The Special Rapporteur’s Philippe Alston most recent and last report on extreme poverty and human rights deserves reading: ‘Rather than resolving to address the inadequacy of their public health and social protection systems in response to the pandemic, many governments have seen COVID-19 as a passing challenge to be endured, ignoring the indispensability of large-scale economic and social restructuring. Others have taken it as an opportunity to undermine or restrict human rights. And rather than acknowledging how badly efforts to “end poverty” have been faring, and how relentlessly the pandemic has exposed that fact, most actors are doubling down on existing approaches that are clearly failing.’
It criticizes the World Bank statistics, promotes universal social protection, demands to update the SDGs and to find solutions for the debt and tax problems…
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A new report from Eurodad’s team working on ending debt crises warns that rapidly rising public debt is pitting the rights of creditors against those of the world’s poorest people – in particular women and girls. As the cost of debt rises and countries devote up to 40% of revenue to paying off external debt, public services are feeling the effect of austerity-driven cuts. Under international human rights law, states have a duty to promote social progress and better standards of living, including by allocating sufficient resources to public service provision. Yet people living in some of the world’s most impoverished countries are seeing their rights eroded on a daily basis because there is no fair international system addressing the growing debt crisis.
This report unpacks States’ human rights obligations in the context of the increasing private sector involvement in healthcare, particularly health financing and provision. It presents a preliminary human rights impact assessment framework for evaluating the consequences of private actor activity on the right to health.
The report defines and explains the different forms of private involvement in the provision of health goods and services and financing. It analyses the different State obligations under the right to health, setting out general standards and applying them to situations of private involvement. The report also establishes the aspects of accountability that States need to put in place for the enjoyment of the right to health, including regulation, transparency, participation, monitoring, review and remedies.
The report was co-published by the Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (GI-ESCR), the Initiative for Social and Economic Rights (ISER) and the University of Essex Human Rights Centre Clinic. It forms part of the critical scrutiny of the increasing privatisation of services, including education, health and water. Various organisations, including GI-ESCR and ISER, have been part of this work over the last years, which led the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights to issue a resolution on privatisation in education and health in May 2019.
New and interesting UN report:
The challenge of inequality in a rapidly changing world
The World Social Report 2020 examines the impact of four such megatrends on inequality: technological innovation, climate change, urbanization and international migration. Technological change can be an engine of economic growth, offering new possibilities in health care, education, communication and productivity. But it can also exacerbate wage inequality and displace workers. The accelerating winds of climate change are being unleashed around the world, but the poorest countries and groups are suffering most, especially those trying to eke out a living in rural areas. Urbanization offers unmatched opportunities, yet cities find abject poverty and opulent wealth in close proximity, making gaping and increasing levels of inequality all the more glaring. International migration allows millions of people to seek new opportunities and can help reduce global disparities, but only if it occurs under orderly and safe conditions.
The MPI provides a comprehensive and in-depth picture of global poverty – in all its dimensions – and monitors progress towards Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 1 – to end poverty in all its forms. It also provides policymakers with the data to respond to the call of Target 1.2, which is to ‘reduce at least by half the proportion of men, women, and children of all ages living in poverty in all its dimensions according to national definition.’
The publication “Illuminating Inequalities” previews ongoing research into trends over time for a group of countries including Bangladesh, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Haiti, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Peru. SDG target 10.1 calls for tracking the progress of the bottom 40 percent of the population compared with that of the total population – the publication includes case studies and a detailed analysis of the growth of those furthest behind – the ‘bottom 40%’.
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“Considering that the experience of the past century has confirmed that the continuous and concerted action of governments and representatives of employers and workers is essential to the achievement of social justice, democracy and the promotion of universal and lasting peace;
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To mark the 100th anniversary of the International Labour Organization (ILO), the Belgian NGO Solsoc and the CETRI wanted to question the social and soli-darity economy (SSE), which is at the heart of its strategy to promote Decent Work. In effect, various studies have highlighted the SSE as the best tool for promoting Decent Work. The ILO shares the view that “the social and solidarity economy contributes to the four dimensions of the ILO’s overall objective of Decent Work”.But how can we ensure that the SSE is the driving force behind the spread of Decent Work and its four pillars, namely job creation, the right to work, social protection and social dialogue ? How can it both “create a movement” and connect with other social movements, including trade unions and women’s movements ? Under what conditions can it not only help meet needs, but also represent a transformative power and, beyond that, an alternative to the economic model ? These questions, strategies and challenges are examined here on the basis of analyses, expertise and experience from the South, by giving a voice to organisations, health mutuals, trade unions and Solsoc’s partners, who are all actors in this transformation and alternative on a daily basis.
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A new Synthesis Report produced by the European Social Policy Network (ESPN) puts forward several recommendations and calls for more effective policy action at European and national levels to tackle in-work poverty.