rights in a highly interconnected
global economy that is not governed by the rule of
With the global drop in demand as a result of the
pandemic, many companies have resorted to abruptly
ending the procurement of goods and services and
even to defaulting on prior commitments made – with
the consequence of a disastrous impact for workers
in global supply chains. In Bangladesh, more than half
of the garment suppliers reported that they had their
in-process or completed production cancelled, which
has led to massive job losses and workers getting
furloughed. More than 98.1% of buyers refused to
contribute to the cost of paying the partial wages to
furloughed workers required under national law. 72.4%
of furloughed workers were sent home without pay.
Read this ITUC Report
The breakdown of the social contract has been exposed in the 2020 ITUC Global Rights Index with violations of workers’ rights at a seven-year high.
This trend, by governments and employers, to restrict the rights of workers through limiting collective bargaining, disrupting the right to strike, and excluding workers from unions, has been made worse by a rise in the number of countries that impede the registration of unions.
An increase in the number of countries that deny or constrain freedom of speech shows the fragility of democracies while the number of countries restricting access to justice has remained unacceptably high at last year’s levels.
A new trend identified in 2020 shows a number of scandals over government surveillance of trade union leaders in an attempt to instill fear and put pressure on independent unions and their members.
The containment measures, whether full lockdown or partial confinement, gradually put in place by nearly every government around the world in response to the Covid-19 pandemic that has been under way for some months, have shown – if it was not already obvious – just how important it is to observe and effectively implement all human rights (civil, political, economic, social and cultural), even as it has brought to light numerous violations of those rights.
Read this new CETIM report
The killing fields of the coronavirus:
Never before has our interdependence been so crystal clear, and never before have the solutions seemed so difficult and even impossible! Global action is needed, but by whom?
Read the interesting series of articles published by The Great Transition.
Crumbling economies must tackle tax evasion to meet coronavirus crisis, experts warn.
Read the Report from ICIJ, the international consortium of investigative journalists
A Pandemia is by definition a global issue. This is not the first pandemia, including in the recent past. How can we explain, when the number of deaths is relatively low compared to the other causes of mortality in societies, the stupefaction it causes, which is reflected in a barely believable fact: one third of the world’s population is confined and all usual activities are suspended, waiting indeterminately.
We are living in a time of exception. A time when the existing order is open to question. In this short essay for Globalizations I wish to make some initial reﬂections in response to the present ‘triple conjuncture’ of global crises. This triple conjuncture is an interaction among three spheres or vectors of global crises, together constituting a crisis of capitalist world order. The three spheres of the global crisis are: climate change and ecological breakdown; a systemic crisis of global capitalism and neoliberal economic globalization; and the current global pandemic of covid-19. The three spheres are deeply interrelated and now rapidly interacting. Their combined eﬀects will bring radical systemic transformation.
Read this interesting article from Barry Gills
There is something profoundly disturbing about this crisis. The results are frightening: ten thousands of deaths, hundred thousands of sick people, major cities in lockdown, an economic collapse…
Slowly, from China and South-East Asia, the crisis is now hitting Europe, the United States and will inevitably spread from there to the South. And as we know, the majority of poor countries does not have the capacities to care for their people. Almost half of the world population does not even have water and soap to wash their hands.
Speculations are going on on how our world will have to change after the crisis. But will it change? Lees verder
Developing countries bear the brunt of costs from illicit financial flows (IFFs). These losses are the result of the facilities that the global system provides transnational companies, operating in multiple tax jurisdictions, to move their profits to favorable locations. International cooperation has been seen to be a key ingredient in restricting IFFs. However, a difference in interests in the treatment of many types of transactions between developed and developing countries is an obstacle to a fast solution of the problem. Developing countries must seek to seize the initiative to restrict their losses from IFFs. They can deploy various joint and concerted actions, within the umbrella of the principles of South-South cooperation for this purpose.
Read the interesting report of the South South Center
What social model are we heading for?
Analysis of the World Bank’s ‘new social contract’
It has been said and it has been repeated: social policies have been the major victims of neoliberal globalisation. During the past forty years, attention for social protection and social development, everywhere, shifted towards ‘poverty reduction’, the IMF’s (International Monetary Fund) and the World Bank’s prescriptions continuously implied cuts in social spending and targeted policies in the South, while ‘austerity’ was introduced in the North with negative consequences on welfare states and labour law.
The changing world of work and the fundamental societal changes – migration, ageing, women on the labour market – recently gave rise to some timid discussions on social protection. The only real debate that took place in the North concerned the possible introduction of a ‘Universal Basic Income’, a basically liberal idea that almost inevitably would make an end to welfare states.