Labour

The Nairobi Summit Is about the Future of Humanity and Human Prosperity

As we count down the remaining days to the opening of the Nairobi Summit or the International Conference for Population and Development(ICPD), I am confounded by how much humanity has managed to simultaneously empower more women than at any other time in history, while at the same time failing to see that ‘women’s issues’ are actually ‘everyone’s issues’.

Industrial Policy Still Relevant

Industrial policy refers to the promotion of new investments and technology by governments to encourage the growth and development of specific economic sectors. However, scepticism persists about the feasibility and desirability of using industrial policy, especially of the ability to ‘pick winners’, often accused of leading to ‘propping-up failing industries’.

More Women in Latin America are Working, but Gender Gap Persists, New UN Figures Show

More women are entering the workforce across Latin America, with an increase in 11 per cent in the last 30 years, putting the region ahead of the curve when it comes to growth in female labour force participation, according to new data published by the United Nations on Monday. 

More than 90 per cent of Africa Migrants Would Make Perilous Europe Journey Again, Despite the Risks

A landmark UN migration study published on Monday shows that 93 per cent of Africans making the journey to European countries along irregular routes, would do it again, despite facing often life-threatening danger.

Africa’s Investment Drive Gathers Pace

Headwinds are blowing amid IMF warnings of a “synchronised slowdown” in global economic growth, yet Africa’s investment drive is still gathering pace, supported by intense international competition in development finance.

Rural Poverty Is Still a Scar on the Soul of Colombia, but a New Program Supporting Agri-Entrepreneurship Can Help Heal the Wounds

Rural poverty and inequality continue inflicting large swaths of population in Colombia, especially in rural areas. This situation, endemic since at least the beginning of the twentieth century, was at the root of the 50-year long conflict that shattered the country, leaving 220,000 deaths and 5.7 million displaced persons, and devastating a significant part of the rural areas, where government services and infrastructure vanished.

The #MeToo Movement’s Powerful New Tool

If one dreamed up an ambitious global #metoo success story, it might involve governments around the world enthusiastically supporting legal norms and action on sexual harassment with active support and cooperation from businesses and workers.

Austerity, the “New Normal”

While this week Ministers of Finance and economists meet in Washington to confront global economic challenges at the IMF and World Bank Annual Meetings, the majority of the world population lives with austerity cuts and see their living standards deteriorating. World leaders must reverse this trend.

‘Salty’ Concern: Tackling High Salt Consumption in China

China’s almost meteoric transition from a being a low income to a middle income country within a span of four decades is often perceived as a miracle analogous to the post Second World War Japanese economic development experience.

Human Trafficking – It Came Disguised as the Opportunity of a Lifetime

Six years ago Mary Njambi* received news of a once-in-a-lifetime job opportunity far away from her poverty-stricken village situated in the heart of Kiambu County, Central Kenya. She was 20 years old, a single mother and out of work.

Wall Street can Free the World’s 40 Million Modern-Day Slaves

Financiers in Wall Street, the City of London and other banking centres should play a bigger role in freeing the millions of people who endure slave-like working conditions globally, according to a new study.

No to Ageism, Yes to Intergenerational Equality

As we are celebrating the International Day of Older Persons today, we recognize that population ageing is a human success story, a story of longer and often healthier lives of the world’s people. The many faces of older persons that we see in Asia and in the Pacific, and, indeed, all over the world, attest to this fact. Still, however, ageing is considered a threat. There is talk about the “burden of ageing”, exploding healthcare costs, and concerns about plummeting economic growth due to the shrinking labour force. In many cities of Asia-Pacific, we see advertisement for “anti-ageing cosmetics” and surgeries. The current ideal is that we must be young, dynamic and without wrinkles or grey hair, especially older women.

10,000 People a Day Must be Freed to End Slavery by 2030

"Six years after initiating my term as Special Rapporteur, it is sobering to say that the way to freedom from slavery remains long in spite of the legal abolition of slavery worldwide," said UN expert on contemporary forms of slavery, Urmila Bhoola.

Hiring for Inclusion

As companies begin to focus on hiring people with disabilities, we need to shape how they think and act on this interest.

Do Women Suffer Greater Loss of Employment than Men in Morbidity?

In a life peppered with tragedy, Mary Shelley wrote in 1818, “Have I not suffered enough, that you seek to increase my misery?” That this accurately sums up the fate of many women in South Asia who suffer a major health shock such as a serious illness or a disability or both, is hard to dispute.

Key Changes in International Agriculture and Rural Development Issues: Three Priority Areas in the Context of the 2030 Development Agenda

Transformations in international agricultural and rural development issues Some major changes in international agricultural and rural development over the last 30-40 years need to be taken into account in efforts to promote sustainable development and an inclusive rural transformation (IFAD 2016) as we approach the third decade of the millennium. This opinion piece, drawing on a longer article published in Agriculture for Development Journal (Summer 2019 Issue), seeks to stimulate reflection and debate on how work to support agricultural and rural development can evolve to address key challenges and opportunities related to migration, sustainable urbanization and youth in a changing global policy context.

Farm Workers Paying the Price for Cheap South African Wine

Systembolaget, the Swedish government-owned alcohol monopoly, promises fair conditions – but it also uses its purchasing power to put a downward pressure on prices. At the major South African wine producer Leeuwenkuil, workers suffer as the company tries to cut costs. So far, none of the South African suppliers have been stopped due to violations against Systembolaget’s code of conduct.

Disaster Risk Resilience: Key to Protecting Vulnerable Communities

The past five years have been the hottest on record in Asia and the Pacific. Unprecedented heatwaves have swept across our region, cascading into slow onset disasters such as drought. Yet heat is only part of the picture. Tropical cyclones have struck new, unprepared parts of our region and devastatingly frequent floods have ensued. In Iran, these affected 10 million people this year and displaced 500,000 of which half were children. Bangladesh is experiencing its fourth wave of flooding in 2019. Last year, the state of Kerala in India faced the worst floods in a century.

Kenya: The troubles of a science PhD from the West

Graduate students of the London School of Economics and Political Science gathered at Kenya’s coast in September 2018, where the Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Dr Mukhisa Kituyi told them: “With your international credibility, it is easier and tempting to leave and take out of the continent the little intellectual resource that could solve problems their countries face.”

Are Jair Messias Bolsonaro and Donald John Trump a Menace to the Planet?

We live in different worlds. The ones of friends, family and work colleagues. Worlds which are overshadowed by other, much bigger ones. Global spheres of international finance, politics, climate change, etc., contexts that might threaten our smaller circle of relationships; our family, our income, our general wellbeing, in short – our entire existence. However, even at those levels there exist small circles of acquaintances and associates able to make decisions that affect the entire humankind. Let me take one example – the regimes of U.S. President Donald J. Trump and Brazilian President Jair Messias Bolsonaro, which are menacing our global natural habitat.

To Uplift a Woman is to Uplift a Village

Khadija Zuberi, 23, from Ruaha Mbuyuni village in Tanzania’s central highlands, is a single mother to her four-year-old son, Hashim.

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