Kate Donald https://www.opendemocracy.net/taxonomy/term/9519/all cached version 08/02/2019 23:49:04 en La lucha contra la desigualdad: el potencial de los Objetivos de Desarrollo Sostenible https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/kate-donald/la-lucha-contra-la-desigualdad-el-potencial-de-los-objetivos-de-desarro <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/DonaldFeb.jpg" alt="" width="140" /></p><p>Para alcanzar el Objetivo de Desarrollo Sostenible 10 sobre la reducción de la desigualdad, se requerirá cambiar profundamente el paradigma de desarrollo y dar especial atención a los derechos humanos. Una contribución al debate de openGlobalRights sobre <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/economic-inequality-and-human-rights" target="_blank">la desigualdad económica y los derechos humanos</a>. <em><strong><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/kate-donald/tackling-inequality-potential-of-sustainable-development-goals" target="_blank">English</a></strong></em>.&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <p dir="ltr">La creciente desigualdad económica es un factor crucial para el auge de la política nacionalista y populista en los EE. UU. y en otros lugares, lo cual tiene consecuencias alarmantes para la democracia incluyente y el proyecto de derechos humanos en general. Sin embargo, a pesar de que esta situación suscita cada vez más inquietudes, <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/18/business/dealbook/world-economic-forum-davos-backlash.html?_r=0" target="_blank">expresadas</a> incluso por los gobiernos y las élites, la desigualdad de ingresos siguió aumentando en 2016: el 1 % más rico a nivel mundial ahora <a href="http://publications.credit-suisse.com/tasks/render/file/index.cfm?fileid=AD783798-ED07-E8C2-4405996B5B02A32E" target="_blank">posee la mitad de los activos globales</a>. De acuerdo con <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/sites/www.oxfam.org/files/file_attachments/bp-economy-for-99-percent-160117-en.pdf" target="_blank">Oxfam</a>, ocho hombres poseen tanto como la mitad más pobre de la población mundial: alrededor de 3,600 millones de personas.</p><p class="mag-quote-center" dir="ltr">La desigualdad (y no solo la pobreza o la privación absoluta) es un asunto clave para el desarrollo.</p><p dir="ltr">En este contexto, ¿los Objetivos de Desarrollo Sostenible (ODS) que adoptó la ONU en 2015 constituyen una oportunidad para impulsar la lucha contra la desigualdad extrema? Uno de los ODS (<a href="https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdg10" target="_blank">ODS10</a>) se centra en “reducir la desigualdad en y entre los países”, incluidas las disparidades económicas. La inclusión de este objetivo representa un reconocimiento sin precedentes por parte de la comunidad de Estados de que la desigualdad (y no solo la pobreza o la privación absoluta) es un asunto clave para el desarrollo. Por otra parte, dado que los ODS son una agenda expresamente universal, el ODS10 coloca bajo el microscopio la desigualdad económica en todos los países, ricos y pobres.</p><p dir="ltr">Sin embargo, existen obstáculos considerables, en particular con respecto a la promesa de combatir la desigualdad económica y las desigualdades entre los países. El ODS10 es especialmente vulnerable al “abandono estratégico”, tomando en cuenta que despertó mucha resistencia de parte de los gobiernos durante las negociaciones y que apenas se le mencionó en los nuevos planes de implementación que se presentaron en 2016. Los compromisos financieros siguen siendo <a href="http://sdgfunders.org/sdgs/" target="_blank">escasos</a>, y no hay un organismo temático o un conjunto de instituciones internacionales destinados claramente a impulsar las acciones o canalizar fondos para alcanzar este objetivo, a diferencia de otros ODS que cuentan con agencias, mecanismos o comités especializados. Esta desconexión entre los compromisos, por un lado, y la capacidad política y financiera, por el otro, resulta todavía más preocupante si consideramos que, de todos los ODS, <a href="http://www.odi.org/sites/odi.org.uk/files/odi-assets/publications-opinion-files/9839.pdf" target="_blank">el Objetivo 10 probablemente requerirá</a> los cambios más profundos y duraderos al modelo económico y de desarrollo establecido.&nbsp;</p> <!--Image/Credit/Caption Begins--> <div style="color: #999999; font-size: 11px; line-height: normal; font-style: italic; text-align: right;"> <img width="444" src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/DonaldFeb.jpg" style="max-width: 100%; background-color: #ffffff; padding: 7px; border: 1px solid #999999;" /> <br />Flickr/Tuca Vieira (Some rights reserved) </div> <p style="color: #666666; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal;">An affluent neighborhood next to a shantytown in São Paulo, Brazil. The shantytown is named Paraisópolis, which ironically means "Paradise City."&nbsp;</p> <hr style="color: #d2d3d5; background-color: #d2d3d5; height: 1px; width: 85%; border: none; text-align: center; margin: 0 auto;" /> <p dir="ltr">Como tal, implementar los estándares y las herramientas de derechos humanos <a href="http://www.cesr.org/downloads/disparity_to_dignity_SDG10.pdf" target="_blank">podría resultar indispensable</a>. En primer lugar, los derechos humanos pueden ayudar a definir el problema y convertirse en un baluarte contra la captura o la cooptación conservadora. Existe un peligro muy real de que aquellos que se resisten a la redistribución que requiere el ODS10 lo debiliten o reinterpreten. Por ejemplo, el Banco Mundial ha expresado su pretensión de convertirse en la institución con autoridad sobre el ODS10; sin embargo, aún se resiste a atacar la desigualdad económica extrema en sus propios términos. En cambio, prefiere promover la noción ambigua (y menos amenazante) de la “prosperidad compartida”. Fue a instancias del Banco que la meta 10.1 de los ODS no se centró explícitamente en la reducción de la disparidad económica per se (medida conforme al coeficiente de Gini o el índice de Palma, de uso generalizado), para en cambio concentrarse en aumentar los ingresos del 40 % más pobre. Cerrar los ojos ante la grotesca acumulación de riqueza, ingresos y poder en el extremo superior de la escala de ingresos puede ser más políticamente aceptable, pero es deshonesto: los ingresos más altos <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2015/sep/21/top-incomes-drive-income-inequality-global-target" target="_blank">impulsan la desigualdad</a>. Por otra parte, la redistribución es un elemento central de la movilización de recursos para luchar contra la desigualdad y cualquier estrategia significativa para abordar la desigualdad económica debe tomar en cuenta otras desigualdades y formas de discriminación (por motivos como el género y la raza) que experimentan constantemente quienes ocupan los niveles inferiores en cuanto a ingresos y riqueza.</p><p dir="ltr">En segundo lugar, el marco de derechos humanos puede proporcionar orientación respecto a las políticas necesarias para combatir la desigualdad económica y las disparidades sociales que esta crea y refuerza. Como <a href="http://www.cesr.org/downloads/disparity_to_dignity_SDG10.pdf" target="_blank">ilustró el Centro por los Derechos Económicos y Sociales</a> (Center for Economic and Social Rights, CESR), varios ámbitos de política pública tienen una influencia fundamental en la lucha contra la desigualdad económica, tanto de manera “predistributiva” (al definir las reglas del mercado) como “redistributiva” (al distribuir los impactos del mercado de maneras específicas). Por ejemplo, implementar políticas sobre el mercado de trabajo es una intervención “predistributiva” crucial. Pero como <a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/sergio-chaparro-hern-ndez/desigualdad-dignidad-humana-y-poder-sindical" target="_blank">explicó Sergio Chaparro</a> anteriormente en este debate, las políticas que no protegen los derechos de organización y sindicalización están fuertemente correlacionadas con el aumento de la desigualdad económica. Mientras tanto, en el lado de la redistribución, los servicios públicos son igualadores fundamentales. <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/sites/www.oxfam.org/files/bp182-public-services-fight-inequality-030414-en.pdf" target="_blank">Oxfam encontró que</a> el sector más pobre en los países de la OCDE gastaría, en promedio, más de tres cuartas partes de su dinero disponible exclusivamente en salud y educación si el gobierno no se las proporcionara. Por otra parte, los derechos humanos a la salud y a la educación acarrean obligaciones específicas diseñadas para garantizar un disfrute más amplio e igualitario. Así, por ejemplo, los servicios deben ser económicamente accesibles para todos en los puntos de atención, por lo que, entre otras cosas, los cargos a los usuarios y la privatización se deberían someter a un cuidadoso escrutinio. &nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">Mientras tanto, a fin de alcanzar los ODS, la mayoría de los países tendrán que movilizar más recursos mediante los impuestos. Sin embargo, las políticas fiscales tienen sus propios impactos distributivos que, si son regresivos, pueden anular el potencial igualitario del gasto público. Analizar la imposición fiscal a través de <a href="http://www.cesr.org/human-rights-taxation" target="_blank">la lente de los derechos humanos</a>, en particular en cuanto a la no discriminación y a la obligación de movilizar el máximo de recursos disponibles para hacer efectivos los derechos económicos, sociales y culturales, podría contribuir a que estas políticas den prioridad a la redistribución.</p><p dir="ltr">En tercer lugar, los mecanismos de derechos humanos pueden ofrecer vías para la rendición de cuentas respecto a los compromisos del Objetivo 10. Esto es especialmente importante dadas las muy <a href="https://www.ethicsandinternationalaffairs.org/2016/accountability-sustainable-development-goals-lost-opportunity/" target="_blank">claras debilidades</a> de la arquitectura que se implementó para dar seguimiento a los avances hacia los objetivos, en particular el “Foro Político de Alto Nivel” de la ONU, el cual se diseñó para examinar anualmente el progreso a nivel nacional y mundial con respecto a los objetivos, pero adolece de un mandato débil. En este caso, los mecanismos internacionales de supervisión de los derechos humanos podrían desempeñar un papel fundamental, si se les dan las herramientas, el mandato y el apoyo financiero para hacerlo. La <a href="https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/post2015/transformingourworld" target="_blank">Declaración de la Agenda 2030</a> confirmó que los compromisos de los ODS tienen su origen en las obligaciones de derechos humanos. Además, los mecanismos internacionales de derechos humanos ya examinan e informan sobre el desempeño de los países en muchos de los temas incluidos en la agenda de los ODS. Dada la importancia de la desigualdad y la no discriminación en todos los tratados internacionales de derechos humanos, estos podrían desempeñar un papel particularmente valioso para promover la rendición de cuentas con respecto al Objetivo 10. Esto no solo agregaría una capa adicional de procedimientos de rendición de cuentas, sino también un tipo distinto de rendición de cuentas. Ofrecería una alternativa más rigurosa a la dependencia de los indicadores “oficiales” de los ODS para evaluar los avances, dado que los estándares de derechos humanos, en muchas ocasiones, son más exigentes, de largo alcance y legalmente vinculantes.</p><p dir="ltr">Aunque hay muchas críticas justificadas respecto a la Agenda 2030, no debemos perder de vista sus ámbitos de potencial radical. Un objetivo mundial aplicable a todos los países que abordara la desigualdad directamente, incluidas las disparidades económicas, habría sido impensable hace 15 años. Si se le otorga prioridad y se actúa con determinación, el Objetivo 10 podría ser parte de un muy necesario cambio de paradigma en cuanto a la manera en que se conceptualiza y emprende el “desarrollo”, hacia la creación de sociedades en las que la riqueza, los recursos y el poder se distribuyan de manera más equitativa. Pero no hay que subestimar la magnitud de este reto. Francamente, el enfoque de derechos humanos se opone diametralmente a las ideologías y las políticas que están ganando terreno en los EE. UU. y muchos otros países: las medidas de austeridad que debilitan el apoyo estatal a los servicios públicos (<a href="http://www.cesr.org/countries/brazil" target="_blank">por ejemplo, en Brasil</a>), la desregulación laboral y corporativa, y las políticas fiscales que favorecen a los individuos más acaudalados y los países más ricos. Por ello, es aún más necesario utilizar este marco recién acordado de compromisos de desarrollo, que todos los países prometieron cumplir, como un punto de apoyo para impulsar una respuesta de derechos humanos a la desigualdad creciente y las fuerzas políticas que la alimentan.</p><p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image 0'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/537772/EPlogo-ogr-4_2.png" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title="imgupl_floating_none"><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_large/wysiwyg_imageupload/537772/EPlogo-ogr-4_2.png" alt="" title="imgupl_floating_none" width="300" height="115" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_large" style=""/></a> <span class='image_meta'></span></span></p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-read-on"> <div class="field-label"> 'Read On' Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="http://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights-translations/openglobalrights-espa%C3%B1ol "><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/OpenGlobalRights-highlight4-espagnol.png" alt="" width="140" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-sidebox"> <div class="field-label"> Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a onmouseout="document.Imgs.src='https://opendemocracy.net/files/Economic_Inequality_1_0.png'" onmouseover="document.Imgs.src='https://opendemocracy.net/files/Economic_Inequality_2.png'" target="_blank" href="http://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/economic-inequality-and-human-rights"> <img alt="Economic Inequality and human rights – Read on" border="0" name="Imgs" width="140" src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/Economic_Inequality_1_0.png" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/gaby-or-aguilar-ignacio-saiz/enfrentar-la-desigualdad-como-injusticia-cuatro-desaf-os-para-la-agenda">Enfrentar la desigualdad como injusticia: cuatro desafíos para la agenda de derechos humanos</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/sergio-chaparro-hern-ndez/desigualdad-dignidad-humana-y-poder-sindical">Desigualdad, dignidad humana y poder sindical</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/sakiko-fukuda-parr/es-cuesti-n-de-valores-las-normas-de-derechos-humanos-y-la-toler">Es cuestión de valores: las normas de derechos humanos y la tolerancia a la desigualdad</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/juan-pablo-jim-nez/con-la-cancha-inclinada-desigualdad-derechos-humanos-y-tributaci">“Con la cancha inclinada”: Desigualdad, derechos humanos y tributación</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/radhika-balakrishnan-james-heintz/c%C3%B3mo-la-desigualdad-supone-una-amenaza-para-todos">Cómo la desigualdad supone una amenaza para todos los derechos humanos</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> openGlobalRights DemocraciaAbierta Kate Donald Global Economic Inequality and Human Rights openGlobalRights Español Thu, 02 Mar 2017 09:30:00 +0000 Kate Donald 109145 at https://www.opendemocracy.net Tackling inequality: the potential of the Sustainable Development Goals https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/kate-donald/tackling-inequality-potential-of-sustainable-development-goals <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/DonaldFeb.jpg" alt="" width="140" /></p><p dir="ltr">Sustainable Development Goal 10 on reducing inequality will <a href="http://www.odi.org/sites/odi.org.uk/files/odi-assets/publications-opinion-files/9839.pdf" target="_blank">require</a> profound changes to “business-as-usual” and close attention to human rights. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/economic-inequality-and-human-rights" target="_blank">economic inequality and human rights</a>. <strong><em><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/kate-donald/la-lucha-contra-la-desigualdad-el-potencial-de-los-objetivos-de-desarro" target="_blank">Español</a></em></strong>.</p> </div> </div> </div> <p dir="ltr">Growing economic inequality is a crucial factor in the rise of nationalist and populist politics in the US and elsewhere—with alarming implications for inclusive democracy and the broader human rights project. However, despite growing concern, <a target="_blank" href="https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/18/business/dealbook/world-economic-forum-davos-backlash.html?_r=0">expressed</a> even by governments and elites, wealth inequality continued to rise in 2016, with the world’s top 1% now <a target="_blank" href="http://publications.credit-suisse.com/tasks/render/file/index.cfm?fileid=AD783798-ED07-E8C2-4405996B5B02A32E">owning half of all global assets</a>. According to <a target="_blank" href="https://www.oxfam.org/sites/www.oxfam.org/files/file_attachments/bp-economy-for-99-percent-160117-en.pdf">Oxfam</a>, eight men own as much as the poorest half of the world’s population—some 3.6 billion people.</p><p dir="ltr" class="mag-quote-center">Inequality—and not just poverty and absolute deprivation—is a core development issue.</p><p dir="ltr">In this context, do the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the UN in 2015 offer an opportunity to advance the fight against extreme inequality? The SDGs include a goal (<a target="_blank" href="https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdg10">SDG10</a>) focused on “reducing inequalities within and between countries”, including economic disparities. The inclusion of this goal represents a groundbreaking acknowledgement from the community of states that inequality—and not just poverty and absolute deprivation—is a core development issue. Moreover, given that the SDGs are an explicitly universal agenda, SDG10 brings economic inequality in countries rich and poor under the microscope.</p><p dir="ltr">However, there are considerable obstacles, in particular regarding the goal’s promise to tackle economic inequality and inequalities between countries. SDG10 is uniquely vulnerable to “strategic neglect”, given that it inspired so much resistance from governments throughout the negotiations and was barely mentioned in the nascent implementation plans presented in 2016. Financial commitments remain <a target="_blank" href="http://sdgfunders.org/sdgs/">scarce</a>, and SDG10 has no obvious thematic body or set of institutions at the international level to drive actions and funding to this goal—unlike other goals which have dedicated UN agencies, mechanisms or committees. This disconnect between commitments on the one hand, and political and financial muscle on the other is even more troubling considering that, of all the SDGs, Goal 10 will <a target="_blank" href="http://www.odi.org/sites/odi.org.uk/files/odi-assets/publications-opinion-files/9839.pdf">arguably require</a> the most profound and lasting changes to the “business-as-usual” economic and development model.&nbsp;</p> <!--Image/Credit/Caption Begins--> <div style="color: #999999; font-size: 11px; line-height: normal; font-style: italic; text-align: right;"> <img style="max-width: 100%; background-color: #ffffff; padding: 7px; border: 1px solid #999999;" src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/DonaldFeb.jpg" width="444" /> <br />Flickr/Tuca Vieira (Some rights reserved) </div> <p style="color: #666666; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal;">An affluent neighborhood next to a shantytown in São Paulo, Brazil. The shantytown is named Paraisópolis, which ironically means "Paradise City."&nbsp;</p> <hr style="color: #d2d3d5; background-color: #d2d3d5; height: 1px; width: 85%; border: none; text-align: center; margin: 0 auto;" /> <!--Image/Credit/Caption Ends--> <p dir="ltr">As such, deploying human rights standards and tools <a target="_blank" href="http://www.cesr.org/downloads/disparity_to_dignity_SDG10.pdf">could prove essential</a>. First, human rights can help in defining the problem and providing a bulwark against conservative capture or co-option. There is a very real danger that SDG10 will be undermined or reinterpreted by those who are wary of the redistribution required. For example, the World Bank has staked its claim as an authoritative arbiter over SDG 10, but the Bank still shies away from attacking extreme economic inequality on its own terms. Instead, it chooses to promote the ambiguous (and less threatening) notion of “shared prosperity”. It was at the Bank’s urging that SDG target 10.1 does not focus explicitly on reducing economic disparity per se (as measured by the widely used Gini coefficient or Palma ratio), but instead concentrates on boosting the incomes of the bottom 40%. Turning a blind eye to the grotesque accumulation of wealth, income and power at the top end of the income spectrum may be more politically palatable, but it is disingenuous: top incomes <a target="_blank" href="https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2015/sep/21/top-incomes-drive-income-inequality-global-target">drive inequality</a>. Moreover, redistribution is an essential part of mobilizing resources to fight inequality, and any meaningful approach to economic inequality needs to take into account other inequalities and forms of discrimination (on such grounds as gender and race) that those at the bottom of the wealth and income pile consistently experience.</p><p>Second, the human rights framework can provide valuable guidance on the types of policies needed to tackle economic inequality and the social inequalities it creates and reinforces. As <a target="_blank" href="http://www.cesr.org/downloads/disparity_to_dignity_SDG10.pdf">CESR</a> illustrates, several policy areas play an essential role in tackling economic inequality—both “pre-distributive” (setting the rules of the marketplace) and “redistributive” (distributing market outcomes in particular ways). For example, labour market policies are a crucial “pre-distributive” intervention. But, as <a target="_blank" href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/sergio-chaparro-hern-ndez/inequality-human-dignity-and-power-of-unions">Sergio Chaparro explains</a> earlier in this debate, those that do not protect the rights to organize and join a trade union are strongly correlated with increasing economic inequality. Meanwhile, on the redistributive side, public services are a crucial equalizer. <a target="_blank" href="https://www.oxfam.org/sites/www.oxfam.org/files/bp182-public-services-fight-inequality-030414-en.pdf">Oxfam has found</a> that the poorest group in OECD countries would spend on average over three quarters of their available money just on health and education if the government did not provide them. Furthermore, the human rights to health and education have specific duties related to them designed to ensure more widespread and equal enjoyment. So, for example, services must be economically accessible to all at the point of delivery—which should, for example, put user fees and privatization under serious scrutiny. &nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">Meanwhile, in order to achieve the SDGs, most countries will need to mobilize additional revenues through taxation. Yet, tax policy has its own distributive impacts which, if regressive, can cancel out the equalizing potential of public spending. A <a target="_blank" href="http://cesr.org/section.php?id=229">human rights lens on taxation—</a>in particular around non-discrimination and the obligation to mobilize maximum available resources to realize economic, social and cultural rights—can inform these policies to prioritize redistribution. </p><p>Third, human rights mechanisms can offer avenues for accountability for the Goal 10 commitments. This is particularly important given the very <a target="_blank" href="https://www.ethicsandinternationalaffairs.org/2016/accountability-sustainable-development-goals-lost-opportunity/">clear weaknesses</a> of the architecture put in place to monitor progress towards the goals, in particular the UN “High Level Political Forum”, which is designed to review national and global progress on the goals every year, but is beset by a weak mandate. Here, international human rights monitoring mechanisms could play a key role, if given the tools, mandate and financial support to do so. The <a target="_blank" href="https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/post2015/transformingourworld">2030 Agenda Declaration</a> confirms that the SDG commitments are rooted in human rights obligations, and the international human rights mechanisms already examine and report on countries’ performance on many of the issues covered in the SDG agenda. Given the centrality of inequality and non-discrimination to all international human rights treaties, their role in bolstering accountability for Goal 10 could be particularly valuable. This would not only add an extra procedural layer of accountability, but also a different type of accountability. It would provide a more rigorous alternative to relying on “official” SDG indicators to judge progress, given that human rights standards are in many cases more exacting, far-reaching and legally binding.</p><p dir="ltr">Although there are many legitimate critiques of Agenda 2030, we should not lose sight of its areas of radical potential. A global goal applying to all countries that directly addresses inequalities, including economic disparities, would have been unthinkable 15 years ago. If prioritized and pursued with determination, Goal 10 could be part of a much-needed paradigm shift in how “development” is conceptualized and undertaken—towards societies in which wealth, resources and power are more evenly shared. But we should not underestimate the scale of this challenge. Frankly, a human rights approach is diametrically opposed to ideologies and policies gaining the upper hand in the US and many other countries: austerity drives that weaken state support for public services (<a target="_blank" href="http://www.cesr.org/human-rights-taxation">for example, Brazil</a>), labour and corporate deregulation, and tax policies favouring the wealthiest individuals and richest countries. This makes it all the more necessary to use this recently agreed framework of development commitments—which all countries have pledged to meet—as a foothold for advancing a human rights response to rising inequality and the political forces fuelling it.</p><p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image 0'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/537772/EPlogo-ogr-4_2.png" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title="imgupl_floating_none"><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_large/wysiwyg_imageupload/537772/EPlogo-ogr-4_2.png" alt="" title="imgupl_floating_none" width="300" height="115" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_large" style=""/></a> <span class='image_meta'></span></span></p> <meta http-equiv="refresh" content="0; URL=' http://www.openglobalrights.org/tackling-inequality-potential-of-sustainable-development-goals/'" /> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-read-on"> <div class="field-label"> 'Read On' Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="http://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights"><img width="140" src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/OpenGlobalRights-highlight4English.png" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-sidebox"> <div class="field-label"> Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a onmouseout="document.Imgs.src='https://opendemocracy.net/files/Economic_Inequality_1_0.png'" onmouseover="document.Imgs.src='https://opendemocracy.net/files/Economic_Inequality_2.png'" target="_blank" href="http://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/economic-inequality-and-human-rights"> <img alt="Economic Inequality and human rights – Read on" border="0" name="Imgs" width="140" src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/Economic_Inequality_1_0.png" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/ignacio-saiz-gaby-or-aguilar/introducing-debate-on-economic-inequality-can-human-ri">Introducing the debate on economic inequality: can human rights make a difference? </a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/gaby-or-aguilar-ignacio-saiz/tackling-inequality-as-injustice-four-challenges-for-h">Tackling inequality as injustice: four challenges for the human rights agenda</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/sakiko-fukuda-parr/it-s-about-values-human-rights-norms-and-tolerance-for-inequalit">It’s about values: human rights norms and tolerance for inequality</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/savio-carvalho/everyone-does-better-when-everyone-does-better">Everyone does better when everyone does better</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/leonard-seabrooke-duncan-wigan/how-to-get-inequality-on-global-policy-agenda">How to get inequality on the global policy agenda</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/chris-albin-lackey/who-will-take-lead-on-economic-inequality-and-who-should">Who will take the lead on economic inequality, and who should?</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> openGlobalRights openGlobalRights Kate Donald Global Economic Inequality and Human Rights Thu, 02 Mar 2017 09:30:00 +0000 Kate Donald 109143 at https://www.opendemocracy.net Winning a place for human rights in the new sustainable development agenda https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/kate-donald/winning-place-for-human-rights-in-new-sustainable-development-agenda <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/DonaldTwo.jpg" alt="" width="140" /></p><p>Though far from perfect, the new Sustainable Development Goals include important human rights commitments and do a better job than the MDGs of linking human rights to development.&nbsp;<span><em><strong><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/kate-donald/ganar-un-lugar-para-los-derechos-humanos-en-la-nueva-agenda-de-desarrol" target="_blank">Español</a>,&nbsp;<a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/kate-donald/%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%81%D9%88%D8%B2-%D8%A8%D8%A5%D8%AF%D8%B1%D8%A7%D8%AC-%D8%AD%D9%82%D9%88%D9%82-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A5%D9%86%D8%B3%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%B6%D9%85%D9%86-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A3%D8%AC%D9%86%D8%AF%D8%A9-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AC%D8%AF%D9%8A%D8%AF%D8%A9-%D9%84%D9%84%D8%AA%D9%86%D9%85%D9%8A%D8%A9-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%85%D8%B3%D8%AA%D8%AF%D8%A7%D9%85%D8%A9" target="_blank">العربية</a></strong></em></span></p> </div> </div> </div> <p dir="ltr">At the United Nations (UN) in New York this week [September 25], heads of state from around the world will officially adopt ‘<a href="https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/post2015/transformingourworld" target="_blank">The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’</a>. This includes the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their associated targets. Diplomats concluded the final agreement in early August, after a frantic round of negotiations characterized by several sordid last-minute compromises.&nbsp; </p><p dir="ltr">Advocating for human rights at UN development talks in New York has always been an uphill struggle. There is no shortage of rhetorical commitment to human rights, but the reality is that—more than a decade after the ‘human rights approach to development’ was in theory mainstreamed across the UN—most New York diplomats (and many UN staffers) still have very little understanding of human rights, and don’t necessarily see the links between human rights and development. </p><p dir="ltr">It was, therefore, not particularly surprising, although still disappointing, to see references to human rights in the SDGs become a bargaining chip at the eleventh hour. As the talks moved into the final weekend in August, the draft text included a very strong recognition that the realization of all human rights is a principal aim of sustainable development, and an explicit commitment to non-discrimination on any basis. However, two negotiating blocs of member states—the African Group and the Arab Group—raised fervent (and legally incoherent) objections to this language. They demanded that the prohibition of discrimination on any ‘other status’, included at the end of the list of prohibited grounds for discrimination (such as sex, race, religion, etc), be removed, even though it has been present in UN treaties since the <a href="http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/" target="_blank">Universal Declaration of Human Rights</a>. Sadly, it seems this was motivated by the desire to avoid recognizing the rights of LGBT people. (They also insisted that every use of ‘gender equality’ be followed by language about the empowerment of women and girls, to avoid the implication that it might refer to equality on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity). It is disconcerting that we are still fighting these battles in the halls of the UN, more than two decades since the interdependence of human rights and development was reaffirmed at the Vienna World Conference on Human Rights, and more than twenty years since the UN human rights system first recognized sexual orientation and gender identity as prohibited grounds of discrimination.</p> <!--Image/Credit/Caption Begins--> <div style="color: #999999; font-size: 11px; line-height: normal; font-style: italic; text-align: right;"> <img style="max-width: 100%; background-color: #ffffff; padding: 7px; border: 1px solid #999999;" src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/DonaldTwo.jpg" width="444" /> <br />Flickr/USAID (Some rights reserved) </div> <p style="color: #666666; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal;"> “We envisage a world…where we reaffirm our commitments regarding the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation.”</p> <hr style="color: #d2d3d5; background-color: #d2d3d5; height: 1px; width: 85%; border: none; text-align: center; margin: 0 auto;" /> <!--Image/Credit/Caption Ends--> <p dir="ltr">In the end, the compromise found was to replace the disputed text with a verbatim cut-and-paste of language from the Rio+20 outcome document, <a href="http://www.un.org/disabilities/documents/rio20_outcome_document_complete.pdf" target="_blank">The Future We Want</a>. This was a shame, because the previous text made explicit links between the post-2015 agenda itself and respecting, protecting and fulfilling human rights; whereas the compromise outcome is a very general reaffirmation of the ‘importance’ of human rights law and the ‘responsibilities’ of States. It also fails to specifically mention age, ethnicity or migration status as prohibited grounds of discrimination. &nbsp;However, it was a savvy political strategy, as the text in the Rio document still includes the all-important phrase ‘or other status’ and all states have already agreed to it. </p><p dir="ltr">It is also worth noting that reference to the right to water and sanitation—which many civil society organizations <a href="http://canadians.org/blog/defending-human-right-water-and-sanitation-united-nations" target="_blank">fought tirelessly</a> for—also reverted to the formulation agreed to at Rio+20 (“We envisage a world…where we reaffirm our commitments regarding the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation”), after the US objected to previous drafts pledging to ‘realize’ the right.</p><p dir="ltr"><span class="print-no mag-quote-right" style="line-height: 1.5;">Despite its compromises and shortfalls, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development gives the human rights movement much to work with over the next 15 years.&nbsp;</span>There are certainly plenty of reasons to be critical of the SDGs from a human rights perspective. In particular, the goals and targets for the most part stop short of using explicit human rights language. Further, the urgent structural obstacles to sustainable development and human rights enjoyment are only included in a piecemeal and somewhat contradictory way (e.g. the commitment to sustainable consumption and production lies alongside a continued lionization of economic growth). </p><p dir="ltr">However, it is also important to recognize the huge strides made in comparison to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). When assessed according to the ‘<a href="http://cesr.org/downloads/HRs.Post2015.litmus.test.pdf" target="_blank">Human Rights Litmus Test’</a> developed by civil society groups, we can declare partial success in every category—which is more than we might have dared hope for when this process began. We finally have a global development agenda that encompasses inequality and climate change; that acknowledges governance, transparency, political freedoms and access to justice are crucial to just development; and that pledges to take action on a wide range of women’s rights issues, including reproductive rights and sexual health, and violence against women. &nbsp;Despite an <a href="https://www.jacobinmag.com/2015/08/global-poverty-climate-change-sdgs/" target="_blank">insufficiently critical</a> approach to our current economic system, there are groundbreaking and important resource-related commitments enshrined in the SDG targets, especially around debt, progressive taxation, illicit financial flows and enhancing the representation of developing countries in global economic governance. Meanwhile, aside from the last minute compromises, there are still important references to human rights in the final agreement, including recognition in the preamble that the SDGs ‘seek to realize the human rights of all’.</p><p dir="ltr">Indeed, despite its compromises and shortfalls, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development gives the human rights movement much to work with over the next 15 years. In its universality, its focus on tackling inequalities and on ‘leaving no one behind’, and the Declaration’s anchoring in international human rights commitments, it has the potential to improve human rights enjoyment worldwide. </p><p dir="ltr">The real litmus test will, of course, be implementation. Here, big questions remain unanswered. The July Financing for Development <a href="http://www.un.org/esa/ffd/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/AAAA_Outcome.pdf" target="_blank">agreement in Addis</a> Ababa (a follow-up to the 2002 Monterrey Consensus and the 2008 Doha Declaration) stopped far short of the concrete, time-bound commitments necessary to unleash <a href="http://www.cesr.org/downloads/fiscal.revolution.pdf" target="_blank">equitable, sufficient and accountable financing</a> for sustainable development, due to the evasion and strong-arm tactics of the rich countries. Moreover, the framework currently envisaged for monitoring and review of implementation of the post-2015 agenda is vague and entirely voluntary. There is therefore a lot of hard work still to be done at the national and international levels to unleash the potential of the SDGs as a vehicle for human rights realization and accountability. But the space has been opened, and a comprehensive framework of hard-won commitments is about to be put in place that apply to all countries across the globe. For the human rights movement and its allies in development, efforts must now begin in earnest to ensure this historic opportunity is not lost.</p> <script src="//platform.twitter.com/oct.js" type="text/javascript"></script> <script type="text/javascript">twttr.conversion.trackPid('ntg2c', { tw_sale_amount: 0, tw_order_quantity: 0 });</script> <noscript> <img height="1" width="1" style="display:none;" alt="" src="https://analytics.twitter.com/i/adsct?txn_id=ntg2c&p_id=Twitter&tw_sale_amount=0&tw_order_quantity=0" /> <img height="1" width="1" style="display:none;" alt="" src="//t.co/i/adsct?txn_id=ntg2c&p_id=Twitter&tw_sale_amount=0&tw_order_quantity=0" /> </noscript> <p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image 0'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/537772/EPlogo-ogr-4_2.png" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title="imgupl_floating_none"><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_large/wysiwyg_imageupload/537772/EPlogo-ogr-4_2.png" alt="" title="imgupl_floating_none" width="300" height="115" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_large" style=""/></a> <span class='image_meta'></span></span></p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-read-on"> <div class="field-label"> 'Read On' Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="http://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights"><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/OpenGlobalRights-highlight4English.png" alt="" width="140" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-sidebox"> <div class="field-label"> Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="//www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights-openpage"><img src="/files/openPagesidebox.png " alt="" width="140" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/charles-f-maccormack-sarah-stroup/will-sdgs-lofty-ambition-undermine-advocacy-to-ac">Will SDGs lofty ambition undermine advocacy to achieve them?</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/eric-posner/twilight-of-human-rights-law">The twilight of human rights law</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/jacob-mchangama/legalizing-economic-and-social-rights-won%E2%80%99t-help-poor-0">Legalizing economic and social rights won’t help the poor</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/helena-hofbauer/winners-and-losers-how-budgeting-for-human-rights-can-help-poor">Winners and losers: how budgeting for human rights can help the poor</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/beth-simmons/twilight-or-dark-glasses-reply-to-eric-posner">Twilight or dark glasses? A reply to Eric Posner</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/marc-limon-subhas-gujadhur/human-rights-council-at-10-too-much-talk-too-little-acti">The Human Rights Council at 10: too much talk, too little action? </a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrightsopenpage/c%C3%A9sar-rodr%C3%ADguezgaravito/decline-of-grand-treaties-thoughts-after-lima-clima">The decline of grand treaties? Thoughts after the Lima climate summit</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights-blog/naseem-kourosh/time-for-us-to-reaffirm-its-commitment-to-children%E2%80%99s-rights">Time for the US to reaffirm its commitment to children’s rights</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/stuart-wilson/without-means-there-are-no-real-rights">Without means, there are no real rights</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/chris-jochnick/poverty-and-human-rights-can-courts-lawyers-and-activists-make-diffe">Poverty and human rights: can courts, lawyers and activists make a difference?</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/shareen-hertel/legal-mobilization-critical-first-step-to-addressing-economic-and-so">Legal mobilization: a critical first step to addressing economic and social rights </a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/sara-bailey/can-legal-interventions-really-tackle-root-causes-of-poverty">Can legal interventions really tackle the root causes of poverty?</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> openGlobalRights openGlobalRights openGlobalRights-openpage Kate Donald Global Thu, 24 Sep 2015 10:00:00 +0000 Kate Donald 96235 at https://www.opendemocracy.net الفوز بإدراج حقوق الإنسان ضمن الأجندة الجديدة للتنمية المستدامة https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/kate-donald/%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%81%D9%88%D8%B2-%D8%A8%D8%A5%D8%AF%D8%B1%D8%A7%D8%AC-%D8%AD%D9%82%D9%88%D9%82-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A5%D9%86%D8%B3%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%B6%D9%85%D9%86-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A3%D8%AC%D9%86%D8%AF%D8%A9-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AC%D8%AF%D9%8A%D8%AF%D8%A9-%D9%84%D9%84%D8%AA%D9%86%D9%85%D9%8A%D8%A9-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%85%D8%B3%D8%AA%D8%AF%D8%A7%D9%85%D8%A9 <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/DonaldTwo.jpg" alt="" width="140" /></p><div dir="rtl"><p>على الرغم من أن الأهداف الجديدة للتنمية المستدامة بعيدة عن كونها كاملة أو مثالية، فإنها تشمل التزامات هامة في مجال حقوق الإنسان وتقوم بعمل أفضل من الأهداف الإنمائية للألفية (MDGs) لربط حقوق الإنسان بالتنمية. <em><strong><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/kate-donald/winning-place-for-human-rights-in-new-sustainable-development-agenda" target="_blank">English</a>,</strong></em>&nbsp;<em><strong><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/kate-donald/ganar-un-lugar-para-los-derechos-humanos-en-la-nueva-agenda-de-desarrol" target="_blank">Español</a></strong></em></p></div> </div> </div> </div> <div dir="rtl"><p dir="rtl">في الأمم المتحدة في نيويورك هذا الأسبوع [25 سبتمبر]، سوف يعتمد رؤساء الدول من جميع أنحاء العالم رسمياً ’<a href="https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/post2015/transformingourworld" target="_blank">أجندة 2030 للتنمية المستدامة</a>‘. وهي تشمل الأهداف الإنمائية المستدامة والأهداف المرتبطة بها. لقد أبرم الدبلوماسيون الاتفاق النهائي في أوائل أغسطس، وذلك بعد جولة مفاوضات محمومة تميزت بعدة تنازلات مخجلة في اللحظة الأخيرة.</p><p dir="rtl">لقد كان الدفاع عن حقوق الإنسان في محادثات التنمية بالأمم المتحدة في نيويورك دائماً مهمة شاقة. لا يوجد قصور في الالتزام الخطابي تجاه حقوق الإنسان، ولكن الواقع هو أنه –أكثر من عقد من الزمان بعد أن تم تعميم ’ربط حقوق الإنسان بالتنمية‘ نظرياً في الأمم المتحدة– لا يزال معظم الدبلوماسيين في نيويورك (والعديد من موظفي الامم المتحدة) لديهم فهم ضعيف جداً لحقوق الإنسان، وهم لا يرون ضرورة وجود علاقة بين حقوق الإنسان والتنمية.</p><p dir="rtl">ولذلك، لم يكن أمراً مستغرباً بشكل خاص، على الرغم من أنه لا يزال مخيباً للآمال، رؤية أن ما يشير إلى حقوق الإنسان في الأهداف الإنمائية المستدامة قد أصبح ورقة مساومة في الساعة الحادية عشرة. وعندما انتقلت المحادثات إلى عطلة نهاية الأسبوع الأخيرة في أغسطس، تضمن نص المشروع اعترافاً قوياً جداً بأن تحقيق جميع حقوق الإنسان هو الهدف الرئيسي للتنمية المستدامة، والتزاماً صريحاً بعدم التمييز على أي أساس. ومع ذلك، فقد اعترضت مجموعتان تفاوضيتان من الدول الأعضاء –هما المجموعة الأفريقية والمجموعة العربية– بشدة (وغير متماسكة من الناحية القانونية) على هذه النصوص. وقد طالبتا بإلغاء حظر التمييز على أساس أي "وضع آخر"، مدرج في نهاية قائمة أسس التمييز المحظورة (مثل الجنس والعرق والدين، إلخ)، حتى لو كان موجوداً في معاهدات الأمم المتحدة منذ <a href="http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/" target="_blank">الإعلان العالمي لحقوق الإنسان</a>. للأسف، يبدو أن هذا كان بدافع من الرغبة في تجنب الاعتراف بحقوق المثليين والمثليات. (وقد أصرتا أيضاً على أن كل استخدام ’للمساواة بين الجنسين‘ يعقبه عبارة حول تمكين النساء والفتيات، وذلك لتجنب التضمين الذي قد يشير إلى المساواة على أساس التوجه الجنسي أو الهوية الجنسية). ومن دواعي القلق أننا ما زلنا نخوض هذه المعارك في أروقة الأمم المتحدة، أكثر من عقدين من الزمن منذ أن تم التأكيد مجدداً على وجود ترابط بين حقوق الإنسان والتنمية في مؤتمر فيينا العالمي لحقوق الإنسان، وأكثر من عشرين عاماً منذ أن أقر نظام حقوق الإنسان في الأمم المتحدة لأول مرة التوجه الجنسي والهوية الجنسية باعتبارهما أسس التمييز المحظورة.</p></div> <!--Image/Credit/Caption Begins--> <div style="color: #999999; font-size: 11px; line-height: normal; font-style: italic; text-align: right;"> <img style="max-width: 100%; background-color: #ffffff; padding: 7px; border: 1px solid #999999;" src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/DonaldTwo.jpg" width="444" /> <br />Flickr/USAID (Some rights reserved) </div> <p style="color: #666666; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal;"> “We envisage a world…where we reaffirm our commitments regarding the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation.”</p> <hr style="color: #d2d3d5; background-color: #d2d3d5; height: 1px; width: 85%; border: none; text-align: center; margin: 0 auto;" /> <!--Image/Credit/Caption Ends--> <div dir="rtl"><p dir="rtl">في نهاية الأمر، كان الحل الوسط الذي تم التوصل إليه هو استبدال النص المتنازع عليه بنص منقول حرفياً من الوثيقة الختامية ريو+20، <a href="http://www.un.org/disabilities/documents/rio20_outcome_document_complete.pdf" target="_blank">المستقبل الذي نريده</a>. لقد كان هذا أمراً مخزياً، لأن النص السابق حدد العلاقات الواضحة بين أجندة ما بعد 2015 نفسها واحترام حقوق الإنسان وحمايتها وتحقيقها؛ في حين أن نتائج التسوية والتنازلات والحلول الوسط هي إعادة التأكيد بشكل عام على ’أهمية‘ قانون حقوق الإنسان و’مسؤوليات‘ الدول. كما أنها لا تذكر بالتحديد العمر أو العرق أو وضع الهجرة باعتبارهم أسس تمييز محظورة. ومع ذلك، فقد كانت استراتيجية سياسية ذكية، لأن النص في وثيقة ريو لا يزال يتضمن العبارة المهمة بكاملها ’أو أي وضع آخر‘ وقد وافقت جميع الدول عليها بالفعل.</p><p dir="rtl">ومن الجدير بالذكر أيضاً أن الإشارة إلى الحق في المياه والصرف الصحي –والتي <a href="http://canadians.org/blog/defending-human-right-water-and-sanitation-united-nations" target="_blank">ناضلت بلا كلل</a> من أجله العديد من منظمات المجتمع المدني– عادت أيضاً إلى الصياغة المتفق عليها في ريو+20 ("نحن نتصور عالماً...حيث نؤكد من جديد التزامنا تجاه حق الإنسان في المياه الصالحة للشرب والصرف الصحي")، بعد أن اعترضت الولايات المتحدة على المسودات السابقة متعهدة "بتحقيق" هذا الحق.</p><p dir="rtl"><span class="print-no mag-quote-right" style="line-height: 1.5;">في الواقع، وعلى الرغم من تنازلاتها وعجزها، فإن أجندة 2030 من أجل التنمية المستدامة تمنح حركة حقوق الإنسان أساليب كثيرة لاستخدامها على مدى السنوات الـ 15 المقبلة.&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">من المؤكد وجود أسباب كثيرة لانتقاد الأهداف الإنمائية المستدامة من منظور حقوق الإنسان. وعلى وجه الخصوص، لقد توقفت الأهداف والغايات بالنسبة للجزء الأكبر عن استخدام لغة صريحة عن حقوق الإنسان. وعلاوة على ذلك، يتم تضمين العقبات الهيكلية العاجلة أمام تحقيق التنمية المستدامة والتمتع بحقوق الإنسان بطريقة تدريجية ومتناقضة إلى حد ما (على سبيل المثال، الالتزام بالاستهلاك والإنتاج المستدامين يكمن جنباً إلى جنب مع الاهتمام المستمر بالنمو الاقتصادي).</span></p><p dir="rtl">ومع ذلك، فمن المهم أيضاً الاعتراف بخطوات هائلة تمت مقارنة بالأهداف الإنمائية للألفية. عند تقييمها وفقاً لـ’<a href="http://cesr.org/downloads/HRs.Post2015.litmus.test.pdf" target="_blank">اختبار مصداقية حقوق الإنسان</a>‘ الذي وضعته منظمات المجتمع المدني، يمكن أن نعلن تحقيق نجاح جزئي في كل فئة، والذي هو أكثر مما كنا قد نتجرأ أن نأمله عندما بدأت هذه العملية. لقد أصبح لدينا أخيراً أجندة تنمية عالمية تشمل عدم المساواة وتغير المناخ؛ وتعترف بأن طريقة الحكم والشفافية والحريات السياسية وتحقيق العدالة هي أمور حاسمة للتنمية العادلة؛ وتتعهد باتخاذ إجراءات بشأن مجموعة واسعة من قضايا حقوق المرأة، بما في ذلك الحقوق الإنجابية والصحة الجنسية والعنف ضد المرأة. وعلى الرغم من الأسلوب <a href="https://www.jacobinmag.com/2015/08/global-poverty-climate-change-sdgs/" target="_blank">الانتقادي بشكل غير كافي</a> لنظامنا الاقتصادي الحالي، فإنه توجد التزامات رائدة ومتعلقة بالموارد وهامة منصوص عليها في الأهداف الإنمائية المستدامة، وخصوصاً حول الديون، والضريبة التصاعدية، والتدفقات المالية غير المشروعة وتعزيز تمثيل البلدان النامية في إدارة الاقتصاد العالمي. وفي الوقت نفسه، وبصرف النظر عن التنازلات التي تتم في اللحظة الأخيرة، فإنه لا تزال توجد إشارات هامة إلى حقوق الإنسان في الاتفاق النهائي، بما في ذلك الاعتراف في الديباجة بأن الأهداف الإنمائية المستدامة ’تسعى إلى تحقيق حقوق الإنسان للجميع‘.</p><p dir="rtl">في الواقع، وعلى الرغم من تنازلاتها وعجزها، فإن أجندة 2030 من أجل التنمية المستدامة تمنح حركة حقوق الإنسان أساليب كثيرة لاستخدامها على مدى السنوات الـ 15 المقبلة. وفي شموليتها وعموميتها، وتركيزها على معالجة عدم المساواة وعلى ’عدم التخلي عن أي شخص‘، وترسيخ الإعلان عن الالتزامات الدولية لحقوق الإنسان، فإنه لديها القدرة على تعزيز التمتع بحقوق الإنسان في جميع أنحاء العالم.</p><p>وبطبيعة الحال، سوف يكون التطبيق اختبار المصداقية الحقيقي. هنا، تظل الأسئلة الرئيسية بلا إجابة. لقد توقف تمويل يوليو من أجل <a href="http://www.un.org/esa/ffd/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/AAAA_Outcome.pdf" target="_blank">اتفاق التنمية في أديس أبابا</a> (متابعة لإجماع مونتيري 2002 وإعلان الدوحة 2008) على مسافة بعيدة من الالتزامات الملموسة والمحددة زمنياً اللازمة لإطلاق العنان <a href="http://www.cesr.org/downloads/fiscal.revolution.pdf" target="_blank">لتمويل عادل وكافي وممكن تعليله</a> من أجل التنمية المستدامة، وذلك بسبب تهرب البلدان الغنية وتكتيكات الذراع القوية التي تنتهجها. وعلاوة على ذلك، فإن الإطار المتصور حالياً لرصد ومراجعة تنفيذ أجندة ما بعد 2015 يعتبر غامضاً واختيارياً تماماً. ولذلك يوجد الكثير من العمل الشاق لا يزال يجب القيام به على الصعيدين الوطني والدولي لإطلاق العنان لإمكانيات الأهداف الإنمائية المستدامة باعتبارها وسيلة لتحقيق حقوق الإنسان والمساءلة. ولكن قد تم فتح المجال، وإطار شامل للالتزامات المكتسبة بشق الأنفس على وشك أن يوضع في المكان الذي ينطبق على جميع البلدان في جميع أنحاء العالم. وبالنسبة لحركة حقوق الإنسان وحلفائها في التنمية، يجب أن تبدأ الجهود الآن بشكل جدي وبإخلاص لضمان عدم ضياع هذه الفرصة التاريخية.</p></div><p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image 0'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/537772/EPlogo-ogr-4_2.png" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title="imgupl_floating_none"><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_large/wysiwyg_imageupload/537772/EPlogo-ogr-4_2.png" alt="" title="imgupl_floating_none" width="300" height="115" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_large" style=""/></a> <span class='image_meta'></span></span></p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-read-on"> <div class="field-label"> 'Read On' Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a 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href="/openglobalrights/charu-lata-hogg-veronica-yates/%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A3%D9%85%D9%85-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%85%D8%AA%D8%AD%D8%AF%D8%A9-%D9%88%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A3%D8%B7%D9%81%D8%A7%D9%84-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%85%D8%B4%D8%A7%D8%B1%D9%83%D9%88%D9%86-%D9%81%D9%8A-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%86%D8%B2%D8%A7%D8%B9%D8%A7%D8%AA-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%85%D8%B3%D9%84%D8%AD%D8%A9">الأمم المتحدة والأطفال المشاركون في النزاعات المسلحة: مباريات سياسية؟</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/irene-khan-david-petrasek/%D8%AE%D8%A7%D8%B1%D8%AC-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%85%D8%AD%D8%A7%D9%83%D9%85-%D8%AD%D9%85%D8%A7%D9%8A%D8%A9-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AD%D9%82%D9%88%D9%82-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A7%D9%82%D8%AA%D8%B5%D8%A7%D8%AF%D9%8A%D8%A9-%D9%88%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A7%D8%AC%D8%AA%D9%85%D8%A7%D8%B9%D9%8A%D8%A9">خارج المحاكم - حماية الحقوق الاقتصادية والاجتماعية</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights-blog/david-petrasek/%D9%82%D8%A7%D8%A6%D9%85%D8%A9-%D8%A8%D9%85%D8%A7-%D9%8A%D9%86%D8%A8%D8%BA%D9%8A-%D9%88%D9%84%D8%A7-%D9%8A%D9%86%D8%A8%D8%BA%D9%8A-%D8%B9%D9%84%D9%89-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%85%D9%81%D9%88%D8%B6-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B3%D8%A7%D9%85%D9%8A-%D8%B9%D9%85%D9%84%D9%87">قائمة بما ينبغي ولا ينبغي على المفوض السامي عمله</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/stephen-humphreys/%D8%AA%D8%BA%D9%8A%D8%B1-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%85%D9%86%D8%A7%D8%AE-%D9%8A%D8%A8%D8%B1%D8%B2-%D9%85%D8%AF%D9%89-%D8%B6%D8%B9%D9%81-%D9%85%D8%B9%D8%A7%D9%8A%D9%8A%D8%B1-%D8%AD%D9%82%D9%88%D9%82-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A5%D9%86%D8%B3%D8%A7%D9%86">تغير المناخ يبرز مدى ضعف معايير حقوق الإنسان</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/josh-levy/%D8%AD%D9%82%D9%88%D9%82-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A5%D9%86%D8%B3%D8%A7%D9%86-%E2%80%93-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AF%D9%81%D8%A7%D8%B9-%D8%B9%D9%86-%D8%AD%D9%8A%D8%A7%D8%AF%D9%8A%D8%A9-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A5%D9%86%D8%AA%D8%B1%D9%86%D8%AA-net-neutrality">حقوق الإنسان – الدفاع عن حيادية الإنترنت</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> openGlobalRights Kate Donald Global openGlobalRights العربية (Arabic) Thu, 24 Sep 2015 08:30:00 +0000 Kate Donald 96237 at https://www.opendemocracy.net Ganar un lugar para los derechos humanos en la nueva agenda de desarrollo sostenible https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/kate-donald/ganar-un-lugar-para-los-derechos-humanos-en-la-nueva-agenda-de-desarrol <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/DonaldTwo.jpg" alt="" width="140" /></p><p>Aunque están lejos de ser perfectos, los nuevos Objetivos de Desarrollo Sostenible incluyen compromisos importantes en materia de derechos humanos y son más eficaces que los ODM para vincular los derechos humanos con el desarrollo. <em><strong><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/kate-donald/winning-place-for-human-rights-in-new-sustainable-development-agenda" target="_blank">English</a>,</strong></em><em><strong>&nbsp;<a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/kate-donald/%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%81%D9%88%D8%B2-%D8%A8%D8%A5%D8%AF%D8%B1%D8%A7%D8%AC-%D8%AD%D9%82%D9%88%D9%82-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A5%D9%86%D8%B3%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%B6%D9%85%D9%86-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A3%D8%AC%D9%86%D8%AF%D8%A9-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AC%D8%AF%D9%8A%D8%AF%D8%A9-%D9%84%D9%84%D8%AA%D9%86%D9%85%D9%8A%D8%A9-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%85%D8%B3%D8%AA%D8%AF%D8%A7%D9%85%D8%A9" target="_blank">العربية</a></strong></em></p> </div> </div> </div> <p dir="ltr">Esta semana [25 de septiembre], en la Organización de las Naciones Unidas (ONU) en Nueva York, los jefes de Estado de todo el mundo adoptarán oficialmente la <a href="https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/post2015/transformingourworld" target="_blank">“Agenda 2030 para el desarrollo sostenible”</a>. Esto incluye los Objetivos de Desarrollo Sostenible (ODS) y sus metas asociadas. Los diplomáticos concluyeron el acuerdo final a principios de agosto, después de una ronda frenética de negociaciones caracterizada por varios compromisos sórdidos de última hora. </p><p dir="ltr">Abogar por los derechos humanos en las conversaciones sobre desarrollo de la ONU en Nueva York siempre ha sido una ardua batalla. No hay escasez de compromisos retóricos con los derechos humanos, pero la realidad es que, más de una década después de que el “enfoque de derechos humanos hacia el desarrollo” se incorporó, en teoría, a lo largo de la ONU, la mayoría de los diplomáticos en Nueva York (y muchos integrantes del personal de la ONU) aún saben poco sobre derechos humanos, y no ven necesariamente los vínculos entre los derechos humanos y el desarrollo. </p><p dir="ltr">Así que no fue especialmente sorprendente, aunque sigue siendo decepcionante, ver cómo las referencias a los derechos humanos en los ODS se convirtieron en una pieza de negociación a última hora. Cuando las negociaciones llegaban al último fin de semana de agosto, el borrador del documento incluía un reconocimiento muy firme de que hacer realidad todos los derechos humanos es uno de los objetivos principales del desarrollo sostenible, así como un compromiso explícito con la no discriminación sobre cualquier base. Sin embargo, dos bloques de negociación de Estados miembros, el Grupo Africano y el Grupo Árabe, plantearon objeciones fervientes (e incoherentes desde una perspectiva jurídica) a este lenguaje. Exigieron que se eliminara la prohibición de la discriminación por cualquier “otra condición”, incluida al final de la lista de motivos prohibidos para discriminar (como el sexo, la raza, la religión, etc.), aunque dicha prohibición ha estado presente en los tratados de la ONU desde la <a href="http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/" target="_blank">Declaración Universal de los Derechos Humanos</a>. Lamentablemente, parece que la motivación para esto fue el deseo de evitar reconocer los derechos de las personas LGBT. (También insistieron en que cada uso de “igualdad de género” estuviera seguido por lenguaje sobre el empoderamiento de las mujeres y las niñas, para evitar la implicación de que el término pudiera referirse a la igualdad con base en la orientación sexual o la identidad de género). Es desconcertante que todavía estemos luchando estas batallas en los pasillos de la ONU, más de dos décadas después de que se reafirmara la interdependencia de los derechos humanos y el desarrollo en la Conferencia Mundial de Derechos Humanos de Viena, y más de veinte años después de que el sistema de derechos humanos de la ONU reconociera por primera vez la orientación sexual y la identidad de género como motivos prohibidos de discriminación.</p> <!--Image/Credit/Caption Begins--> <div style="color: #999999; font-size: 11px; line-height: normal; font-style: italic; text-align: right;"> <img style="max-width: 100%; background-color: #ffffff; padding: 7px; border: 1px solid #999999;" src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/DonaldTwo.jpg" width="444" /> <br />Flickr/USAID (Some rights reserved) </div> <p style="color: #666666; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal;"> “We envisage a world…where we reaffirm our commitments regarding the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation.”</p> <hr style="color: #d2d3d5; background-color: #d2d3d5; height: 1px; width: 85%; border: none; text-align: center; margin: 0 auto;" /> <!--Image/Credit/Caption Ends--> <p dir="ltr">Al final, el compromiso al que se llegó fue remplazar el texto en disputa con un corte y pegado literal del lenguaje utilizado en el documento de resultados de Río+20, <a href="http://www.un.org/disabilities/documents/rio20_outcome_document_complete.pdf" target="_blank">El futuro que queremos</a>. Esto fue una pena, porque el texto anterior establecía vínculos explícitos entre la agenda después de 2015 y el respeto, la protección y la satisfacción de los derechos humanos; mientras que el compromiso que resultó es una reafirmación muy general de la “importancia” de las normas de derechos humanos y las “responsabilidades” de los Estados. Tampoco menciona de manera específica la edad, el origen étnico o la situación migratoria como motivos prohibidos de discriminación. Sin embargo, fue una estrategia política inteligente, ya que el texto del documento de Río aún incluye la importantísima frase “u otra condición” y ya lo aceptaron todos los Estados. </p><p dir="ltr">También vale la pena señalar que la mención del derecho al agua y al saneamiento, por la que <a href="http://canadians.org/blog/defending-human-right-water-and-sanitation-united-nations" target="_blank">lucharon incansablemente</a> muchas organizaciones de la sociedad civil, también regresó al planteamiento acordado en Río+20 (“Concebimos un mundo... en el que reafirmamos nuestros compromisos relativos al derecho humano al agua potable y el saneamiento”), después de que EE. UU. se opuso a versiones anteriores que se comprometían a “hacer realidad” ese derecho.</p><p dir="ltr"><span class="print-no mag-quote-right">A pesar de sus compromisos e insuficiencias, la Agenda 2030 para el desarrollo sostenible le ofrece al movimiento de derechos humanos mucho con qué trabajar durante los próximos 15 años.&nbsp;</span>Ciertamente, hay muchas razones para criticar los ODS desde una perspectiva de derechos humanos. En específico, los objetivos y las metas, en su mayoría, no llegan a utilizar un lenguaje explícito de derechos humanos. Además, los obstáculos estructurales urgentes para el desarrollo sostenible y el disfrute de los derechos humanos solamente se incluyen de manera poco sistemática y algo contradictoria (por ejemplo, el compromiso con el consumo y la producción sostenibles se encuentra junto a una exaltación continua del crecimiento económico). </p><p dir="ltr">Sin embargo, también es importante reconocer los grandes avances que se lograron en comparación con los Objetivos de Desarrollo del Milenio (ODM). Al evaluarlos de acuerdo con <a href="http://cesr.org/downloads/HRs.Post2015.litmus.test.pdf" target="_blank">“la prueba de fuego de los derechos humanos”</a> desarrollada por las agrupaciones de la sociedad civil, podemos declarar que se logró un éxito parcial en todas las categorías, y esto es más de lo que podríamos habernos atrevido a esperar cuando comenzó el proceso. Por fin tenemos una agenda global de desarrollo que abarca la desigualdad y el cambio climático; que reconoce que la gobernanza, la transparencia, las libertades políticas y el acceso a la justicia son cruciales para el desarrollo justo; y que se compromete a tomar medidas respecto a una amplia gama de temas de derechos de las mujeres, incluidos los derechos reproductivos y la salud sexual, y la violencia contra las mujeres. A pesar de que su enfoque hacia nuestro sistema económico actual <a href="https://www.jacobinmag.com/2015/08/global-poverty-climate-change-sdgs/" target="_blank">no es lo suficientemente crítico</a>, las metas de los ODS consagran compromisos innovadores e importantes en materia de recursos, particularmente en relación con la deuda, los impuestos progresivos, los flujos financieros ilícitos y el aumento de la representación de los países en vías de desarrollo en la gobernanza económica mundial. Mientras tanto, al margen de los compromisos de última hora, el acuerdo final aún tiene referencias importantes a los derechos humanos, incluido el reconocimiento en el preámbulo de que los ODS “buscan hacer realidad los derechos humanos de todos”.</p><p dir="ltr">De hecho, a pesar de sus compromisos e insuficiencias, la Agenda 2030 para el desarrollo sostenible le ofrece al movimiento de derechos humanos mucho con qué trabajar durante los próximos 15 años. En su universalidad, su enfoque en la lucha contra las desigualdades y en “no dejar que nadie se quede atrás”, y el anclaje de la Declaración en los compromisos internacionales de derechos humanos, tiene el potencial para mejorar el disfrute de los derechos humanos en todo el mundo. </p><p>La verdadera prueba de fuego, por supuesto, será la puesta en práctica. Aquí, las grandes preguntas siguen sin respuesta. El acuerdo de Financiamiento para el Desarrollo celebrado en julio en <a href="http://www.un.org/esa/ffd/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/AAAA_Outcome.pdf" target="_blank">Addis Abeba</a> (en seguimiento del Consenso de Monterrey de 2002 y la Declaración de Doha de 2008) distó mucho de alcanzar los compromisos concretos y con plazos que se requieren para desatar <a href="http://www.cesr.org/downloads/fiscal.revolution.pdf" target="_blank">un financiamiento equitativo, suficiente y responsable</a> para el desarrollo sostenible, debido a las tácticas de evasión y de mano dura de los países ricos. Por otra parte, el marco previsto actualmente para el seguimiento y la revisión de la implementación de la agenda después de 2015 es impreciso y completamente voluntario. Por lo tanto, aún hay mucho trabajo duro por hacer a nivel nacional e internacional para liberar el potencial de los ODS como un vehículo para la rendición de cuentas y la realización de los derechos humanos. Pero el espacio se ha abierto, y está a punto de establecerse un marco integral de compromisos ganados con esfuerzo que se aplican a todos los países del mundo. El movimiento de derechos humanos y sus aliados en el ámbito del desarrollo deben comenzar a trabajar en serio para que no se pierda esta oportunidad histórica.</p><p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image 0'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/537772/EPlogo-ogr-4_2.png" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title="imgupl_floating_none"><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_large/wysiwyg_imageupload/537772/EPlogo-ogr-4_2.png" alt="" title="imgupl_floating_none" width="300" height="115" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_large" style=""/></a> <span class='image_meta'></span></span></p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-read-on"> <div class="field-label"> 'Read On' Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="http://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights-translations/openglobalrights-espa%C3%B1ol "><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/OpenGlobalRights-highlight4-espagnol.png" alt="" width="140" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-sidebox"> <div class="field-label"> Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="//www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights-openpage"><img src="/files/openPagesidebox.png " alt="" width="140" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/charles-f-maccormack-sarah-stroup/%C2%BFdebilitar%C3%A1n-las-nobles-ambiciones-de-los-ods-al-">¿Debilitarán las nobles ambiciones de los ODS al activismo para alcanzarlos?</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/eric-posner/el-crep%C3%BAsculo-de-las-leyes-de-los-derechos-humanos">El crepúsculo de las leyes de los derechos humanos</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/stuart-wilson/sin-medios-realmente-no-hay-derechos">Sin medios, realmente no hay derechos</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/jacob-mchangama/legalizar-los-derechos-econ%C3%B3micos-y-sociales-no-ayudar%C3%A1-los-pobres"> Legalizar los derechos económicos y sociales no ayudará a los pobres</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/beth-simmons/%C2%BFcrep%C3%BAsculo-o-lentes-oscuros-una-respuesta-eric-posner">¿Crepúsculo o lentes oscuros? Una respuesta a Eric Posner</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/helena-hofbauer/ganadores-y-perdedores-presupuestar-con-perspectiva-de-derechos-hum">Ganadores y perdedores: Presupuestar con perspectiva de derechos humanos le sirve a los pobres</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrightsopenpage/c%C3%A9sar-rodr%C3%ADguezgaravito/%C2%BFel-ocaso-de-los-grandes-tratados-reflexiones-tras-">¿El ocaso de los grandes tratados? Reflexiones tras la cumbre sobre el cambio climático en Lima</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> openGlobalRights Kate Donald Global openGlobalRights Español Thu, 24 Sep 2015 08:30:00 +0000 Kate Donald 96236 at https://www.opendemocracy.net CSW: Arguments for reducing the intense time burden of women's unpaid care work https://www.opendemocracy.net/5050/kate-donald/csw-arguments-for-reducing-intense-time-burden-of-womens-unpaid-care-work <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Unpaid care work is one of the major barriers to women's rights, economic empowerment and poverty reduction. Will the work of the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty, and the frantic efforts of women's rights advocates at the CSW in New York this week, get unpaid care work on to the post-2015 agenda ? </p> </div> </div> </div> <p>At the <a href="http://www.opendemocracy.net/5050/zohra-moosa/csw-weather-vane-fault-lines-and-prospects-for-womens-human-rights">Commission on the Status of Women this year</a>, the sense of urgency in the air is palpable. With plans for the global development agenda to succeed the Millennium Development Goals in the last phase of discussion, there is a strong feeling that 2014 could be a real opportunity to change the paradigm. The new ‘sustainable development goals’ (SDGs) will, for better or worse, suck up the majority of the development attention, effort and resources over the next 15 years. Any issues left out of the goals will be automatic non-priorities for governments and large international donors. Women’s rights advocates are particularly exercised about this, because they witnessed first-hand the impact of the MDGs’ lack of ambition on gender. </p> <p><a href="http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/gender.shtml">MDG3</a> was the gender equality goal, and it was laughably narrow, focused only on achieving parity in education, ignoring the myriad other economic, social and political barriers to women’s real equality. Women’s groups said all along that the target was manifestly insufficient; recently it seems that States have accepted this reality, perhaps spurred by the increasing evidence that gender inequality holds back economic growth and development in general. The support for a broader, more meaningful gender equality goal in the SDGs is strong and widespread. Now, there is a frantic effort from women’s rights advocates to define and construct this goal and its accompanying targets in the most ambitious and effective way possible, recognizing and tackling the multiple and structural determinants of gender inequality. Meaningfully empowering women will necessitate focusing energy and attention on diverse areas such as access to land, violence against women, sexual and reproductive rights and political participation. </p> <p>The events I participated I during the first week of CSW were focused on an additional key determinant of gender inequality: <a href="http://www.opendemocracy.net/5050/kate-donald/unpaid-care-missing-women%E2%80%99s-rights-issue">unpaid care work</a>. These meetings involved and gathered an unlikely array of actors, from the <a href="http://www.trust.org/item/20140313093730-dsykb/">World Bank</a> to grassroots groups to feminist academics, all in support of the notion that heavy and intense burdens of unpaid care work prevent women from realizing their rights and lifting themselves and their families out of poverty. There were nods of recognition from around the packed rooms when Magdalena Sepulveda Carmona, the UN <a href="http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Poverty/Pages/SRExtremePovertyIndex.aspx">Special Rapporteur</a> on extreme poverty and human rights, described the gendered distribution of unpaid care work as a major barrier to women’s rights, economic empowerment, and poverty reduction in general. Representatives from trade unions in North America, from anti-poverty organizations in Europe, and alliances of caregivers in Africa, all stood up to share their experiences and underline the urgency of valuing, supporting and redistributing women’s unpaid care work. </p> <p>Now, although it barely appeared possible in September 2012 when I gathered with a group of other researchers and advocates at a workshop on unpaid care organized by <a href="http://www.actionaid.org/publications/making-care-visible">ActionAid</a>, there seems to be a decent chance that unpaid care work will be included in the SDGs in some way. How have we got to this point? Hard work and lobbying from a number of quarters is necessary in any such process – all inspired and boosted by realities witnessed and experienced on the ground. Dedicated champions within some UN agencies, government ministries, and development agencies; strong and persistent advocacy from some major NGOs; <a href="http://interactions.eldis.org/unpaid-care-work">researchers</a> consolidating the evidence base; a prominent <a href="http://www.empowerwomen.org/~/documents/2013/10/10/20/51/report-of-the-special-rapporteur-on-extreme-poverty-and-human-rights">report</a> from the Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty presented to the UN General Assembly last year: these have all played their part. However, it remains to be seen whether States are really listening. At CSW, while the activists and advocates from around the world flood the corridors and the dingy meeting rooms in the UN complex, State representatives in suits and ties convene behind other doors in grander rooms to take the real decisions. We can only harangue and lobby, and hope they hear us. </p> <p>As always, geopolitics plays its part. The biggest obstacle to getting care on the agenda could in fact be the representatives of the least developed countries, some of whom see this as a familiar Western interference in their ‘culture’ (although of course, women’s overwhelming responsibility for unpaid care work is one of the few phenomena common across all cultures). Misconceptions abound that the end goal sought is wages for housework, or the State somehow forcing men to provide care. It may be that, in the terms of this specific effort, it may be strategic to place the emphasis on supporting and recognizing the value of unpaid care work, rather than ‘redistributing’ half of it to men (although ultimately this is also a necessary goal). The urgency now, especially for the poorest women in the world, is for the State to step up and provide decent <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VVW858gQHoE">services and infrastructure</a> that provide, support and reduce the intense time burden of their care work. Water pumps, electricity, affordable pre-school childcare – these would all make a profound difference to the daily lives and opportunities of these women, giving them more time for income-earning, education, political participation and leisure. The SDGs could play a vital role in prioritizing such efforts. </p> <p>The CSW Agreed Conclusions, issued at the end of this week, will be a crucial barometer of whether unpaid care will make it into the sustainable development goals ?&nbsp; The <a href="http://www.unwomen.org/~/media/Headquarters/Attachments/Sections/CSW/58/CSW58-AC_Draft_presented_by_the_CSW_Bureau_4_February_2014%20pdf.pdf">zero draft</a> issued before the session was promising, with multiple references to unpaid care work - but much could change (the spectre of two years ago, when no conclusions could be agreed at all, still hangs over the conference). The lobbying continues, and the negotiations behind closed doors. There are real issues – women’s rights, livelihoods, wellbeing – at stake here. Another 15-year wait would be a severe setback. </p><p><em>See also</em> <a href="http://www.opendemocracy.net/5050/zohra-moosa/csw-weather-vane-fault-lines-and-prospects-for-womens-human-rights">CSW weather vane: fault lines and prospects for women's human rights </a></p><p>&nbsp;</p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5050/kate-donald/unpaid-care-missing-women%E2%80%99s-rights-issue">Unpaid care: the missing women’s rights issue </a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/5050/maggie-murphy/traditional-values-vs-human-rights-at-un">&#039;Traditional values&#039; vs human rights at the UN</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/shinealight/kate-donald/vicious-circle-of-poverty-and-injustice">The vicious circle of poverty and injustice</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/5050/kate-donald/feminisation-of-poverty-and-myth-of-welfare-queen">The feminisation of poverty and the myth of the &#039;welfare queen&#039;</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5050/maxine-molyneux/of-rights-and-risks-are-women%E2%80%99s-human-rights-in-jeopardy">Of rights and risks: are women’s human rights in jeopardy?</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/5050/jennifer-allsopp/women-defining-economic-citizenship">Women defining economic citizenship </a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/article/making-women-work-for-development-again">Making women work for development - again</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/5050/srilatha-batliwala/transformative-strategy-true-value-of-investing-in-women%E2%80%99s-rights">A transformative strategy: the true value of investing in women’s rights</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5050/linda-burnham/1-feminism">1% Feminism</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/5050/heather-mcrobie/from-war-on-terror-to-austerity-lost-decade-for-women-and-human-rights">From the war on terror to austerity: a lost decade for women and human rights</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5050/srilatha-batliwala/beyond-individual-stories-women-have-moved-mountains">Beyond individual stories: women have moved mountains </a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-topics"> <div class="field-label">Topics:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Equality </div> </div> </div> 50.50 50.50 Equality 50.50 Women's Movement Building UN Commission on the Status of Women Governing poverty: risking rights? 50.50 Editor's Pick 50.50 newsletter women's movements women's human rights women and power patriarchy gender justice feminism women's work young feminists Kate Donald Mon, 17 Mar 2014 16:18:33 +0000 Kate Donald 80399 at https://www.opendemocracy.net Unpaid care: the missing women’s rights issue https://www.opendemocracy.net/5050/kate-donald/unpaid-care-missing-women%E2%80%99s-rights-issue <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Unsupported and unshared care work perpetuates women’s poverty, political marginalization and social subordination. The distribution of care is not natural or inevitable, but rather socially constructed and in our power to change, says Kate Donald</p> </div> </div> </div> <p>&nbsp;“Women’s rights are human rights”, declared Hillary Clinton in Beijing nearly 20 years ago. This simple yet revolutionary statement has evolved into a mantra of the international human rights movement. However, one of the major obstacles to women enjoying their rights equally with men has been rarely recognised or even spoken of by human rights advocates. Something that happens every day, in every household, village and city around the world: the cooking, cleaning, and caring that families, communities and societies depend upon and simultaneously take for granted. </p> <p>All of us receive care at some point in our lives. Almost all of us will also <em>give </em>care, to children, to elderly parents, to partners. To speak of ‘care’ as a human rights issue risks dissonance. Isn’t care a good thing? Don’t we need more of it, not less? Indeed: it is not unpaid care <em>per se </em>that threatens human rights&nbsp; – being a foundational, unavoidable and very human activity that underpins all societies and cultures– but rather, the way it is distributed, and the lack of recognition and support it receives. </p> <p>Of course, from <em>The</em> <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/19/books/betty-friedans-feminine-mystique-50-years-later.html?_r=0"><em>Feminine Mystique</em></a> to the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selma_James">Wages for Housework Campaign</a> to <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/1989/06/25/books/she-minds-the-child-he-minds-the-dog.html?pagewanted=all&amp;src=pm">The Second Shift</a>, feminists have pilloried the discriminatory distribution of unpaid care. In general however, human rights and women’s rights advocates have been slow to adopt it as a cause. Granted, in a field like women’s rights there are a myriad of heart-rending issues fighting for attention; but surely something that so fundamentally shapes women’s time, lives and opportunities should by all reasonable measures be a rallying point? </p> <p>One obstacle is that care has unfairly been perceived as an elite concern. Many of the <a href="http://www.opendemocracy.net/5050/linda-burnham/1-feminism">public debates</a> around care focus on the struggles of privileged professional women - the Sheryl Sandbergs of this world - to juggle motherhood and work. Poor women supposedly have more serious, life-or-death concerns. On the contrary: unpaid care work is intimately bound up with survival, with eking out an existence on subsistence crops and little income. It is the work of putting <a href="http://participationpower.wordpress.com/2013/03/07/im-still-hungry-mum-the-return-of-care/">food on the table</a>, insisting your children attend school so the next generation can have hopes of life away from the breadline, keeping everyone in the household clean and healthy so wages are not lost and unaffordable health costs are not incurred. </p> <p>In all countries, women <a href="http://www.genderanddevelopment.org/page/time-use-studies-review">provide the vast majority</a> of unpaid care – and when unpaid care is taken into account, women <a href="http://www.levyinstitute.org/pubs/wp_541.pdf">work longer hours</a> overall than men. It is also absolutely clear that <a href="http://www.actionaid.org/sites/files/actionaid/making_care_visible.pdf">the struggle is intensified</a> for women living in poverty, because they can’t afford to pay for outside help or time-saving technologies (be it a washing machine or grain-grinder), and because they are more likely to live in areas where public services are inadequate or absent. Rural women in many developing countries have the added burden of collecting water and fuel for domestic use – often walking hours each day to do so. In sub-Saharan Africa women and girls spend <a href="http://www.ipsnews.net/2012/08/women-spend-40-billion-hours-collecting-water/">40 billion hours</a> each year collecting water – equivalent to a year’s labour by the entire French workforce. </p> <p>The amount of time women spend on unpaid care is fundamental to defining their time, energy, finances and social and political capital. It is also <a href="http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A%2F68%2F293&amp;Submit=Search&amp;Lang=E">definitively a human rights issue</a>. Under international human rights law, including the International Covenants and the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, if women are unable to enjoy a right to the same extent as men, this is automatically a human rights violation that requires remedy. States are explicitly required to take concrete measures to ensure that women are able to enjoy their rights equally, and to tackle any obstacles to them doing so. The gendered distribution of unpaid care work is unquestionably a major obstacle in this regard, preventing the equal enjoyment by women of a whole range of human rights. </p> <p>Most obviously, their rights to work and to equal rights at work are threatened. Even privileged women have to contend with the gender <a href="http://fawcettsociety.org.uk/gap-in-pay-between-women-and-men-widens-after-years-of-slow-steady-progress/">pay gap</a>, lack of <a href="http://www.hrw.org/news/2011/02/23/us-lack-paid-leave-harms-workers-children">family leave rights</a>, and maternity discrimination. For many poorer women with intensive care responsibilities, although they would dearly love the income, paid work is an impossibility. Others are <a href="http://www.unwomen.org/en/digital-library/publications/2005/1/progress-of-the-world-s-women-2005-women-work-and-poverty">forced to accept</a> whatever badly paid flexible work they can find - often without labour rights or social security - and still perform the same ‘second shift’ when they get home, sacrificing their health and leisure. </p> <p>Girls’ right to education is also put in jeopardy, whether they are withdrawn from school entirely or simply have less time and energy to devote to schoolwork or extra-curricular activities than boys due to their domestic duties. This has devastating knock-on consequences for their future opportunities and income. Compounding this, later in life women have less time for training or adult education opportunities because of their heavy domestic workload. </p> <p>Women are also less able to participate actively in politics and public life – another fundamental right – because of their unfair share of unpaid care. Practical considerations such as time and lack of childcare provision prevent many women from participating in public forums ranging from national parliaments to community groups. Hence, many decisions crucial to their lives and livelihoods are taken without them in the room. </p> <p>Undoubtedly, moving towards a fairer distribution of unpaid care will require profound socio-cultural change. However, governments have a crucial role to play in moving towards the more equal sharing of care, for example through education and awareness-raising campaigns, but also in a more immediate sense by more effectively supporting and providing care. Ensuring quality, accessible public services and care services, especially in poorer areas, can help to liberate women from unsustainably large burdens of care provision, as can improving infrastructure (piped water, decent roads) and subsidizing affordable time-saving technology such as fuel-efficient stoves. </p> <p>Unfortunately, there are striking examples of governments around the world doing exactly the opposite. As <a href="http://www.fawcettsociety.org.uk/">Fawcett Society</a> and the <a href="http://www.wbg.org.uk/">Women’s Budget Group</a> have shown, austerity measures in the UK are having a <a href="http://www.opendemocracy.net/5050/heather-mcrobie/is-gendered-austerity-finally-on-political-agenda">disproportionate impact</a> on women; but the vandalism of austerity is not confined to Britain or even Europe. <a href="http://policydialogue.org/publications/working_papers/age_of_austerity/">Recent research</a> has shown that developing countries (many of them barely recovered from the similarly destructive effects of structural adjustment) are slashing public budgets with as much – or more - alacrity as their European counterparts. It goes without saying that their populations can even less afford to lose the services and benefits being cut. </p> <p>Wherever public services are cut, legislators and policy-makers are acting on the implicit assumption that women will take up the slack. In countries afflicted by the HIV/AIDS pandemic, ‘home-based care’ for people suffering from AIDS has been celebrated as a policy innovation. Really, it represents only an intensive scaling up of the norm – handing the <a href="http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13552070903009684#.Uq6AvqWpx8s">burden back to poor women</a>, away from overwhelmed and under-resourced health services. Women and girls <a href="http://www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home/librarypage/womens-empowerment/policy-brief--unpaid-care-work/">provide 70-90%</a> of HIV/AIDS care, while the virus also affects women in <a href="http://www.unaids.org/en/resources/publications/2012/name,76121,en.asp">greater numbers than men</a>.&nbsp; The finances, equipment, drugs and training that these caregivers need to perform their work without jeopardizing their own health and livelihoods remain largely unrealized. 80 per cent of family caregivers in South Africa have <a href="http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13552070903009684#.Uq6AvqWpx8s">reported</a> reduced income levels. </p> <p>The <a href="http://www.ids.ac.uk/publication/gender-equality-and-economic-growth-is-there-a-win-win">evidence</a> is clear that countries with greater gender equality in employment and education report higher rates of human development and economic growth. Thus, for reasons from principled to pragmatic, we should be devoting every possible effort to correcting the obscenely skewed distribution of unpaid care. Currently, ‘women’s empowerment’ is one of the most oft-cited priorities in the halls of the UN and development agencies.&nbsp; However, without a real recognition of unpaid care as a fundamental factor limiting women’s rights and life chances, empowerment is a mirage: akin to promising to end violence against women while ignoring domestic violence. Is a women empowered if she takes a low-paid job in a garment factory with no social security, only to start her second shift of domestic ‘duties’ as soon as she gets home, pausing only for a few hours’ sleep? To truly empower woman would mean respecting care work as valuable and productive, giving it status, encouraging men to do it, and supporting it with resources and services. It would mean freeing women’s time and potential, enabling them and supporting them to go out to work if they are able, ensuring they are given ample opportunity for training and advancement, and access to childcare. </p> <p>Hopefully, 2014 will be the year when unpaid care work is recognised as a core women’s rights issue. There will be ample opportunities to make the connection between care, poverty, gender inequality and denial of women’s rights – for example at the <a href="http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/csw/">Commission on the Status of Women</a> and in discussions around the <a href="http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/beyond2015-overview.shtml">global development agenda</a> to succeed the Millennium Development Goals in 2015. Some organizations that work on poverty and development – most notably <a href="http://www.actionaid.org/publications/making-care-visible">ActionAid</a>, <a href="http://policy-practice.oxfam.org.uk/our-work/food-livelihoods/womens-economic-leadership/care-work">Oxfam</a>, and the <a href="http://www.ids.ac.uk/news/recognising-unpaid-care-work-as-a-major-human-rights-issue">Institute for Development Studies</a> - which is using <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VVW858gQHoE">animation</a> as part of this work -&nbsp; are now taking this issue seriously. Hopefully human rights organizations will follow suit, including unpaid care work in their women’s rights analyses and priorities, alongside issues such as violence against women, reproductive rights and employment. Hopefully, we will also start to see human rights jurisprudence further recognising the impacts of inadequate State support for unpaid care, and making recommendations for its redistribution. </p> <p>Care is non-negotiable and fundamental. It has to be done. It can be a huge source of fulfillment and joy; but we also have to acknowledge that it can also entail heavy costs, especially for women living in poverty. The way it is currently distributed between women and men is unjust and unsustainable. In all countries, unsupported and unshared care work perpetuates women’s poverty, political marginalization and social subordination. We cannot hope to achieve gender equality without fully facing up to this injustice. The distribution of care is not natural or inevitable, but rather socially constructed and in our power to change. </p> <p><em>&nbsp;</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5050/linda-burnham/1-feminism">1% Feminism</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/5050/emily-esplen/reclaiming-care-as-fundamental-end-in-itself">Reclaiming care as a fundamental end in itself</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5050/ruth-rosen/who-said-%E2%80%9Cwe-could-have-it-all%E2%80%9D">Who said “We could have it all?”</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/5050/jennifer-allsopp/women-defining-economic-citizenship">Women defining economic citizenship </a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5050/marion-bowman/capitalisms-bright-third-billion-future">Capitalism&#039;s bright &#039;Third Billion&#039; future? </a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/article/making-women-work-for-development-again">Making women work for development - again</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5050/srilatha-batliwala/transformative-strategy-true-value-of-investing-in-women%E2%80%99s-rights">A transformative strategy: the true value of investing in women’s rights</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/5050/srilatha-batliwala/what-does-transforming-economic-power-mean">What does transforming economic power mean?</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5050/heather-mcrobie/handmaids-tale-of-coalition-britain">The Handmaid&#039;s Tale of Coalition Britain</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/5050/heather-mcrobie/when-austerity-sounds-like-backlash-gender-and-economic-crisis">When austerity sounds like backlash: gender and the economic crisis</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/democracy-institutions_government/girls_rights_4386.jsp">Do women and girls have human rights?</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/5050/kavita-ramdas/holding-up-half-sky-not-for-ourselves-alone">Holding up half the sky: not for ourselves alone</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5050/kate-donald/feminisation-of-poverty-and-myth-of-welfare-queen">The feminisation of poverty and the myth of the &#039;welfare queen&#039;</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-topics"> <div class="field-label">Topics:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Democracy and government </div> <div class="field-item even"> Equality </div> </div> </div> 50.50 50.50 ourNHS Democracy and government Equality Women and the Economy 50.50 Women's Movement Building 50.50 Contesting Patriarchy 50.50 Editor's Pick women's movements women's human rights patriarchy gendered poverty gender justice feminism 50.50 newsletter women's work Kate Donald Mon, 20 Jan 2014 10:39:27 +0000 Kate Donald 78547 at https://www.opendemocracy.net The vicious circle of poverty and injustice https://www.opendemocracy.net/shinealight/kate-donald/vicious-circle-of-poverty-and-injustice <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Although the fundamental injustice of poverty cannot be remedied by lawyers alone, legal aid is crucial to a fair and effective justice system. No government that makes it harder for the poor to navigate through the justice system can claim poverty reduction as a priority, says Kate Donald</p> </div> </div> </div> <p>Improving access to courts, lawyers, legal information for the poor and marginalized is not just in the interests of ‘justice’ in the abstract, but is fundamental for tackling poverty. This is the core message of the <a href="http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Issues/Poverty/A-67-278.pdf">recent report</a> by the Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights to the United Nations General Assembly.&nbsp; Across developed and developing countries, the report emphasizes, people living in poverty are prevented from accessing justice on an equal footing, thereby entrenching and exacerbating their deprivation. </p> <p>It is a powerful way to envisage effective access to justice policies; not just as a right but also as a tool for reducing poverty and inequality and fostering social inclusion. In this conception, legal aid is not just a technical matter for a Ministry of Justice, but a matter of broader socio-economic justice. No government that makes it harder for the poor to navigate through the justice system can claim poverty reduction as a priority – at least not with a straight face. </p> <p>Too often, the public and policy-makers alike think of poverty as simply a lack of income. In reality, it is a multidimensional phenomenon encompassing a chronic lack of resources, capabilities, choices, security and power, all building on each other in a feedback loop of disadvantage. Therefore, eradicating extreme poverty requires tackling all these aspects, as well as improving access to basic goods such as housing, food, education, health services and water and sanitation. Access to justice plays a crucial role in all parts of this equation, as a fundamental human right in itself and also an essential tool for the protection and promotion of all other civil, cultural, economic political and social rights. If people living in poverty do not have access to a remedy when their rights have been violated, or cannot proactively claim their rights and entitlements, then their exclusion, powerlessness and deprivation become entrenched. </p> <p><strong>The vicious circle of poverty and injustice </strong></p> <p>People living in poverty are exceptionally vulnerable to crime, abuse and exploitation. If they do not have the ability to take real and effective recourse against these actions, then impunity and inequality is perpetuated, and their vulnerability is exacerbated. Accountability becomes a sham. Their increased vulnerability and exclusion further hampers their ability to pursue justice; <em>ad infinitum, </em>spiralling down the generations. </p> <p>Poverty will only be defeated when the law <a href="http://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/voices/rule-law-can-rid-world-poverty">works for everyone</a>.&nbsp; Access to justice is crucial for tackling the <em>root causes</em> of poverty, exclusion and vulnerability. Effective and accessible justice systems can be tools to develop progressive jurisprudence on economic and social rights - mandating provision of <a href="http://www.escr-net.org/docs/i/401409">affordable housing</a>,&nbsp; enforcing the <a href="http://www.escr-net.org/docs/i/404252">human rights</a> of people living in poverty,or by remedying <a href="http://www.escr-net.org/node/364959">their exploitation</a> by powerful public or private actors. </p> <p>Access to justice is also an important lever for gender equality. Women are more likely to be poor, both <a href="http://www.unifem.org/gender_issues/women_poverty_economics/">worldwide</a> and in <a href="http://fawcettsociety.org.uk/index.asp?PageID=1208">the UK</a>, but women also face extra burdens or obstacles in accessing justice mechanisms. Gender-based crimes and abuses are often not well legislated for or effectively <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-17186631">dealt with</a>; public stigma and <a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/jan/30/rape-victims-acquittals-chief-prosecutor">prejudice</a> also play a part in silencing abused women and preventing them from seeking justice. Obstructed access to justice thus feeds the cycle of gendered poverty and violence, and perpetuates impunity for gender-based crimes.<em> <br /></em></p> <p><strong>Obstacles to accessing justice </strong></p> <p>It is clear that the sustained deprivations endemic to poverty translate into lower levels of legal literacy and awareness of rights. Often, the battles of the poor remain unfought because of the huge chasm in wealth, social capital and political power between themselves and their ‘opponents’: those who should be accountable to them, whose actions (or lack thereof) threaten their rights, bodily integrity or livelihoods. A landlord, an employer, a local authority official; a bank that mis-sold them a high-interest loan; a government that has removed their disability benefit with one sweep of the pen. To challenge these powerful figures requires resources (time, money, information) that are often lacking. </p> <p>Legal aid is designed to compensate for these vast gulfs in power and money. However, in&nbsp; nearly every country on earth the provision of legal advice and representation is grossly insufficient. In parts of Africa <a href="http://www.unodc.org/pdf/criminal_justice/Survey_Report_on_Access_to_Legal_Aid_in_Africa.pdf">the situation</a> is dire. In 2011 Sierra Leone had only three lawyers available through its legal aid programme; Malawi had eighteen. In the <a href="http://brennan.3cdn.net/297f4fabb202470c67_3vm6i6ar9.pdf">United States</a> one legal aid attorney is available for every 6,861 persons (while in contrast there is one private attorney for every 525 people).&nbsp; The Legal Aid Society, the largest provider of legal services in the United States, <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/02/nyregion/new-lawyers-in-new-york-to-be-required-to-do-some-work-free.html?_r=2&amp;hp.">estimates</a> that it turns down eight out of every nine people who request advice and assistance in civil legal matters. </p> <p>&nbsp;<strong>Austerity and legal aid </strong></p> <p class="SingleTxtG">In many countries, the number of applications for civil legal aid has risen, while resources allocated to legal aid have decreased as a result of austerity measures. In Ireland, the number of applications for civil legal aid <a href="http://debates.oireachtas.ie/dail/2012/03/21/00317.asp">rose</a> by 84 per cent from 2007 to 2011 for non-asylum related matters, while <a href="http://www.flac.ie/download/pdf/20120220130320.pdf">resources</a> allocated to legal aid have decreased.&nbsp; In the U.K., the Legal Aid Sentencing and Prevention of Offenders Act 2012 (‘LASPO’) will reduce government spending on legal aid by a quarter over three years. As Roger Smith lamented in the <a href="http://www.justice.org.uk/data/files/resources/332/After-the-Act-what-future-for-legal-aid.pdf">JUSTICE annual lecture</a>, this will deal a death blow to a system that has hereto “operated on the premise that the poor were entitled to, and would progressively receive, legal services available to the rich.” </p> <p>There is no doubting the drastic nature of these cuts, and the serious and <a href="http://www.opendemocracy.net/ourkingdom/deborah-padfield/legal-aid-and-arbitrary-power">detrimental impact</a> they will have on equality and access to justice in the UK. The Ministry of Justice <a href="http://www.justice.gov.uk/downloads/consultations/legal-aid-reform-eia.pdf">estimates</a> that half a million potential clients will lose out, 90% of whom will lose entitlement altogether. It is the already-poor and disadvantaged that will suffer most. The cuts overwhelmingly affect family and <a href="http://www.opendemocracy.net/ourkingdom/deborah-padfield/legal-aid-and-arbitrary-power">social welfare law</a>; the Ministry accepts that it will therefore have a disproportionate impact on women, on black and minority ethnic clients; and on persons with disabilities. Without equal and meaningful access to legal advice and representation, there is one justice for the rich and another for the poor. The playing field of course is already skewed. These cuts will upend it on to a far steeper gradient. </p> <p>Many of the exclusions to legal aid (new and pre-existing) explicitly discriminate against the poor. What other demographic so regularly and badly needs to seek justice through housing and immigration proceedings, or welfare appeal boards? People in Ireland seeking review of social welfare decisions through the quasi-judicial Social Welfare Appeals Office cannot access representation through the civil legal aid scheme, leaving them to navigate a “bureaucratic and legal <a href="http://www.flac.ie/publications/not-fair-enough/">labyrinth</a>” of complex rules and technicalities alone. In the UK, representation before welfare appeals was never covered by legal aid, but now LASPO means that no free legal advice will be available for the often desperate and frequently disabled people seeking welfare benefit reviews and appeals before <a href="http://www.justice-for-all.org.uk/News/Welfare-benefit-appeals-latest">first tier</a> tribunals. </p> <p>Under international human rights law, the British government has an obligation to ensure that the poor can enjoy the rights to an effective remedy, equality before the courts and a fair trial <em>in practice</em>, not just in theory or in law. The opportunity for, and benefits of, justice should be available to all. Today this is clearly not the case. Those who need legal advice and assistance should be entitled to it as a right, not a matter of charity.&nbsp; Although the fundamental injustice of poverty cannot be remedied by lawyers alone, legal aid is crucial to a fair and effective justice system and therefore to reducing poverty. </p> <p>Slashing legal aid budgets in a time of recession is heaping <a href="http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2012/06/2012625103750453797.html">misery on misery</a> on the same victims, entrenching the two-tier nature of the justice system and blocking the efforts of many people living in poverty to seek remedy and fairness and a better life. ‘Justice’ does not exist in a silo; as the American civil rights lawyer Bryan Stevenson memorably claims in his now-viral <a href="http://www.ted.com/talks/bryan_stevenson_we_need_to_talk_about_an_injustice.html">TED talk</a>, “the opposite of poverty is not wealth…in too many places, the opposite of poverty is justice.” Unfortunately, the UK is fast becoming one of those places. </p> <p class="SingleTxtG"><em>&nbsp;</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5050/kate-donald/feminisation-of-poverty-and-myth-of-welfare-queen">The feminisation of poverty and the myth of the &#039;welfare queen&#039;</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/5050/barbara-gunnell/staying-alive-in-britain-can-poor-afford-it">Staying alive in Britain : can the poor afford it? </a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/ourkingdom/deborah-padfield/falling-through-cracks-in-britain-2013">Falling through the cracks in Britain 2013</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/ourkingdom/rebekah-carrier/legal-aid-welfare-service">Legal aid: a welfare service?</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/shinealight/deborah-padfield/legal-aid-and-arbitrary-power">Legal aid and arbitrary power</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/5050/barbara-gunnell/where-have-all-jobs-gone">Where have all the jobs gone? </a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5050/jenny-phillimore/gender-and-destitution-in-uk">Gender and destitution in the UK</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/5050/barbara-gunnell/how-women-are-paying-for-recession-in-uk">How women are paying for the recession in the UK</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5050/heather-mcrobie/austerity-and-domestic-violence-mapping-damage">Austerity and domestic violence: mapping the damage</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/5050/barbara-gunnell/scrooge-employers-are-britains-real-welfare-cheats">Scrooge employers are Britain&#039;s real welfare cheats</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/shinealight/deborah-padfield/legal-aid-reform-proposals-immoral-inefficient-and-anti-democratic">Legal aid reform proposals: immoral, inefficient and anti-democratic</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/5050/barbara-gunnell/including-everyone">Including everyone</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5050/barbara-gunnell/can%27t-find-job-in-uk-you%E2%80%99re-not-trying-hard-enough">Can&#039;t find a job in the UK? You’re not trying hard enough</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-topics"> <div class="field-label">Topics:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Democracy and government </div> <div class="field-item even"> Equality </div> </div> </div> Shinealight uk ShineALight Democracy and government Equality Prisons & child prisoners Access to justice Shine A Light Governing poverty: risking rights? 50.50 Voices for Change 50.50 newsletter Kate Donald Tue, 22 Jan 2013 09:00:09 +0000 Kate Donald 70489 at https://www.opendemocracy.net The feminisation of poverty and the myth of the 'welfare queen' https://www.opendemocracy.net/5050/kate-donald/feminisation-of-poverty-and-myth-of-welfare-queen <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Governments are constructing social policy based on misrepresentations and stereotypes about poor people and welfare claimants, rather than by reference to the structural inequalities that affect everyone, argues Kate Donald</p> </div> </div> </div> <p class="Body">The ‘feminisation of poverty’ is now an undeniable reality. <a href="http://www.unifem.org/gender_issues/women_poverty_economics/">Worldwide</a>, women are more likely to be poor, employed in <a href="../../../../../../../../5050/heather-mcrobie/precariat-and-mad-men-secretaries-temping-under-tory-government">precarious</a>, low-paid labour, and less likely to have access to land, credit and education. Not only do they suffer disproportionately from the effects of poverty itself and the human rights denials that <a href="http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Poverty/Pages/SRExtremePovertyIndex.aspx">accrue</a> from it, but also from the increasingly heavy-handed way in which poverty is governed across the world.&nbsp; Being female and poor subjects you to unique forms of stigma and control, as well as forcing you to bear the brunt of supposedly gender-neutral policies.</p> <p>The gender-specific and demeaning measures of control and containment <em>that are applied to</em> women overwhelmingly focus on their bodies and reproductive capacity. In <a href="http://www.worldabortionlaws.com/">many countries</a> in the world, including most of Latin America, Africa and the Middle East abortion remains illegal except in very proscribed circumstances. Prohibition does not deter women from seeking abortions, but forces them submit to more unsafe abortions, putting their health, fertility or even life at risk. Planned Parenthood <a href="http://www.ippfwhr.org/sites/default/files/files/Death_Denial_EN.pdf">estimate</a> that 19 million women and girls worldwide resort to unsafe abortions every year; 70,000 of them will die as a result, more than 96% of them from the world’s poorest countries (in many of which abortion is illegal).&nbsp; For example, in Argentina, <a href="http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/cedaw/docs/ngos/LFDA_Argentina_46.pdf#page=2">each year</a>, between 460,000 and 600,000 women have an illegal abortion; abortion complications are the <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-10478832">main cause</a> of maternal death, with an <a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/global-development/poverty-matters/2011/feb/15/argentina-abortion-ban-battle-maternal-mortality">estimated</a> 400 deaths each year. &nbsp;Clearly, it is poor women, without any hope of access to a private doctor or international travel who are <a href="http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/Abortion-Worldwide.pdf#page=29">most exposed</a> to these risks.&nbsp; Thus such policies, targeted to control female reproductive capacity (as if men were not involved), promote a selective penalisation of the poorest women. </p> <p>The regulation of sex work is another way in which poor women are exposed to surveillance, invasion of privacy and criminalisation<em>. </em>Detention, raids, deportation, evictions and removal of children are often carried out without a formal warrant, arrest or other due process, as if the mere fact of engaging in sex work waived one’s rights. Even worse, in <a href="http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/article/2011/12/15/ending-police-abuse-sex-workers">many countries</a> abuse by police and other state agents including extortion, rape and murder is committed with <a href="http://www.hrw.org/news/2010/07/20/cambodia-sex-workers-face-unlawful-arrests-and-detention">impunity</a>. Many laws also severely constrict sex workers’ freedom of movement, through <a href="http://www.xtra.ca/public/Ottawa/Red_zoned-8502.aspx">zoning</a> and registration, barring them from living together or assigning their work to isolated areas, rendering them yet more vulnerable to many forms of violence. Criminalisation drives sex workers to distance themselves from authorities and public services, entrenching their poverty and isolation and endangering their health. Thus, many sex workers, the majority of whom are poor women, are <a href="http://www.ichrp.org/files/assets/412/140_sexual_health_eur_ch8.pdf">unable</a> to access their fundamental rights, such as rights to health, equality, privacy, association, family life, housing and education.<em> </em>Sex workers who experience further forms of discrimination because of their sexuality, race, ethnicity or disability are particularly at risk.&nbsp; Of course, in the criminalisation of both abortion and sex work, it is almost always a woman who is punished for an action or ‘crime’ that undeniably involved a man. </p> <p>To be female and poor in itself attracts a unique stigma. The 1980s saw the remarkable rise of the ‘<a href="http://edition.cnn.com/2012/01/23/politics/weflare-queen/index.html">welfare queen’</a> as popular bogey (wo)man of choice in the USA. This was fuelled by <a href="http://picofarad.info/misc/welfarequeen.pdf">Reagan</a>’s ideological crusade against an ‘excessive’ ‘soft’ welfare system and driven by <a href="http://www.psu.edu/ur/2003/welfarequeens.html">racist and sexist</a> stereotypes of ‘lazy’ African-American women, often single mothers.&nbsp; Indeed, the single mother is a recurring motif in the rhetoric surrounding welfare and benefits across the Western world.&nbsp; The idea that single women ‘churn out’ babies in order to generate more income or obtain free housing is commonplace in <a href="http://www.netmums.com/home/netmums-campaigns/myths-about-single-parents">the UK</a> and was a core part of the vivid American ‘welfare queen’ stereotype.&nbsp;&nbsp; Attacks on the integrity of single mothers are common; they are portrayed as less capable parents - despite <a href="http://www.demos.co.uk/press_releases/confidentsingleparents">evidence</a> to the contrary - and are improbably blamed for a host of social ills, including, predictably, the <a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/aug/19/single-mothers-uk-riots-tanya-gold">riots</a> that took place in the UK in the summer of 2011. The prevalent stigma borne by poor females in many societies is viscerally illustrated by British newspaper columnist James Delingpole who described several of the “great scourges” of contemporary Britain: “aggressive all-female gangs of embittered, hormonal, drunken teenagers; gym-slip mums who choose to get pregnant as a career option; pasty-faced, lard-gutted slappers who’ll drop their knickers in the blink of an eye” (The Times newspaper, April 13, 2006 ). Disturbingly, the stigma of female poverty and single motherhood has become embedded <a href="http://www.newstatesman.com/society/2010/08/welfare-women-work-coalition">in public policy</a> in many different countries: women are all too often the ‘accidental’ victims of supposedly gender neutral measures, such as budget cuts and welfare reform. &nbsp; </p> <p>In the UK, the Fawcett Society have shown that women are <a href="http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/unemployment-at-17year-high-6938928.html">shouldering 70%</a> of the budget cuts, with the cuts falling especially harshly on <a href="http://www.fawcettsociety.org.uk/documents/Single%20MothersSingled%20Out%20The%20impact%20of%202010-15%20tax%20and%20benefit%20changes%20on%20women%20and%20men.pdf">single mothers</a>. The Women’s Budget Group has <a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2010/dec/05/gender-equality-coalition-cuts">calculated</a> that single mothers will lose 18.5% of their net income due to changes in the tax and welfare system. Rules which take lone parents off income support <a href="http://statistics.dwp.gov.uk/asd/asd1/jsa/lone_parents/index.php?page=jsalp">earlier</a> than previously may create a sharp drop in household income for those women that cannot find work and even force women and their children back into abusive or unhealthy relationships. In other contexts, restrictive welfare provisions deter abused women from leaving abusive relationships by increasing their financial dependency or by making it harder for them to move.&nbsp; Coupled with cuts to refuges and domestic violence prevention programmes in countries across the globe, there is an increasing likelihood that austerity measures may result in danger to women’s lives. One county in Kansas, USA even briefly <a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/oct/13/kansas-resumes-domestic-violence-prosecutions">ceased</a> prosecution of domestic violence cases, citing budget cuts. </p> <p>Discriminatory and outdated attitudes are often unashamedly glorified in legislation. ‘Spouse in the house’ <a href="../../../../../../../../5050/wendy-chan/canada-punishing-undeserving-poor">policies</a> in parts of Canada that deny women social assistance if they move in with a man, and similar legislation in Australia which restricts parenting payments for co-locating single mothers, perpetuate the discriminatory stereotype that any man cohabiting with a woman must be supporting her financially. The right to privacy is not deemed to apply for welfare claimants. In many jurisdictions, including in Canada, <a href="http://www.welfarerights.org.au/admindocs/isshmay08/default.htm">Australia</a> and the US, unannounced home visits by welfare caseworkers is a common strategy to ensure their clients - typically women - are not being supported by another person. In <a href="http://www.thefreelibrary.com/DA+can+search+welfare+homes+without+warrant,+U.S.+court+rules.-a0155915495">San Diego</a>, California, unannounced home visits precede the issue of benefits, and inspectors may look inside closets, bathroom cabinets and even <a href="http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_hb6700/is_3_99/ai_n39270668/">trash cans</a>. The UK government has just <a href="http://www.google.com/hostednews/ukpress/article/ALeqM5i0cUHGlyI8zr7edu4VPZ0GBf15Eg?docId=N0500111329140005827A">announced</a> ‘tough’ new sanctions for claimants purporting to be lone parents who are found to be living with someone else. &nbsp;Benefit fraud is not a practice to be endorsed, but the real issue is whether the perpetrators have genuine economic alternatives, and also the degree to which benefit fraud is pursued and publicised compared to, say tax evasion, which is a far <a href="http://www.leftfootforward.org/2012/02/it-wos-the-sun-wot-couldnt-do-maths-prioritising-benefit-frauds-when-tax-fraud-is-10x-worse/">more costly</a> crime. </p> <p>The shift to conditionality in welfare -&nbsp; itself revealing of paternalistic <em>quid-pro-quo </em>understandings of welfare as something you have to earn to atone for the personal failing of poverty -&nbsp; also disproportionately punishes women in poverty.&nbsp; Schemes that tie welfare payments to a child’s <a href="http://www.fahcsia.gov.au/sa/families/progserv/welfarereform/Pages/ImprovingSchoolEnrolmentAttendance.aspx">school attendance</a> or enrolment in health programmes&nbsp; increase the responsibility and work of women (who in most households already assume the principal burden of care and domestic work), remove autonomy and entrench unhelpful gendered roles and stereotypes.&nbsp; Moreover, such initiatives have <a href="http://www.childrenyoungpeopleandfamilies.org.au/info/social_justice/research/?a=41463">not proven</a> to be effective.&nbsp; Many of these policies have become a core part of welfare regimes and austerity programmes across a number of countries, based on the none-too-subtle view that welfare should be a temporary stop-gap measure until a woman finds a male breadwinner. </p> <p>The single mother; the woman seeking an abortion; the prostitute; the' welfare queen': poor women are made to serve as a timeless moral scapegoat.&nbsp; These classifications need to be rejected. We should recognise the challenges that women living in poverty face and fight to enhance and increase their inclusion in decision making. A major task in this endeavour is tackling head-on the negative stereotypes of poor women perpetuated in the media and in government policies, and ensuring that the voices of poor women can be heard in public discourse and <a href="http://www.jrf.org.uk/publications/engaging-and-empowering-women-poverty">policy design</a>, both overwhelmingly dominated by wealthy, privileged men.&nbsp;&nbsp; </p> <p>As <a href="../../../../../../../../5050/lo%C3%AFc-wacquant/punitive-regulation-of-poverty-in-neoliberal-age">Loïc Wacquant</a>, <a href="../../../../../../../../5050/wendy-chan/canada-punishing-undeserving-poor">Wendy Chan</a>, <a href="../../../../../../../../5050/vijay-nagaraj/how-far-have-human-rights-advanced-when-poverty-is-so-widespread">Vijay Nagaraj</a>, <a href="../../../../../../../../author/deborah-padfield">Deborah Padfield</a> and others have <a href="../../../../../../../../5050/governing-poverty-risking-rights">argued</a> on openDemocracy, the governance of poverty and welfare is becoming more paternalistic in general. To be poor and female is to face double discrimination. We must <a href="http://www.fawcettsociety.org.uk/index.asp?PageID=1223">not allow</a> governments to continue to deny or claim ignorance about the negative effect their policies have on women. This should be understood as an international legal obligation to uphold the universal rights to equality and non-discrimination.&nbsp; These rights, as well as those to privacy and family life, education, and an adequate standard of living, are severely compromised by these policies.&nbsp; Governments around the world are constructing social policy according to misrepresentations and stereotypes about poor people and welfare claimants, rather than by reference to the structural inequalities that affect everyone. This must change; gender inequality and economic inequality are two great blights on our societies and must be tackled in tandem. </p> <p><em>With thanks to &nbsp;Tamara Walsh at the University of Queensland for additional research &nbsp;</em></p> <p><em>To read more articles in openDemocracy 50.50's dialogue on 'Governing Poverty : Risking Rights' click <a href="../../../../../../../../5050/governing-poverty-risking-rights">here</a></em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5050/vijay-nagaraj/how-far-have-human-rights-advanced-when-poverty-is-so-widespread">How far have Human Rights advanced when poverty is so widespread? </a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/5050/karen-cunningham/public-lives-private-anguish">Public lives, private anguish</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5050/tuna-kuyucu/double-displacement-planning-out-poor">Double displacement: planning out the poor</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/5050/guillem-fern%C3%A0ndez-evangelista/geographies-of-exclusion">Geographies of exclusion</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5050/vijay-nagaraj/urban-militarism-excluding-disordered">Urban militarism: excluding the &#039;disordered&#039;</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/ourkingdom/deborah-padfield/universal-credit-fair-for-whom">Universal credit: fair for whom?</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5050/wendy-chan/canada-punishing-undeserving-poor">Canada: punishing the undeserving poor</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/5050/kate-donald-smriti-upadhyay/governing-poverty-risking-rights">Governing poverty: risking rights</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5050/lo%C3%AFc-wacquant/punitive-regulation-of-poverty-in-neoliberal-age">The punitive regulation of poverty in the neoliberal age</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-topics"> <div class="field-label">Topics:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Civil society </div> <div class="field-item even"> Equality </div> </div> </div> 50.50 50.50 Civil society Equality Women and the Economy Governing poverty: risking rights? 50.50 Editor's Pick 50.50 Voices for Change Pathways of Women's Empowerment women's movements gendered poverty gender justice gender feminism 50.50 newsletter Kate Donald Tue, 06 Mar 2012 08:40:59 +0000 Kate Donald 64555 at https://www.opendemocracy.net Governing poverty: risking rights https://www.opendemocracy.net/5050/kate-donald-smriti-upadhyay/governing-poverty-risking-rights <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> The regime of controls, conditionalities and sanctions that characterise the governance of poverty - in stark contrast to laissez faire financial governance - threatens the rights and the dignity of those it ostensibly protects, say Kate Donald and Smriti Upadhyay </div> </div> </div> <p>Social policy in diverse areas, including public health, urban planning and migration, is increasingly characterised by a tendency to construct and control people, behaviour, and status - defined as undesirable, dangerous, risky, criminal or socially problematic. With social problems more frequently being treated as policing or law and order problems, it is not surprising that ideas and technologies from policing, crime control and security are now highly influential in social policy. A recent study on<a href="http://www.ichrp.org/en/projects/126"> social control</a> policies undertaken by the International Council on Human Rights Policy, highlighted that in both the global North and South, people living in poverty are disproportionately subject to surveillance, stigmatisation, segregation, and even criminalisation as a result of control measures embedded in the governance of poverty. There is an urgent need to strengthen the critique of such policies and posit alternatives.</p> <p>A <a href="http://www.ichrp.org/en/zoom-in/ichrp_meeting_penalizing_people_living_poverty_update">recent meeting</a> of grassroots advocates, scholars, human rights lawyers, and policy experts highlighted a number of developments around the world that point to the penalisation of people in poverty.&nbsp; For example, a number of cities in the USA, Canada and Australia have laws or rules that in effect bar homeless people from many public places and in some cases restrict or even penalise providing food to the homeless in public spaces. In India, anti-beggary laws are used to detain a large number of destitute and homeless working populations—rendering ostensible poverty a <a href="http://www.ielrc.org/content/a0803.pdf">crime</a>. In South Africa, poor communities have been forcibly evicted <a href="http://www.wits.ac.za/files/resf8ded0eec061448b84161fe07fcc4fda.pdf">using</a> health and fire safety laws, as a way to get around otherwise stringent human rights safeguards. Argentina is one of several countries in which the criminalisation of abortion <a href="http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/cedaw/docs/ngos/LFDA_Argentina_46.pdf">disproportionately&nbsp;</a> impacts women in poverty who depend on the public health system, undermining not only their right to life and health but also exposing them to economic extortion and sexual abuse by police and doctors.</p> <p class="Pa1">The homeless or those who lack secure accommodation are especially vulnerable because behaviour that would be routine and perfectly lawful if performed within a home, such as sleeping, going to the toilet, or drinking a beer, can suddenly become unlawful when performed in a public space. Moreover, such laws are often applied in a discriminatory fashion; as one advocate told us, “It does not tend to be picnickers who are arrested for having open containers of alcohol.”</p> <p>As Vivien Stern <a href="http://www.rmascotland.gov.uk/index.php/download_file/view/170/">observed</a>, “crime control is impacting more and more on people with problems that society has failed to deal with in other ways... we are choosing to punish many people whom life has already punished severely.” She went on to note that factors in the risk assessment system used by the English probation service include a number of indicators of poverty, homelessness and disadvantage. “So if you score highly on measures of poverty, you are by definition ‘risky’. If you are risky you will be subject to more controls and thrust more deeply into the suspect part of the population from which it is hard to get out”.</p> <p>It is no surprise, then, that people in poverty are disproportionately represented in the criminal justice system; research shows &nbsp;that globally they will spend much longer periods in <a href="http://www.soros.org/initiatives/justice/focus/criminal_justice/projects/globalcampaign">pre-trial detention</a>, often because they are unable to afford a penalty fine or bail.</p> <p>The implementation of criminal justice policy in other areas also disproportionately penalises people in poverty. Sentencing practices for drug offences in the US have incarcerated a <a href="http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2009/06/19/race-drugs-and-law-enforcement-united-states">disproportionate</a> number of urban African-Americans, who already faced “concentrated socio-economic disadvantage”, because drug use tends to be more visible in poorer inner city areas, which are in any case more intensely policed, whereas in suburban areas or upper- and middle-class households it is less easily detected. Moreover, <a href="http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2009/06/19/race-drugs-and-law-enforcement-united-states">penalties</a> are higher for crack cocaine offenders, a drug associated with “the underclass”.</p> <p>From Buenos Aires to <a href="http://ugent.academia.edu/ArturPerchel/Papers/341469/Emerging_Spaces_of_Neoliberalism_A_Gated_Town_and_a_Public_Housing_Project_in_Istanbul">Istanbul</a> to <a href="http://eau.sagepub.com/content/16/2/113.abstract">Managua</a> urban governance and planning, aided by policing practices, has become a tool for controlling and segregating people . The &nbsp;Beggars’ Squad of the Mumbai Police—which arrests beggars or homeless working people—is based in the affluent area of south Mumbai, housing government offices, upmarket apartments and frequented by foreign tourists. Canadian bylaws enable planned exclusion, keeping people in poverty out of certain neighbourhoods through distancing requirements on homeless shelters. Zoning rules or the application of ‘move-on’ powers tend to have much of the same effect.</p> <p>Cities are increasingly marked by ‘internal frontiers’—the geographical exclusion of populations by socio-economic status—for example, through the emergence of gated communities, to which access is controlled by police or private security agents. In areas that are not “secured”, by contrast, public services such as &nbsp;public policing, schools and health services are often underfinanced and fail to address social and economic problems including crime and deviancy, further deepening public fear and anxiety. Slum areas may even be abandoned to the control of criminal gangs.</p> <p>Even the vast informal economy—the special economic zone of the poor—is not spared, often subject to increasing negative regulation: many cities across the world subject street-vending to a maze of restrictions laced with strong and often arbitrary punitive sanctions. Last week &nbsp;Nyarugenge District in Kigali (Rwanda), passed a <a href="http://www.newtimes.co.rw/index.php?issue=14016&amp;article=19871">resolution</a> to penalize people who purchase goods from the street vendors as a way of getting rid of all vendors operating in the city.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>The contemporary obsession with risk and security has created an insatiable appetite for surveillance. Such approaches involve both <a href="http://cfd153.cfdynamics.com/images/journals/docs/pdf/cs/March07CSFeature.pdf#page=19">‘thin’ and ‘thick’</a> forms of surveillance The latter is more intensive, involves more restrictions on mobility and is overwhelmingly focused on people living in poverty such as the urban poor and homeless.&nbsp; Proposals to issue national or local identity cards or to introduce biometric identification schemes must be examined in the light of their potentially disproportionate or discriminatory impact on the poor.</p> <p>Homeless populations or those who rely on government services are particularly vulnerable to surveillance, which is increasingly integrated into welfare governance. The use of drug registries in countries such as Russia and China comes with high levels of surveillance and policing and can have a severe impact on access to welfare and job opportunities.&nbsp; This &nbsp;has been exacerbated by the growing imposition of conditionalities in welfare regimes such as tying benefits to participation in workfare programs, and media-stoked public furore surrounding ‘welfare cheats’. The use of fingerprinting, home visits by state agents, and onerous reporting requirements as a way of policing welfare is common; every aspect of the lives of those on welfare must apparently be documented to verify and justify<em> </em>their benefits – as if the right to privacy applied less to people living in poverty.&nbsp; In the USA, California, Texas, Arizona and New York City <a href="http://news.change.org/stories/usda-stands-up-against-food-stamp-fingerprinting">fingerprint</a> welfare recipients. In addition, low-tech methods such as welfare fraud hotlines (or ‘snitchlines’—for neighbours and ex-partners to report welfare ‘cheats’) encourage widespread participation in the surveillance of the poor and reveal a gendered dimension to this form of penalisation; in Canada, for example, single mothers are most often reported on these hotlines.&nbsp;</p> <p>All of these actions and policies draw their legitimacy from, and reinforce, the stigma attached to people living in poverty. The discourse surrounding ‘welfare cheats’ is particularly revealing, but underlying this are public attitudes that stereotype all welfare recipients and people in poverty as lacking in self-control, liable to bad habits and lazy. Neo-liberalism’s glorification of self-sufficiency and ‘responsibility’ has fuelled the idea that poverty results from an <em>individual</em>’s unwillingness to remedy his or her economic situation.&nbsp; As a result, social policy is crafted in such a way that those in need must <em>earn </em>rather than be <em>entitled </em>to state support.&nbsp;</p> <p>In addition to stigmatising people in poverty, such policies further penalise<em> </em>them by strengthening the penal arm of the state while severely attenuating welfare programs.&nbsp; It is no surprise that &nbsp;the first few years of zero tolerance policing in New York—now exported to many other areas of the world—saw a decrease in the welfare budget in nearly direct proportion to the significant increase in the policing budget.&nbsp;&nbsp; Similarly, political and public resources are devoted to punishing welfare fraud rather than, say, tax evasion; to stamping out “crime” rather than reducing unemployment.&nbsp;</p> <p>The regime of controls, conditionalities and sanctions that characterise the contemporary governance of poverty is in stark contrast to the <em>laissez faire </em>approach to the governance of the economy or the financial sector. While perceptions of moral hazards hardly stood in the way of massive bailouts for banks, they prove to be debilitating for the most vulnerable and desperate. The contemporary governance of poverty has itself emerged as one of the most significant threats to rights and the dignity of those it seeks to protect. Yet, this is not solely a problem of poorly informed policy or unjust legislation; the penalisation of poverty must be understood in its social context as much in its legal and administrative manifestations. It thus also poses significant challenges for human rights thinking and practice, beyond policy and legal reform to the construction of a new moral consensus on ending poverty.</p><p><em>This article is part of the new dialogue <a href="http://www.opendemocracy.net/5050/governing-poverty-risking-rights">Governing poverty: risking rights?</a>&nbsp; on openDemocracy <a href="5050/lo%C3%AFc-wacquant/5050">5050</a></em></p><p><em>&nbsp;</em></p><p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5050/lo%C3%AFc-wacquant/punitive-regulation-of-poverty-in-neoliberal-age">The punitive regulation of poverty in the neoliberal age</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/crime-of-being-poor-class-and-criminal-justice-in-america">The Crime of Being Poor: Class and Criminal Justice in America</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/people-migrationeurope/article_1444.jsp">A universal harm: making criminals of migrants</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/5050/ivan-briscoe/soundbite-for-poor">A soundbite for the poor</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/article/poverty-and-activism-the-heart-of-global-civil-society">Poverty and activism: the heart of global civil society </a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/ourkingdom/deborah-padfield/living-under-benefits-regime-cab-report-1">Living under the benefits regime: Part 1 of &#039;Reports from the Poverty Line&#039;</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/ourkingdom/lili-melissa-and-pete-of-campaign-group-housing-solidarity/squatters-in-britain-vulnerabl">Squatters in Britain: vulnerable, demonised, and soon to be criminalised?</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/ourkingdom/deborah-padfield/fraud%E2%80%99n%E2%80%99error-tax-avoidance-and-evasion-cab-report-2">Fraud’n’error: tax avoidance and evasion. Part 2 of &#039;Reports from the Poverty Line&#039;</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/ourkingdom/deborah-padfield/living-with-fear-part-4-of-reports-from-poverty-line">Living with Fear: Part 4 of &#039;Reports from the Poverty Line&#039;</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/people-migrationeurope/militarising_borders_3735.jsp">Migration policy: from control to governance</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/michael-edwards/reducing-global-poverty-back-to-future">Reducing Global Poverty - Back to the Future?</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/article/the-new-new-deal">The new new deal</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5050/wendy-chan/canada-punishing-undeserving-poor">Canada: punishing the undeserving poor</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-topics"> <div class="field-label">Topics:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Civil society </div> <div class="field-item even"> Democracy and government </div> </div> </div> 50.50 50.50 Civil society Democracy and government human rights Governing poverty: risking rights? Smriti Upadhyay Kate Donald Mon, 01 Aug 2011 06:59:51 +0000 Kate Donald and Smriti Upadhyay 60639 at https://www.opendemocracy.net Kate Donald https://www.opendemocracy.net/author-profile/kate-donald <div class="field field-au-term"> <div class="field-label">Author:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Kate Donald </div> </div> </div> <p>Kate Donald is Director of the Human Rights in Development program at the Center for Economic and Social Rights (CESR) and former Adviser to the UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights.</p><div dir="rtl"><p dir="ltr">Kate Donald es la directora del programa de Derechos Humanos en el Desarrollo del Centro por los Derechos Económicos y Sociales (Center for Economic and Social Rights, CESR) y fue asesora de la antigua Relatora Especial de la ONU sobre la extrema pobreza y los derechos humanos. </p><br /><p>.كيت هي مديرة حقوق الإنسان في برنامج التنمية في مركز الحقوق الاقتصادية والاجتماعي</p></div> Kate Donald Fri, 29 Jul 2011 09:30:16 +0000 Kate Donald 60655 at https://www.opendemocracy.net