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Social Protection Floors and the Informal Sector

Interesting article on ILO’s social protection floors and the informal sector:

While discussions about whether effect of globalization is negative or positive on a nation’s wealth are ongoing, existence of this effect is undisputable phenomenon. However, in most cases, unqualified and informal employers experience most devastating effects of globalization in local level. International Labour Organization (ILO) has developed Social Protection Floors Approach for producing global answers to these global problems. The paper aims to investigate the efficiency of an international solution…

Public services for all: better than basic income

For those who still have doubts: excellent article on the importance of public services for all

In-work poverty in Europe

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.

Countries that depend on commodities

The number of countries that depend on commodities has reached its highest level in 20 years, says a new UNCTAD report.

UNCTAD defines a country as dependent on commodities when these account for more than 60% of its total merchandise exports in value terms.

The State of Commodity Dependence Report 2019 shows commodity-dependent countries increased from 92 between 1998 and 2002 to 102 between 2013 and 2017.

More than half of the world’s countries (102 out of 189) and two thirds of developing countries are dependent on commodities, the report indicates.

“Given that commodity dependence often negatively impacts a country’s economic development, it is important and urgent to reduce it to make faster progress towards at( meeting the sustainable development goals,” UNCTAD Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi said.

 

ITUC’s Policy Brief on Pensions

The paper reviews several of the measures that States have taken with the intention of improving the sustainability of pension systems and evaluates their effectiveness. The paper highlights that many of the measures taken have had negative distributional impacts and have significantly compromised the primary function of pension systems: to provide a secure replacement income for people in old age and prevent their ability to fall into poverty.

While many governments and international institutions have framed pension reforms as an inescapable trade-off between adequacy and sustainability, unions insist that addressing the challenges of demographic ageing requires adopting a new overarching narrative, combining greater efforts to support labour market participation of excluded groups, enhanced revenue through progressive and innovative forms of taxation, and the guarantee of a decent income in retirement at the centre of this agenda.

The report can be found online in English here: https://www.ituc-csi.org/Pension-systems-adequacy-sustainability

Neoliberal Reforms Strengthening Monopoly Power and Abuses

Over the last four decades, growing concentration of market power in the hands of oligopolies, if not monopolies, has been greatly enabled by ostensibly neo-liberal reforms, worsening wealth concentration and gross inequalities in the world.

The ‘counter-revolution’ against Keynesian and development economics four decades ago, which inspired the Washington Consensus, claimed to promote economic liberalization, including market competition, but strengthening property rights entitlements, especially for intellectual property, has been far more important.

Such oligopolistic and monopolistic trends have recently accelerated in much of the world, while already feeble anti-trust efforts have lagged far behind. Over a century after US President Teddy Roosevelt’s anti-trust initiatives, with the neoliberal rhetoric of recent decades, many all over the world still have great expectations of similar US reform initiatives.

(Jomo Kwame Sundaram, Anis Chowdhury)
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Developing Countries Facing a Conundrum

April was a month for some international institutions to publish data and forecasts to revise or confirm their economic projections made at the beginning of the year. So far, it has been bad news after bad news. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has repeatedly cut its projections for world gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 2019. The World Bank and IMF revealed further worsened accumulation of public and private debt. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) reported declining official development assistance (ODA). The World Trade Organization (WTO) worried about decelerating international trade and intensified trade tension. The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) highlighted consecutive drops of foreign direct investment (FDI) flows. When so many dark clouds are gathering together at the same time, one can only say that the world economic prospects for 2019 are indeed gloomy. A closer examination of the performance of developing countries in these datasets would clearly show the economic conundrum that developing countries are facing.

Read the Policy Brief of the South Centre

Universal Basic Income: Solution or Part of the Problem?

Is the UBI part of the solution or part of the problem? A new study out this week, published by NEF and Public Services International, finds little evidence to support most of the claims made for UBI. It confirms the importance of generous, non-stigmatising income support, but everything turns on how much money is paid, under what conditions and with what consequences for the welfare system as a whole. There are more effective and sustainable ways of meeting people’s needs and fighting inequalities than just giving cash to everyone.

Read the article

Read the report

Tell the ILO we need a New Social Contract that guarantees a fair deal for all working people!

The current model of globalisation puts profit ahead of people. The flawed rules of the global economy see working people take home an ever-smaller share of the wealth they create while corporations are allowed to extract, exploit and undermine. These rules are human-made and we can change them. It’s time for a New Social Contract between workers, government and business.

In June 2019, governments, workers and employers are coming together for a historic meeting to negotiate the International Labour Organization (ILO)’s Centennial Declaration. This is a once in a generation opportunity to let us fix the global economy and get it working for people.

What do we want:

  • Rights for all workers, whatever employment arrangements they have.
  • Fairer wages, including minimum wages on which people can live a decent life.
  • More control for people over their working time and more oversight over their bosses to make
  • sure they can’t discriminate or evade responsibilities.
  • Building justice into the climate and technology transition.

Sign the petition

ILO Labour Standards Up For Sale?

The historic achievements of the ILO as a political organisation and standard-setter still comprise a highly valuable asset. But if it wants to preserve its influence in the future, it has to defend its fundamental principles and its credibility. So yes to the ILO, but working in the right way!

(Social Europe)

Read the article

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