SOCIAL PROTECTION SYSTEMS: TOOL FOR REDUCING EXTEREME POVERTY AND INEQUALITY

5The World Banks defines extreme poverty as living on less than $1.90 per day. The organization estimates that about 10.7% of the world’s population or 760 million people still live in extreme poverty. World leaders made a commitment in 2015 through the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to eradicate extreme poverty by the year 2030. SDG 1 calls for an “End to Poverty in all its Forms Everywhere.” Access to Social Protection or social security has been identified as key to achieving SDG 1. Therefore, SDG 1:3 states that governments “implement nationally appropriate social protection systems and measures for all, including floors, and by 2030 to achieve substantial coverage of the poor and the vulnerable.” As described by the International Labour Organization (ILO), Social Protection or social security are set of policies and programmes designed to reduce and prevent poverty and vulnerability across the life cycle. This includes nine main areas: child and family benefits, maternity protection, unemployment support, employment injury benefits, sickness benefits, health protection, old-age benefits, disability benefits and survivors’ benefits.

The Director-General of the ILO, Mr. Guy Ryder, notes that “when access to essential benefits and services is guaranteed for mothers and children, for persons with disabilities or illness, for the elderly and unemployed, countries actually make their economies resilient while ensuring the human rights to social security.” Unfortunately, only 1 in 5 people around the world have access to universal social protection coverage as indicated in the 2017 – 2019 World Social Protection Report. Governments must therefore, recognize that providing social protection for the people is not only the right and just thing to do, it is actually a very economic smart thing to do. Countries that have made efforts in expanding their safety net programmes have seen a rapid decline in the rate of poverty and experienced economic growth.

Read more:

ILO World Social Protection Report 2017 – 2019: https://bit.ly/2CyyaTn

Infographic : https://bit.ly/2BbsTV2

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“WORLD HEALTH DAY 2018 UNIVERSAL HEALTH COVERAGE: EVERYONE, EVERYWHERE

1Universal Health Coverage (UHC) is a human right. According to the Director- General of the World Health Organization (WHO), “no one should get sick and die just because they are poor, or because they cannot access healthcare services.” Sadly, a recent report by the WHO indicates that about half the world’s population still do not have full coverage of essential healthcare services. In order to highlight this issue, the WHO focused on Universal Health Coverage for the 2018 World Health Day commemorated on 7th April. WHO describes Universal Health Coverage as “means where all individuals and communities receive the health services they need without suffering financial hardships. These would include the full spectrum of essential quality health services, from health promotion to prevention, treatment, rehabilitation, and palliative care.”

ACTION: World leaders made a commitment in 2015 through the Sustainable Development Goals to provide health care for all by the year 2030. Do you know what2 progress your country is making to achieve this goal? Everyone can take the lead towards universal health coverage! Make your voice heard, start a local campaign on UHC. Click here to find out what you can do to educate yourself on this very crucial issue. Become an advocate for UHC, for those who otherwise cannot afford healthcare in your country!

Read more:   

World Health Day; https://bit.ly/2BxaPE6

Download World Health Day advocacy kit: https://bit.ly/2rCXC6n

WHO facts on universal health coverage: https://bit.ly/2jM1D4w

 

In case you missed this from our January newsletter:

8 2018 marks the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). DO YOU KNOW YOUR HUMAN RIGHTS? Learn the UDHR. Encourage others to do the same. Teach the UDHR to your students.  Click here to download illustrated copy of the UDHR.

ACTION: Join in the #standup4humanrights campaign and take the following pledge:

  • I will respect your rights regardless of who you are. I will uphold your rights even when I disagree with you
  • When anyone’s human rights are denied, everyone’s rights are undermined, so I will STAND UP
  • I will raise my voice. I will take action. I will use my rights to stand up for your rights.

 

Read more:

History of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; http://bit.ly/2nQeV4G

#Standup4humanrights campaign: http://bit.ly/2A5a81t

Illustrated booklet of the UDHR: http://bit.ly/2hTiaDI

Educational resources for teaching the UDHR to youths: https://bit.ly/2J7InJD

UN PERMANENT FORUM ON INDIGENOUS ISSUES: “INDIGENOUS PEOPLES’ COLLECTIVE RIGHTS TO LANDS, TERRITORIES AND RESOURCES”

6The United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) held it’s Seventeenth Session from April 16 – 27. The theme for the 2018 forum was; “Indigenous Peoples’ Collective Rights to Lands, Territories and Resources.” According to the UNPFII, indigenous peoples are inheritors and practitioners of unique cultures and ways of relating to people and the environment. Indigenous Peoples have retained social, cultural, economic and political characteristics that are distinct from those of the dominant societies in which they live. Several indigenous communities from around the globe were represented at the UNPFII. Many of them had opportunities to present statements on issues of concern to their different communities.

The President of the UN General Assembly, Mr. Miroslav Lajčák, in his opening remarks

7

Indigenous Peoples at the UN.  UN Photo

at the forum, painted the grim picture of the situation of the over 300 million Indigenous Peoples around the world. He noted that while Indigenous Peoples make up about 5 percent of the world’s population, they comprise 15 per cent of the world’s poorest people.  A situation he described as ‘shocking.’ Mr. Lajčák also

highlighted some of the challenges faced by Indigenous Peoples as violations of their human rights, marginalization, and violence they face for asserting their rights. Focusing on the theme of indigenous land, territories and resources, Mr. Lajčák pointed out that, “Indigenous Peoples are being dispossessed of the lands their ancestors called home,” often by big time and multi-national farmers and mining corporations. The President of the UN General Assembly, Mr. Miroslav Lajčák, in his opening remarks at the forum painted the grim picture of the situation of the over 300 million Indigenous Peoples around the world. He noted that while Indigenous Peoples make up about 5 percent of the world’s population, they comprise 15 per cent of the world’s poorest people.  A situation he described as ‘shocking.’ Mr. Lajčák also

In a recent report by Conselho Indigenista Missionaria (“Indigenous Missionary Council” – a subsidiary of the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil), some of the challenges faced by a number of indigenous communities in Brazil (as well as indigenous communities around the world) include; high rate of suicide, lack of health care, high child mortality, alcohol and drug, lack of indigenous education and lack of general support from the State.

Learn more:

UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues: https://bit.ly/2pvCccv

UN News on Indigenous Peoples’ land rights: https://bit.ly/2H4EU1M

Conselho Indigenista Missionaria report on violence against indigenous peoples in brazil in English, Espanol and Portugese: https://bit.ly/2F1w133

INTERNATIONAL DAY OF REMEMBRANCE OF THE VICTIMS OF SLAVERY AND TRANSATLANTIC SLAVE TRADE: “TRIUMPHS STRUGGLES FOR FREEDOM AND EQUALITY”

5The transatlantic slave trade era which spanned from about 1501 to 1803, marked one of the darkest chapters in the history of humanity. Over 15 million children, women, and men were taken from the African continent and were enslaved in Europe and the Americas, to work mostly in plantations. The transatlantic slave trade became the largest forced migration in history. On December 17, 2007, the United Nations General Assembly in resolution 61/122 declared 25 March as the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade, in commemoration of the victims of this horrendous act against humanity. The theme for the 2018 commemoration is: “Triumphs and Struggles for Freedom and Equality.”  Additionally, in 2014 The UN General Assembly declared 2015 – 2024, as the International Decade for the People of African Descent. Some of the main objectives of the International Decade according to the UN are to uphold the following:

Although, the transatlantic slave trade was formally abolished in the 19th century, modern day slavery continues to thrive till this day. In his remarks at the occasion of the unveiling of the Permanent Memorial to the Victims of the Transatlantic Slave Trade at the UN Headquarters in 2015, the Secretary General, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, expressed his hope that “The Ark of Return will also serve as a call to action against the many contemporary manifestations of slavery, from human trafficking and sexual enslavement to debt bondage.”

 

Read more: Brazil: The Story of Slavery; http://bit.ly/2I3xzfM

International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and Transatlantic Slave Trade: http://bit.ly/15e9sGC

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on the International Decade for the People of African Descent: http://bit.ly/2ocpCOc

 

GLOBAL COMPACT ON MIGRATION: MAKING MIGRATION SAFE, ORDERLY AND REGULAR

3Migration is a human experience. People have always migrated, and will continue to migrate. The large movements of refugees and migrants from some Middle East and African countries into Europe over the past few years, as the result of conflict, socio-economic, and political instability in some parts of these regions, gave rise to a widespread global refugee/migrant crisis. While a few countries, individuals, and organizations responded positively by offering hospitality and the needed humanitarian assistance, others were not as forthcoming. Furthermore, some hard-liners in few countries manipulated the situation, presenting migrants as security threats and spreading hate and xenophobic sentiments, often for political gains.

Given the growing crisis, the United Nations responded to the large movements of people by convening a High-Level meeting in which the General Assembly adopted the New York Declaration on Migrants and Refugees (NYD). This meeting took place on September 26, 2016. The purpose of the NYD was to garner the political will of world leaders to commit to share responsibility at the global level to save lives and protect the human rights of migrants and refugees. The NYD also called for two global compacts: Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration and a Global Compact on Refugees. Both of the compacts will have a distinct framework to address issues relating to migration and refugees at the global level through international cooperation and responsibility sharing.

The Global Compact on Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration will focus largely on achieving a more equitable allocation of the burdens and responsibilities of hosting displaced individuals and providing safety and support for people on the move. The goal of the global compact on migration is to make migration secure, systematic, consistent, and ultimately voluntary.

Intergovernmental negotiations on the Global Compact on Migration (GCM) commenced this month and will continue subsequently in the coming five months. Five days in each month will be dedicated to the intergovernmental negotiations, at the UN Headquarters in New York. Member States will adopt the final negotiated document in early December 2018, in Morocco. The task for developing the Global Compact on Refugees has been assigned to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), in consultation with governments and other stakeholders. The compact on refugees will also be adopted along with the compact on migration.

Speaking with members of the NGO Committee on Migration, one of the co-facilitators4 for the intergovernmental negotiations on the Global Compact on Migration described the compact as the “spine” for addressing the current migration issues. He also added that success of the compacts would lie largely on the political will of national governments to implement the compacts’ directives. This support from national governments is particularly vital, as the compacts are not intended to be legally binding. Members of Civil Society Organizations have since begun rigorous advocacy with governments to ensure that the two compacts meet the needs of the 258 million migrants and 22.5 refugees around the world.

Read More:

Franciscan International 2018 Lenten Reflection on Global Migration:    http://bit.ly/2HvLdrV

Video of Pope Francis on Migrants and Refugees: http://bit.ly/2BFL8kO

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees: http://bit.ly/2dsnVEq

 

UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS: “WE ARE ALL EQUAL IN DIGNITY AND RIGHTS”

01The United Nations (UN) was founded in the aftermath of World War II in 1945. To forestall the tragedy of another world war, “to promote social progress and better standards of living, human rights and freedoms” are some of the principal objectives of the organization. On December 10, 1948, the UN General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). This complements the UN Charter. The UDHR which sets out fundamental rights of people to be universally promoted was the result of the experience of atrocity crimes committed against the Jews and other minority groups during World War II. The document is considered the UN’s “road map for guaranteeing the rights and freedoms of individuals everywhere.” The UDHR has been translated into over 500 languages, making it the single most translated document in history.

December 10, 2018 will mark the 70th anniversary of the adoption of the UDHR. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on December 10, 2017 launched a year -long campaign to mark the 70th anniversary of the UDHR. This campaign tagged, #STANDUP4HUMANRIGHTS, is to highlight the importance of the UDHR in the lives of people around the world. According to the OHCHR, the campaign is aimed at three main objectives; to engage a broad base of audiences’ world over, to help promote an understanding of how the Universal Declaration of Human Rights empowers us all; and to encourage further reflection on the ways that each of us can stand up for human rights, every day.

Ways to engage:

KNOW YOUR FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHTS. Learn the UDHR. Encourage others to do the same. Teach the UDHR in schools this year.  Click here to download illustrated booklet of the UDHR.

Join in the #standup4humanrights campaign and take the following pledge:

  • I will respect your rights regardless of who you are. I will uphold your rights even when I disagree with you
  • When anyone’s human rights are denied, everyone’s rights are undermined, so I will STAND UP
  • I will raise my voice. I will take action. I will use my rights to stand up for your rights.

Read more:

History of the Universal Declaration of HumanRights;http://bit.ly/2nQeV4G

#Standup4humanrights campaign: http://bit.ly/2A5a81t

Illustrated booklet of UDHR: http://bit.ly/2hTiaDI