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New data challenge traditional notions of rich and poor

The traditional concept of poverty is outdated, according to a new report released today by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI). New data demonstrate more clearly than ever that labeling countries – or even households – as rich and poor is an oversimplification.

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The 2019 Multidimensional Poverty Report

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%’.

Read the report

Public Finance for the Future we Want

After the 2008 global financial crisis, big banks were rescued and public spending was curtailed. This justified ever harsher austerity measures and reinforced a persistent myth that the public sector must rely on private finance to solve excessive inequality and ecological destruction.

Today, private finance has not only failed to address these problems, it has intensified them. The public does not have to rely on the private sector. Public funds are much bigger than we imagine: equivalent to 93 per cent of global GDP. Public banks have enough resources to raise the many trillions needed to invest in public services and climate infrastructure, without having to turn to private financiers.

Read TNI’s new book

Social Protection: Essential Building Block to Reduce Inequality

Excessive concentration of income and wealth at the top – which is even underestimated since much of it is not observed in official accounts or surveys – lies at the root cause of high inequality. Income and wealth inequality often go hand-in-hand with inequalities along other dimensions such as opportunities, access to services and resources, and political representation.

Read the Policy Brief of the Global Coalition for Social Protection Floors

A bad free trade agreement is worse than nothing

With growing economic conflicts triggered by US President Donald Trump’s novel neo-mercantilist approach to overcoming his nation’s economic malaises, many voices now argue that bad free trade agreements are better than nothing.

 

After US withdrawal following Trump’s inauguration in early 2017, there is considerable pressure on signatory governments to quickly ratify the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), the successor to the TPP.

(Jomo Kwame Sundaram, Nazran Zhafri Ahmad Johari)

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Unpaid care isn’t free

It is now widely recognised that Britain’s army of unpaid carers, family and friends of those with care and support needs, contribute the equivalent of over £57bn in service to our community each year. What is less appreciated is the cost that carers themselves and wider society are incurring within the current system. A new model built for the NHS by NEF Consulting places the total cost in England at between £24bn and £37bn each year, and growing.

Alex Chapman, New Economics Foundation

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International Labour Conference ends with Declaration on the Future of Work

“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;

…”

Read the Declaration

 

New International Labour Standard to combat Violence and Harassment at work

The Violence and Harassment Convention, 2019, and Violence and Harassment Recommendation, 2019 , were adopted by delegates on the final day of the Centenary International Labour Conference, in Geneva. For the Convention, 439 votes were cast in favour, seven against, with 30 abstentions. The Recommendation was passed with 397 votes in favour, 12 votes against and 44 abstentions.

The Convention recognizes that violence and harassment in the world of work “can constitute a human rights violation or abuse…is a threat to equal opportunities, is unacceptable and incompatible with decent work.” It defines “violence and harassment” as behaviours, practices or threats “that aim at, result in, or are likely to result in physical, psychological, sexual or economic harm.” It reminds member States that they have a responsibility to promote a “general environment of zero tolerance”.

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Social and Solidarity Economy

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.

Read this new publication

Global Self Workers Union launched in Geneva

At a time when the self workers and Informal workers are adversely affected and the struggle of the Global self workers and Informal workers are happening worldwide, the Self Workers and Informal workers need stronger, dynamic, mass based trade union movement, trade unions with deep and stable roots within the all sectors of informal workers. Self Workers Global (SWG Henceforth) is an international non-profit organization with a broad trade union spirit, born to defend the rights of the self-employed workers across global informal economy. SWG wants to defend and protect dignity of self-employment in all their facets, and for this, SWG is in the process of building associations and collaborators around the world. SWG is first of its kind- a global federation of organization engaged with complex question of self employment around the world.
SWG believes and intend to give voice to millions of self-employed, inside and outside the formal economy, represent them and meet their needs claims, so that the Self-employment work have the dignity and recognition of contribution to the economy it deserves.
“We move “Forward” with struggle, internationalism and unity.

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