Global civil society report demands justice beyond rhetoric.
Policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic crisis have greatly exacerbated national and global inequalities. Blatant examples are the unfair distribution of care work, relying mainly on women and poorly remunerated if at all, and the global disparity in the distribution of vaccines.
So far more than 60 percent of people in high-income countries have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, but less than 2 percent have done so in low-income countries. In view of this dramatic disparity, the “leave no one behind” commitment of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development remains hollow.
The dominant interests of rich countries, and corporate powers continue to dominate political decision-making. Given the urgency of the COVID-19 crisis and the other unresolved global problems, most notably the climate emergency, it is high time for transformative policies at all levels.
This is the key message of the Spotlight on Sustainable Development Report 2021. The report is launched on the first day of the Global Week to #ACT4SDGS by a global coalition of civil society organizations and trade unions.
According to the report, economic justice based on human rights can be achieved, but the trend towards privatizing, outsourcing and systematic dismantling of public services must be reversed. To combat growing inequality and build a socially just, inclusive post-COVID world, everyone must have equitable access to public services, first and foremost to healthcare and education.
To prevent the COVID-19 pandemic being followed by a global debt and austerity pandemic, governments must be enabled to expand their fiscal policy space and properly tax multinational corporations and wealthy individuals, many of whom pay virtually no income tax at all. Fundamental reforms in the global financial architecture, including a debt workout mechanism beyond piecemeal relief measures for debt servicing, are long overdue.
With a virtual launching event, the key findings of the report will be presented on 17 September, 9am EDT. Lees verder
A much-anticipated report from UN Secretary-General António Guterres backs the call for a renewed social contract, setting out an ambitious plan for multilateral action to address the multiple crises facing the world.
Read the report
Vaccine costs have pushed many developing countries to the end of the COVID-19 vaccination queue, with most low-income ones not even lining up. Worse, less vaccinated poor nations cannot afford fiscal efforts to provide relief or stimulate recovery, let alone achieve Agenda 2030.
Developing countries now account for more than 85% of global pandemic deaths. By early September, The Economist estimated actual COVID-19 deaths worldwide at 15.2 million, rather than the official 4.6 million.
In six of the ten countries with the highest fatality rates, less than a tenth of their populations were fully vaccinated as of 10 August. In the other four, no more than a third were fully vaccinated.
Now, as rich nations buy up more vaccines for third shots, vaccination inequities are becoming starker. Buying up hundreds of millions of doses, they penalise poorer countries already doubly deprived. Rich countries will likely have about 1.2 billion extra doses by the end of 2021!
Read the article by Anis Chowdury and Jomo Kwame Sundaram
Source: South-North Development Monitor SUNS #9413 Tuesday 7 September 2021.
Currently, only 46.9 per cent of the global population are effectively covered by at least one social protection benefit, while the remaining 53.1 per cent, or as many as 4.1 billion people globally, are left wholly unprotected, the International Labour Organization (ILO) has said.
In its World Social Protection Report 2020-2022 (pdf version), the ILO said that countries spend on average 12.9 per cent of their gross domestic product (GDP) on social protection (excluding health).
However, it said high-income countries spend on average 16.4 per cent, or twice as much as upper-middle-income countries (which spend 8 per cent), six times as much as lower-middle-income countries (2.5 per cent), and 15 times as much as low-income countries (1.1 per cent).
The ILO will issue its “World Social Protection Report 2020-22: Social protection at the crossroads – in pursuit of a better future” on Wednesday 1 September. This flagship report gives a global overview of recent developments in social protection systems, including social protection floors, and covers the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Media advisory: ILO to launch World Social Protection Report 2020-22
The Yearbook captures the full range of the Committee’s activities in a given year and serves to make the Committee’s work more visible and accessible. It has quickly evolved into a valuable tool for civil society, human rights practitioners, academics, States and all those with an interest in the potential of human rights to tackle problems of poverty, social injustice and inequality.
The 2020 edition contains information on the Committee’s latest State reviews, individual communication decisions, general comments and statements. This includes details of the Committee’s engagement with all dimensions of the coronavirus crisis, as well as issues as wide ranging as the climate emergency, evictions, gender equality and land rights. Used wisely, its guidance may be critical in shaping the world that we wish to build as we emerge from the coronavirus pandemic.
For some answers to this very important and urgent question, please see the result of the debate on The Great Transition:
by Francine Mestrum
Social Justice – Note for discussion
Social justice is a very broad concept. It includes many divergent phenomena, from inequality to health care and pensions, over gender, migration and racism. Many of these elements can also be examined on their own right, such as gender and structural racism, while others are consequences or causes of still more problematics. Just imagine the lack of health care because of an income deficit called poverty or the importance of social justice for matters of environmental sustainability. The interlinkages are many. Lees verder
We celebrate the cultural and linguistic richness of indigenous populations. We recognise their knowledge of the natural world that can provide leadership and guidance to preserve ecosystems in the face of the environmental climate crisis.
Read the article by ITUC