Social Watch E-Newsletter - Issue 336 - October 1, 2018

Issue 336 - October 1, 2018
Social Watch reports
Spotlight report on the 2030 Agenda

Transition left too many behind in the Czech Republic


In the Czech Republic the most pressing social issue is the degree of household debt households and the frequency of debt-related property seizures, which concerns more than 8 percent of the population. The costs filed by private collection agencies for often minor sums have deprived hundreds of thousands of people of their property and often forced them to the edge of the society or even into homelessness.
Nevertheless, Ondřej Lánský and Tomáš Tožička report on behalf of Social Watch-Czech Republic that “the conservative and liberal political right that has so far dominated the public discourse for the last three decades keeps repeating that we are living in the best of times and that everybody’s well-off. It therefore forgets a large part of the society that lost in the transformation towards a market economy. They lost in the sense of lacking economic securities that used to be in place, and as a result of direct social degradation. But the major part of academia and the cultural elites refused to pay attention to social issues. Most of the churches and NGOs focused on providing paternalist assistance to the most vulnerable while keeping with the logic of individualistic responsibility. ‘New politicians’ coming from the oligarchic circles are preying on such sentiments, promising more dignity to the low and middle classes, often outside of the urban centres.” Read more


Rights versus extractivism in Ecuador


Civil society organizations from Ecuador have brought to the attention of human rights bodies several cases of conflict between extractive industries and indigenous communities. In August 2017, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination was urged to investigate the situation of several families from the Shuar community displaced unlawfully by the copper mining project San Carlos Panantza in the Amazon region. Four Amazonian provinces (Napo, Orellana, Pastaza and Morona Santiago) are affected by oil explorations over a total surface of four million hectares. The Center on Economic and Social Rights (CESR) is concerned that the consultation process with hundreds of indigenous communities in that huge area has not been conducted properly. Read more



Quest for sustainable peace and development under militarized security approaches


In 2015, with the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), governments acknowledged the mutually enforcing power of peace and development. The 2030 Agenda represents a paradigm shift in terms of universality and interlinked goals, including across borders and affirms the need for a rights-based approach to peace and security, one focused on prevention. At the same time, most governments are still producing, trading and spending more on arms, thereby fueling a militarized approach to peace and security. Dominant power talks on how to achieve peace continue to silence those impacted most by conflicts and wars, including women and children. Profits made under war economies and through the arms trade continue to deepen inequalities and violate the rights of those with enormous humanitarian and development needs.
Instabilities, conflicts and wars are ‘sustained’ in many parts of the world, for the sake of security and the narrow interests of those who benefit from them, moving in a direction opposite to the goal of ‘leaving no one behind’. Long-term solutions for achieving peace and stability require more than a mere commitment to SDG 16 on peaceful and inclusive societies; they require revising policies at all levels (economic, political, social, cultural…etc.) and adopting inclusive and comprehensive development plans. Read more


Social Watch publishes country reports 2018

Social Watch coalitions around the world are contributing their assessments and reports to the global Social Watch report 2018 on the national implementation of the 2030 Agenda. While circumstances and capabilities are unique in each country, common threads emerge: Inequalities, often exacerbated by the international policy framework, are not being reduced, poverty is underestimated or hidden but not eradicated, sustainability is sacrificed to extractivism.

The Social Watch national platforms are independent coalitions of civil society organizations struggling for social and gender justice in their own countries. The Social Watch network has been publishing since 1996 yearly reports on how governments implement their international commitments to eradicate poverty and achieve equality between women and men.


Civil society monitors women rights in Iraq


Iraqi civil society organizations expressed their shock and disappointment at the format, methodology and content of the 2018 report by the Iraqi government on the implementation of the recommendations of 2014 of the CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women). They argue that the report does not responds to the principles and texts of CEDAW on non-discrimination, equality and State commitment, as a frame of reference in the presentation and analysis of information, data and activities to measure progress. The crimes of honor or honor killings are not considered discrimination against women, but the official report denies the existence of cases of impunity in Iraq. Read more



Civil Society FfD Group’s Statement to the UN High-Level Meeting on Financing the 2030 Agenda


“Debt levels have surged to record highs, while financial markets are in turmoil again with some developing countries particularly hit by financial outflows and currency speculation. In the case of Argentina, the largest ever credit line in IMF history does not seem effective in offsetting the high risk of currency collapse or arresting capital flight, exposing the inadequacy and replicating past policy responses. As a result, a growing class of working poor – particularly unpaid or underpaid young workers – are on the rise along with the feminization of poverty and old/new vulnerabilities. With less instead of better social protection, including for those most marginalized such as persons with disabilities, youth, small-scale food producers and migrants, socio-economic and political exclusion continues to increase.” Read more



Islas Encendidas meeting


The “Islas encendidas” meeting that will take place in Malaga, Spain 19-20-21 October will be an incredible opportunity to share knowledge and learn how to work together to built a sustainable and just society. We will address citizenship and the distribution of power: the challenges we face for a democracy truly governed by its people. We will ask ourselves about those who are entitled to have rights and address inequalities, discourses, borders and different forms of violence. We will discover new forms of citizen participation and political culture, social oversight practices and new forms of power. We will inspire each other to forge a new social contract combining diversity, sustainability and justice, incorporating the feminist approach. Read more here and here




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