Labour

Niger’s Military Coup Triggers Child Marriages, Sex Work in Neighboring Countries

A group of young girls aged between 15 and 17 sit tight, following attentively a lesson being taught by a Mualim (Islamic teacher) in a makeshift madrassah (Qur’anic school) located in one of the impoverished townships of Benin’s economic capital, Cotonou. They arrived in Benin recently, fleeing poverty, hunger, climate change, and rising insecurity in their home country, Niger, in the aftermath of the military coup that toppled democratically-elected president Mohamed Bazoum.

Trade Deception Returns in Pan-Africanist Guise

The World Bank has exaggerated probable gains from the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to promote partial and uneven trade liberalisation that is unlikely to enhance development on the continent.

Rural Entrepreneurs Thriving Against All Odds in Zimbabwe

With heavy sweat drenching his face and his shirt soaked in the sweat, 39-year-old Proud Ndukulani wrestled with a homemade knife, which he dipped in some used oil, before turning the glistening knife upon a rather tough and dusty tyre obtained from what he said was a forklift. His assistant stood by his side as he (Ndukulani) cut some tough rubber from the giant tyre lying outside an open shade roofed with aging asbestos sheets at Juru Growth Point, located 52 km east of Harare in Zimbabwe’s Goromonzi district in the country’s Mashonaland East province. 

Developing Countries’ Government Debt Crises Loom Larger

Developing countries are being blamed for having borrowed and spent irresponsibly. But they have only been doing what foreign powers and financial interests have urged them to do.

Abandoned Children Growing Problem in Northern Syria

Wael Al-Hassan was returning from work in the Syrian city of Harim when he heard the sound of a baby crying. He was returning from work on December 10, 2023. He stopped momentarily, turned on his mobile phone flashlight to investigate, and spotted a baby girl, around one month old, wrapped in a white blanket, lying by the roadside.

Unpaid Caregivers, a Symbol of Inequality in Chile

In Chile, as in the rest of Latin America, the task of caring for people with disabilities, the elderly and children falls to women who, as a result, do not have access to paid jobs or time for themselves.

New Attempts to Reduce Gender Inequality in Brazil

Brazil is beginning to test the effectiveness of a gender pay equality law passed in July 2023, a new attempt to reduce inequality for women in the world of work.

International Women’s Day, 2024


 
On March 8th, we celebrate International Women’s Day. A day to honour the resilience, achievements, and potential of women worldwide. The world faces crises—geopolitical conflicts, poverty, and climate change.

Tracking Global Development in Child Benefits Through New Monitoring and Information Platform

Inclusive social protections for children would be a positive signifier of social development in a time where 1.4 billion children globally are denied them. A step towards realizing this has been taken through a new monitoring tool on current social protection and child poverty statistics.

North Ignores ‘Perfect Storm’ in Global South

A gathering ‘perfect storm’ – due to various developments, several quite deliberate – now threatens much devastation in the global South, likely to most hurt the poorest and most vulnerable.

Illegal Artisanal Mining Threatens Amazon Jungle and Indigenous Peoples in Brazil

Artisanal mining, or "garimpo" as it is known in Brazil, has returned to the headlines as a factor in the deaths of Yanomami indigenous people, whose territory in the extreme north of Brazil suffers constant encroachment by miners, which has intensified in recent years.

PPPs’ Private Gain at Public Expense

At high cost and with dubious efficiency, public-private partnerships (PPPs) have increased private profits at the public expense. PPPs have proved costly in financing public projects.

Trapped and Trafficked—Fishers Tell of Forced Labor Horror

“The thing is that when you come from an African country, they know that you’re basically trapped,” says Noel Adabblah. “You have the wrong documents; you can’t go home because you’ve already borrowed money there to get here, and you won’t risk losing what work you have, no matter how bad, because of that. They know all the tricks.” 

Bangladesh: Election with a Foregone Conclusion

Bangladesh just held an election. But it was far from an exercise in democracy. Sheikh Hasina won her fourth consecutive term, and fifth overall, as prime minister in the general election held on 7 January. The result was never in doubt, with the main opposition party, the Bangladesh National Party (BNP), boycotting the vote over the ruling Awami League’s refusal to let a caretaker government oversee the election. This practice, abolished by the Awami League government in 2011, was, the BNP asserted, the only way to ensure a free and fair vote.

Europe’s Shift to the Far Right and its Impact on Immigration

The recent elections in the Netherlands signals the increasing power of the far right in Europe. The populist party of Geert Wilders, the Party for Freedom, won a decisive, albeit unexpected, victory taking 37 seats out the 150 seat in parliament. Wilders will likely be the head of the next Government. His policies include stopping all immigration into the Netherlands, holding a referendum on leaving the EU, and banning mosques and the Quran.

Myanmar Refugees Build Schools, Cafes and Hope in Mae Sot


 
The typical image of a refugee is a poor person with their hands out asking for aid. The Burmese refugees in Mae Sot on the Thai-Myanmar border defy that stereotype. Many are middle-class, educated urbanites with skills and plenty of initiative. After standing up to the Burmese military and suffering for it, they left everything and fled for their lives to Mae Sot where they continued their struggle. Despite intimidation, exploitation by some Thai authorities, and living in fear without documentation, they have achieved a lot in under two years. Their purpose is to support their community and the revolution in a variety of ways through their resilience, commitment, ability and innovation. Some refugees have set up businesses such as cafes, restaurants, bars, shops, hairdressers, a farm and cross-border trade. While they are for-profit, they also provide employment for other refugees and donate to the most vulnerable. One café owner said, “If I am lucky, I break even but the café gives refugees employment, keeps them occupied and is a place where Burmese can meet and relax.” [caption id="attachment_183577" align="alignleft" width="630"]Paul Greening is an ex-UN senior staff officer with over 20 years of experience in six Asian countries working for six UN agencies and four INGOs. He worked in Sittwe, Rakhine State for the International Organization for Migration (IOM) from 2017 to 2020 and has been living in Mae Sot for two years. First published by Myanmar news outlet Irrawady

Rich Nations, IMF Deepen World Stagnation

With the US Fed raising interest rates, the world economy is slowing as debt distress spreads across the global South, increasing poverty worldwide to pre-pandemic levels, with the poorest countries faring worst.

COP28: Climate Migrants’ Rights, Risk-based Labor Polices Under the Spotlight

With COP28 underway, researchers and activists are pointing at the plight of climate migrants. On November 30, a few hours before the COP28 was officially inaugurated, long, serpentine queues could be seen outside Expo 2020, the venue of the COP28. Standing under the blazing sun, besides delegates and media personnel, were hundreds of migrant workers, a majority of whom were from Nepal and the Philippines.

Global Civil Society Launches Manifesto for Ethical AI

We, a global coalition of over 50 civil society and human rights organizations from over 30 countries have co-developed the "Civil Society Manifesto for Ethical AI", a groundbreaking initiative aiming to steer AI policies towards safeguarding rights and deconolonising AI discourse. We question, and we are not the only ones: whose voices, ideas and values matter in AI ?

Big Cons: How Consultancy Firms Undermine Governments

Greater government reliance on consulting companies has greatly enriched them while also undermining state capacities, capabilities, national economies, progress, governance and legitimacy.

Middle-Income Country Trap?

In recent decades, failure to sustain economic progress has been blamed on a supposed middle-income country (MIC) trap. Such blaming obscures as much as it supposedly explains.

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