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ISDS in Africa: the numbers

A very interesting study by TNI: by the end of august 2019 Africa had been hit by 106 known investment treaty arbitration claims.

South Center Statement on Universal Health Care

Access to health is a human right and Universal Health Coverage (UHC) is essential to achieve health for all. States should ensure through public funding, based on solidarity and the fair redistribution of wealth, that nobody is deprived from health care. Policies that promote competitive markets for pharmaceuticals, particularly in the area of procurement, regulatory approvals (including biologicals) and intellectual property, should be implemented. Governments should make use of the available space in the TRIPS Agreement to apply rigorous definitions of invention and patentability standards and use other flexibilities allowed. Below is the South Centre’s Statement to the UN High-Level Meeting on UHC held on 23 September 2019 at the UN headquarters in New York. The Centre noted the recognition, in the draft political declaration, of the responsibilities of governments as well as of their right to choose their own path towards achieving UHC.

Read the statement

UN Summit on SDGs

Workers demand a New Social Contract to put the world back on track to reach the Sustainable Development Goals

Human Rights Groups take Climate Fight to Big Corporations

Peoples’ Summit issues landmark declaration in New York, unleashing new resources to wage financial and legal campaign.

https://www.aljazeera.com/ajimpact/human-rights-groups-climate-fight-big-corporations-190918175331463.html

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Climate change: a game changer for social justice

The UN special rapporteur on human rights and extreme poverty, Philip Alston, published an extraordinary report some months ago. He starts with stating the obvious: climate change will have devastating consequences on poor people. They will suffer from food insecurity, forced migration, diseases and death. Climate change is indeed a threat to their human rights.

No matter how accurate this reasoning is, it also carries some risks. Because the inevitable answer to this concern is to take special care of people living in poverty, to take measures to somewhat protect them, to compensate them for unavoidable losses, to help them to find new homes and livelihoods.

This thinking reveals first of all that the philosophy behind it is one of adaptation. It is not about mitigating the risks, even less is it about system change, in order to avoid the risks. This is neoliberal thinking, exposed long ago by the World Bank: you cannot avoid risks, you mainly have to develop the resilience of people so they can adapt and cope with risks when they actually occur. Lees verder

The World Bank needs to understand what poverty means

The World Bank claims poverty is decreasing around the world but UN research shows it depends on what you measure. If we are serious about reducing poverty, we need to start by properly identifying it.

The World Bank has repeatedly claimed that extreme poverty is on the decline. In its Poverty and Shared Prosperity Report, it states that ’the world has made tremendous progress in reducing extreme poverty. The percentage of people living in extreme poverty globally fell to a new low of 10 percent in 2015 — the latest number available — down from 11 percent in 2013, reflecting continued but slowing progress. The number of people living on less than $1.90 a day fell during this period by 68 million to 736 million.

The World Bank’s extreme poverty line of US$1.90 a day is in fact not based on real estimates of people’s cost of living within countries. This explains why it fails to capture the desperation experienced by so many.

by Sharon Burrow/ITUC

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What’s wrong with inequality?

“What’s wrong with inequality? Should all people be the same?” someone asked me once. Maybe this person was confusing inequality with diversity. Diversity does not necessarily imply exclusion or marginalization. Inequality does.

by Dr Luise Steinwachs

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Unveiling the Hidden Dimensions of Poverty

The research report, The Hidden Dimensions of Poverty, fundamentally challenges global conceptions of the nature of poverty. This participatory research, led by ATD-Fourth World and the University of Oxford, has sought to refine the understanding and measurement of poverty by engaging with people directly experiencing poverty, practitioners and academics.

The 2030 Agenda recognizes that poverty is multidimensional. However, apart from income poverty, hitherto these dimensions have not been well-specified, several of them have gone unrecognized, and the ways in which they all interact to shape the experience of poverty has not been properly understood.

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The Role of public services in integrating refugees and asylum seekers

Following the influx of over three million asylum seekers into the European Union in the three-year period 2015–2017, Member States faced a number of challenges related to integrating the newly arrived into their country. This report explores the role of public services – specifically housing, social services, health and education services – in the social and economic integration of refugees and asylum seekers. It aims to identify the factors that hinder this process and the elements that contribute to successful integration. The overall focus is on destination countries, particularly the three countries most affected by the inflow of refugees and asylum seekers: Austria, Germany and Sweden.

New publication of Eurofound

Responses to migration must remain firmly rooted in social justice

In May 2019, the 72nd World Health Assembly acknowledged the health of refugees and migrants as a global priority through the acceptance of the World Health Organization’s global action plan to promote their health.1 Since then, however, the discrepancy between policy rhetoric and global reality has continued to be painfully apparent, with high profile media coverage of deaths of migrant children, separation of children from parents, and detention in appalling conditions on the US border2 and direct targeting of migrant detention centres3 and indefinite detention in overcrowded conditions without drinking water or sanitation in Libya.4

The global action plan is intended to guide WHO, partner agencies, and governments in meeting the health related objectives identified in the 2018 global compacts on migration and refugees56 and strengthen international cooperation to protect people on the move. The action plan acknowledges that to prevent inequities, public health considerations for refugees and migrants cannot be separated from those of their host populations, or from tackling the broader determinants of health. It therefore retains a health system strengthening and multisectoral approach at its core and builds on a declared commitment to strong collaboration between all UN agencies, led by WHO, the International Organisation for Migration, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the International Labour Organisation, and others, to bring the health of refugees and migrants to the fore of global policies.

(People’s Health Movement)

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