Nigeria is gripped by the familiar anxieties of an economy in distress. This escalating crisis has demystified a president once thought capable of astute, if not magical, economic management. In their desperation for respite, many Nigerians are now paradoxically yearning for the corruption that they and their leaders blame for their economic woes.
But theirs is not nostalgia for corruption per se but for a period in which, despite or because of corruption, the flow of illicit government funds created a sense of economic opportunity and prosperity. During a recent research trip to Nigeria I sampled the opinion of various segments of the Nigerian people to gauge their perspectives on the troubled economy of President Muhammadu Buhari, which just entered recession. One refrain I heard fairly regularly was “bring back corruption.” It is not an entirely new rhetoric. For months, Nigerians have been advancing this idiom on social media as a sarcastic rebuke of what they see as Buhari’s narrow, obsessive focus on corruption.
APPLE got a big surprise last week when the European Commission ordered Ireland to collect more than $14 billion in back taxes from the company. The global giant had been attributing billions of dollars in profits to a phantom head office, allowing it to pay a tax rate of 1 percent or lower.
Both Apple and Ireland are appealing the decision, but the commission’s announcement was the latest sign that multinational corporations are running out of places to hide from paying taxes. The door is now open for Congress to fix our own corporate tax code, which has allowed the biggest multinationals to shirk their obligations for decades.
Contradictory as it may seem, the big pharmaceutical companies give little priority to the human right to health, in spite of the fact that they play a strategic role in this context. Their main goal is profit, and as they work in an industry whose final clients are highly vulnerable people – those with illnesses – this gives them a much greater margin than in other industries to fix inflated prices. It is therefore up to States to establish the parametres for operation of these companies, with the public interest in mind and in order to guarantee the right to health.
This year is turning out to be one of global disruption. We’re seeing not only political upheaval and economic uncertainty, but also transformational innovation and the emergence of fresh thinking.
Global-governance institutions are facing many challenges: slowing economic growth, volatile financial markets, falling commodity prices, emerging-economy risks (especially in China), refugee and migrant waves, geopolitical tensions, rising inequality and social fragmentation, and the threat of violent extremism. That’s why, in an increasingly atomized and uncertain world, political leaders should commit to a new multilateralism at this month’s G20 summit in Hangzhou, China.
The government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi should heed the clear message from a huge general strike in India today, as workers across the country backed calls for a living minimum wage and decent pensions, proper enforcement of labour laws, measures to stimulate creation of formal jobs and universal social security cover.
Tens of millions of workers joined the strike, including in transport, banks, public services, manufacturing and other sectors.
It’s been almost one year since heads of state and government adopted ‘Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’ - the ambitious agenda which contains 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) and 169 targets.
In fact, 2015 was one of the most important years for multilateral agreements. Not only did the governments sign up to SDGs on 25 September 2015, they also reached the Paris Climate Agreement and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda as the framework for funding the two policy agendas.
The SDGs were the culmination of four years of negotiations, starting in July 2011, with the initial proposal by Paula Caballero from the government of Colombia. These negotiations saw the most participatory process in UN history.
It is fitting to recall some of the important elements of this right to development. It is human and people centered. It is a human right, where every human person and all peoples are entitled to participate in, contribute to and enjoy development in which all rights and freedoms can be fully realized (Article 1.1). The human person is the central subject of development and should be the active participant and beneficiary of development (Article 2.1). It gives responsibility to each state to get its act together to take measures to get its people’s right to development fulfilled. (States have the right and duty to formulate appropriate national development policies, that aim at improving the well-being of all individuals on the basis of their meaningful participation in development and in the fair distribution of the benefits resulting therefrom - Article 2.3.) But it also places great importance to the international arena, giving a responsibility to all countries to cooperate internationally and especially to assist the developing countries...
Greetings! We undersigned organizations would like to share with you our support statement below for the International Monsanto Tribunal which will be held on October 14-16, 2016 in The Hague, The Netherlands. We are submitting this statement to the tribunal to show our support for this effort and to register our condemnation of Monsanto and its crimes.
In relation to this, we are requesting everyone to do the following:
1. Endorse the statement and add your organization's signature to it.
2. Share the impacts of Monsanto’s presence and/or operations in your country.
3. Share your organization's activities and statements in response to the operations and impacts of Monsanto.
4. Send memes, selfies and/or group pictures holding placards, signs or banners against Monsanto.
For the PCFS Secretariat,
Fundamental labour rights are also under attack by the government, and the country’s national trade union centres, CUT, FS, UGT /CNPL, CSB, CTB and NCST have jointly pledged to fight against plans to eviscerate the labour code. The largest of them, CUT, is leading a campaign against the impeachment of Dilma and attacks on former President Lula.
Britain’s New African Empire
Companies listed on the London Stock Exchange control over $1trillion worth of Africa’s resources in just five commodities – oil, gold, diamonds, coal and platinum. My research for the NGO, War on Want, which has just been published, reveals that 101 companies, most of them British, control $305billion worth of platinum, $276billion worth of oil and $216billion worth of coal at current market prices. The ‘Scramble for Africa’ is proceeding apace, with the result that African governments have largely handed over their treasure.
Tanzania’s gold, Zambia’s copper, South Africa’s platinum and coal and Botswana’s diamonds are all dominated by London-listed companies. They have mines or mineral licences in 37 African countries and control vast swathes of Africa’s land: their concessions cover a staggering 1.03million square kilometres on the continent. This is over four times the size of the UK and nearly one twentieth of sub-Saharan Africa’s total land area. China’s resources grabs have been widely vilified but the major foreign takeover of Africa’s natural riches springs from a lot closer to home.
Human rights are not just the prerogative of prosperous nations; (neither are social protection institutions). (M. Loewe).
1. A widespread lack of understanding-of and misperceptions-about human rights (HR) is one of the mother-of-all-problems we have in our work. Therefore, in our HR work, we absolutely need to vernacularize, to give meaning and to frame HR so people can understand and then take ownership of their rights. The information most needed in this is the one to be used for myth busting in the realm of HR.
*By now, we ought to know this*