Labour

We Want to Be Legal; We’re Not ‘Zama Zama’ Criminals Say South African Artisanal Miners

Mining towns across South Africa have become hostage to a booming but bloody illegal mining economy.

The Year of Inflation Exposes Dogma and Class Bias

Inflation worries topped Ipsos’s What Worries the World survey in 2022 overtaking COVID concerns. The return of inflation caught major central banks, e.g., the US Federal Reserve (Fed), Bank of England, European Central Bank “off guard”. The persistence of inflation also surprised the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The return of inflation and its persistence exposed the poverty of the economics profession, unable to agree on its causes and required policy responses. It also exposed the profession’s anti-working class biases.

Demography Doesn’t Care

Demography doesn’t care about such things as national strikes over pension retirement ages, public protests about contraception and abortion rights, sexual orientation, habits and preferences, political ideology and party affiliation, dress codes and head coverings, and religious identity, beliefs and practices.

More Austerity in 2023 Will Fuel Protests

This week world leaders meet in Davos to discuss cooperation to address multiple crises, from COVID-19 and escalating inflation to slowing economic growth, debt distress and climate shocks.

Deportees Start Businesses to Overcome Unemployment in El Salvador

While grilling several portions of chicken and pork, Salvadoran cook Oscar Sosa said he was proud that through his own efforts he had managed to set up a small food business after he was deported back to El Salvador from the United States.

Raising Retirement Age Coming Soon

Despite the objections, resistance and protests taking place in many countries around the world, raising the official retirement age to receive government provided pension benefits is coming soon.

India’s Extensive Railways Often Conduit for Child Trafficking

Deeepti Rani (13) lives with her mother in a dilapidated dwelling near a railway track in India’s southern state of Karnataka. The mother-daughter duo sells paperbacks on trains for a living.

AGRA Gets Make-Up, Not Make-Over

Despite its dismal record, the Gates Foundation-sponsored Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) announced a new five-year strategy in September after rebranding itself by dropping ‘Green Revolution’ from its name.

The World Cup of Opportunity

The sun is shining, and the temperature sits at an idyllic 28 degrees Celsius. The Uber driver taking me to work is from Pakistan and devastated about the recent loss to England in the T20 Cricket World Cup final in Australia.

Balancing Diversity and Meritocracy

Countries worldwide, and as different as India, Indonesia, Iraq, Iran, Ireland, Israel and Italy, are struggling with the issue of how best to balance diversity and meritocracy across disparate ethnic, racial, caste, linguistic and religious subgroups in their populations.

Open Veins of Africa Bleeding Heavily

The ongoing plunder of Africa’s natural resources drained by capital flight is holding it back yet again. More African nations face protracted recessions amid mounting debt distress, rubbing salt into deep wounds from the past. With much less foreign exchange, tax revenue, and policy space to face external shocks, many African governments believe they have little choice but to spend less, or borrow more in foreign currencies.

A Looming Debt Crisis is Threatening Global Health Security. It is time to Drop the Debt

In this moment of profound challenge in international relations, it was understandable that the conclusion of the G20 meeting left leaders feeling relieved that the meeting took place without a breakdown. Leaders were justifiably proud too of important steps forward they made including the launch of the new pandemics fund.

As the World’s Population Hits 8 Billion People, UN Calls for Solidarity in Advancing Sustainable Development for All

The global population is projected to reach 8 billion on 15 November 2022, signalling major improvements in public health that have lowered the risk of dying and increased life expectancy. But the moment is also a clarion call for humanity to look beyond the numbers and meet its shared responsibility to protect people and the planet, starting with the most vulnerable.

COP27 Fiddling as World Warms

The latest annual climate conference has begun in the face of a worsening climate crisis and further retreats by rich nations following the energy crisis induced by NATO sanctions after the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Copping out again The 27th Conference of the Parties (COP 27) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is now meeting in Sharm-el-Sheikh, Egypt, from 6 to 18 November 2022.

A World of 8 Billion: Population Growth Will Continue But it’s Slowing Down

Global population is about to reach 8 billion, a mere 11 years after it reached 7 billion. The official Day of 8 Billion is observed by the UN November 15, though it's hard to pinpoint exactly when we pass the actual milestone.

Developing Countries Need Monetary Financing

Developing countries have long been told to avoid borrowing from central banks (CBs) to finance government spending. Many have even legislated against CB financing of fiscal expenditure. Central bank fiscal financing Such laws are supposedly needed to curb inflation – below 5%, if not 2% – to accelerate growth. These arrangements have also constrained a potential CB developmental role and government ability to respond better to crises.

Macroeconomic Policy Coordination More One-Sided, Ineffective

Widespread adverse reactions to the UK government’s recent ‘mini-budget’ forced new Prime Minister Liz Truss to resign. The episode highlighted problems of macroeconomic policy coordination and the interests involved.

Government Indifference Deprives the Trafficked of Compensation

Fourteen-year-old Priti Pyne was returning from school in Basra village in South 24 Parganas, West Bengal, when she and a friend came across a cold-drink seller selling an attractive-looking drink. The moment the girls sipped it, however, they felt dizzy. When they woke up, it was on a Delhi-bound train at Sealdah station in Kolkata. With the help of other passengers, the girls managed to get off the train.

Stop Worshiping Central Banks

Preoccupied with enhancing their own ‘credibility’ and reputations, central banks (CBs) are again driving the world economy into recession, financial turmoil and debt crises.

Persons with Disabilities Integral Players in Determining Innovative Solutions to Fully Inclusive Societies

Ten years ago, the Asia-Pacific region came together and designed the world’s first set of disability-specific development goals: the Incheon Strategy to “Make the Right Real” for Persons with Disabilities. This week, we meet again to assess how the governments have delivered on their commitments, to secure those gains and develop the innovative solutions needed to achieve fully inclusive societies.

Agroecological Women Farmers Boost Food Security in Peru’s Highlands

Lourdes Barreto, 47, says that as an agroecological small farmer she has improved her life and that of Mother Earth. "I love myself as I love Mother Earth and I have learned to value both of us," she says in her field outside the village of Huasao, in the highlands of the southern Peruvian department of Cuzco.

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