Connect with us

News

Almost all workers and businesses affected by lockdown measures

Published

on

Almost all of the world’s workers, some 94 per cent, were living in countries with some type of workplace closure measures in place in May 2020, according to the UN Secretary-General’s Policy Brief on the World of Work and COVID-19 .

Massive losses in working hours, equivalent to 305 million full-time jobs , are predicted for the second quarter of 2020, while 38 percent of the workforce – some 1.25 billion workers – is employed in high-risk sectors.

The Brief says small and medium-sized enterprises – the engine of the global economy – are suffering immensely and many may not recover. Those living in developing countries and fragile contexts face the most dramatic risks, in part because they have least resilience.

The Policy Brief, which is based on data and analysis from the International Labour Organization (ILO), warns that many of those people who have lost their jobs and livelihoods in recent months will not be able to re-enter labour markets any time soon.

Women have been particularly hard hit. They are disproportionately represented in high-risk sectors and are often amongst the first to lose employment and the last to return. Persons with disabilities, already facing exclusion in employment, are also more likely to experience greater difficulties returning to work during recovery.

The Policy Brief says the socio-economic impact of the pandemic is falling disproportionately on those who were already in precarious circumstances and who can least absorb the additional blow. The approximately two billion people working in the informal economy – often without rights at work and social protection – suffered a sixty percent decline in earnings in the first month of the crisis alone.

Young people account for more than four in ten of those employed in hard-hit sectors, globally. Combined with disruption to education and training, this places them at risk of becoming a ‘lockdown generation’ that will carry the impact of this crisis for a long time.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has turned the world of work upside down. Every worker, every business and every corner of the globe has been affected,” said UN Secretary-General, António Guterres.

The Secretary-General called for action on three fronts:

  • First, immediate support for at-risk workers, enterprises, jobs and incomes, to avoid closures, job losses and income decline.
  • Second, a greater focus on both health and economic activity after lockdowns ease, with workplaces that are safe, and rights for all.
  • Third, mobilization now for a human-centred, green, sustainable and inclusive recovery that harnesses the potential of new technologies to create decent jobs for all, and takes advantage of the creative and positive ways companies and workers have adapted to these times.

“The world of work cannot and should not look the same after this crisis. It is time for a coordinated global, regional and national effort to create decent work for all as the foundation of a green, inclusive and resilient recovery,” the Secretary-General said.

Continue Reading
Comments

Environment

Greenpeace Africa reacts to DRC President’s decision to suspend illegal logging concessions

Published

on

forest

The President of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Félix Tshisekedi, ordered on Friday, October 15th, the suspension of all dubious logging concessions, including the 6 granted in September 2020. Greenpeace Africa, one of the civil society organizations that denounced these concessions, applauds the decision taken by the Head of State and encourages him to remain vigilant and ensure its effective execution by Deputy Prime Minister Ms. Eve Bazaiba.

Greenpeace Africa reiterates its call for maintaining the moratorium on new industrial logging concessions to prevent a human rights and climate catastrophe. This logging sector, characterized by bad governance, favors corruption and remains out of touch with the socio-economic needs of the Congolese people and the climate crisis we live in.

Irène Wabiwa Betoko, Head of the International Congo Basin Forest Project of Greenpeace: “The decision of H.E. President Tshisekedi against the illegal actions of former Minister Nyamugabo sends an important message to the Congolese people and their government. It is also a red light for the plans of Ms. Ève Bazaiba, current Minister of the Environment, to open a highway to deforestation by multinational logging companies through lifting the moratorium on new industrial concessions.”

The President asks to “Suspend all questionable contracts pending the outcome of an audit and report them to the government at the next cabinet meeting.” Greenpeace Africa maintains that the review of illegalities in the forest sector must be transparent, independent, and open to comments from civil society organizations.

Ms. Wabiwa adds that “Both the protection of the rights of Congolese peoples and the success of COP26 require that the moratorium on granting new forest titles be strengthened. We again call on President Tshisekedi to strengthen the 2005 presidential decree to extend the moratorium.”

Ms. Wabiwa concludes that “instead of allowing new avenues of destruction, the DRC needs a permanent forest protection plan, taking into account the management by the local and indigenous populations who live there and depend on them for their survival.”

Continue Reading

Tech News

Standards & Digital Transformation – Good Governance in a Digital Age

Published

on

In celebration of World Standards Day 2021, celebrated on 14 October every year, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) is pleased to announce the launch of a brochure, “Standards and Digital Transformation: Good Governance in the Digital Age”.

In the spirit of this year’s World Standards Day theme “Shared Vision for a Better World”, the brochure provides insights into the key drivers of the digital transformation and its implications for sustainable development, particularly people, prosperity and planet. Noting the rapid pace of change of the digital transformation, with the COVID-19 pandemic serving as an unanticipated accelerator, the brochure highlights the role of standards in digital transformation governance. It further considers the principles necessary for guiding the collaborative development of standards in the digital technology landscape to ensure that the technologies remain human-centered and aligned to the goals of sustainability.

This year’s World Standards Day theme highlights the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) representing a shared vision for peace and prosperity, for people and planet. Every SDG is a call for action, but we can only get there if we work together, and international standards offer practical solutions we can all stand behind.

This brochure is a summary of a publication set to be released in November 2021.

Download it here.

Continue Reading

Human Rights

UN: Paraguay violated indigenous rights

Published

on

An indigenous community in Paraguay wait to receive their COVID-19 vaccination. WHO/PAHO

Paraguay’s failure to prevent the toxic contamination of indigenous people’s traditional lands by commercial farming violates their rights and their sense of “home”, the UN Human Rights Committee said in a landmark ruling on Wednesday. 

The Committee, which is made up of 18 independent experts from across the world, monitors countries’ adherence to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.  

Lands represent ‘home’ 

The decision on Paraguay (in Spanish) marked the first time it has affirmed that for indigenous people, “home” should be understood in the context of their special relationship with their territories, including their livestock, crops and way of life.  

“For indigenous peoples, their lands represent their home, culture and community. Serious environmental damages have severe impacts on indigenous people’s family life, tradition, identity and even lead to the disappearance of their community. It dramatically harms the existence of the culture of the group as a whole,” said Committee member Hélène Tigroudja. 

The decision stems from a complaint filed more than a decade ago on behalf of some 201 Ava Guarani people of the Campo Agua’e indigenous community, located in Curuguaty district in eastern Paraguay. 

The area where they live is surrounded by large commercial farms which produce genetically modified soybeans through fumigation, a process which involves the use of banned pesticides. 

Traditional life affected 

Fumigation occurred continuously for more than 10 years and affected the indigenous community’s whole way of life, including killing livestock, contaminating waterways and harming people’s health. 

The damage also had severe intangible repercussions, according to the UN committee.  The disappearance of natural resources needed for hunting, fishing and foraging resulted in the loss of traditional knowledge.  For example, ceremonial baptisms no longer take place as necessary materials no longer exist. 

“By halting such ceremonies, children are denied a rite crucial to strengthening their cultural identity,” the Committee said.  “Most alarmingly, the indigenous community structure is being eroded and disintegrated as families are forced to leave their land.” 

Toxic exposure 

The indigenous community brought the case to the Human Rights Committee after a lengthy and unsatisfactory administrative and judicial process in Paraguay’s courts. 

“More than 12 years after the victims filed their criminal complaint regarding the fumigation with toxic agrochemicals, to which they have continued to be exposed throughout this period, the investigations have not progressed in any meaningful way and the State party has not justified the delay,” the Committee said in its decision. 

Recommendations, reparations 

Members found Paraguay did not adequately monitor the fumigation and failed to prevent contamination, adding “this failure in its duty to provide protection made it possible for the large-scale, illegal fumigation to continue for many years, destroying all components of the indigenous people’s family life and home.”  

The Committee recommended that Paraguay complete the criminal and administrative proceedings against all parties responsible and make full reparation to the victims. 

The authorities are also urged to take all necessary measures, in close consultation with the indigenous community, to repair the environmental damage, and to work to prevent similar violations from occurring in the future. 

Continue Reading

Publications

Latest

Africa4 hours ago

Analyzing The American Hybrid War on Ethiopia

Ethiopia has come under unprecedented pressure from the U.S. ever since it commenced a military operation in its northern Tigray...

Intelligence6 hours ago

Women Maoists (Naxalbari)

Every now and then, Indian newspapers flash news about Maoist insurgents, including women being killed. They usually avoid mentioning how...

forest forest
Environment8 hours ago

Greenpeace Africa reacts to DRC President’s decision to suspend illegal logging concessions

The President of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Félix Tshisekedi, ordered on Friday, October 15th, the suspension of all...

Reports10 hours ago

Are we on track to meet the SDG9 industry-related targets by 2030?

A new report published by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), Statistical Indicators of Inclusive and Sustainable Industrialization, looks...

New Social Compact12 hours ago

Eurasian Forum: Empowering Women in the Changing World

Women play an increasingly important role in resolving issues that society and the state encounter and in the modern world,...

Americas14 hours ago

The U.S. Might Finally Be Ready to Back Down, to Avoid WW III

Recently, tensions have been rising between, on the one hand, America, and on the other, both Russia and China. A...

Americas16 hours ago

How The West Subdue Us: An Approach of Colonial and Development Discourse

Talking about development and colonial discourse, I am reminded the story of John Perkins in his book “Confessions of an...

Trending