Labour

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.

IPEF: New Cold War Weapon Backfires

US President Joe Biden’s Indo-Pacific Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) is the economic arm of his administration’s Indo-Pacific Strategy, aimed at countering China’s influence in the region.

Forced Labor: Exposing Dark Web of Fisheries Labor Abuses

It is a terrifying life experience, cut off from the world and trapped in forced labour aboard fishing vessels, often in high seas or seas beyond the territorial waters of any state. The fishers are isolated under hazardous and horrific working conditions under limited regulatory oversight. More than 128,000 fishers were trapped in forced labour aboard fishing vessels in 2021 alone.

Hurricane Otis and the Indifference Toward the Children of Acapulco

Acapulco is a paradise. A port of golden sunsets, toasted sand, and deep blue sea. Its dream beaches captivated the hearts of Elvis Presley and Elizabeth Taylor. US President John F. Kennedy chose its shores to spend his honeymoon with Jackie Kennedy. Its luxury hotels and the untamed sea made it the most famous tourist destination in Mexico.

New Zealand: Political Volatility under Cost-of-Living Crisis

It’s a rapid reversal for New Zealand’s Labour Party, in power for six years. At the last election in 2020 it won an outright majority, the first party to do so under the current voting system. But three years on, it’s finished a distant second in the election held on 14 October. The result speaks to a broader pattern seen amid economic strife in many countries – of intense political volatility and the rejection of incumbents.

Wanted: Teachers For Change!

Once a year, on October 5, we celebrate World Teachers’ Day. Why is it so important to have a closer look on the teaching profession? What is so special about being a teacher nowadays?

Bolivian Women Fight Prejudice to Be Accepted as Mechanics

In Bolivia, more and more women have gone from being homemakers or street vendors to joining the noisy world of engines, their hands now covered in grease after learning that special touch to make a car work. But they frequently have to put up with machismo or sexism, injustice and mistrust of their skills with tools.

Mushroom Workers Want a Union

The Yakima River runs southeast from the Cascade Mountains through central Washington state to merge with the Columbia a little north of Oregon. From the small city of Yakima on down, its course broadens from a winding canyon into a wide valley bounded by austere low ridges of gray-green sagebrush and tawny grasses. In mid-April, the new leaves of the willows and cottonwoods light up the riverbanks with luminous chartreuse.

Senegal: Democracy in the Balance?

Civic space is deteriorating in Senegal ahead of next February’s presidential election. Recent protests have been met with lethal violence and internet and social media restrictions. Senegal’s democracy will soon face a key test, and whether it passes will depend largely on whether civic space is respected.

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