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The Social Degradation Report explores the impact of the armed conflict in Syria on social relations. It uses the concept of social capital as an approach to analyse trust, cooperation, and shared values.

Direct violence –including displacement, involvement in violent acts, and discriminatory institutional practices– affects both bridging and linking social capitals. Development indicators such as health, education, and employment are strongly correlated with the shared values and attitudes component. While these indicators are not directly related to violence, they affect the cognitive aspect of a shared vision for the community and the country, and are important factors in building the future social contract. Moreover, the research shows that conflict economy and conflict-related deaths are the main determinants of feeling secured, while the trust between individuals is affected by conflict economy, discriminatory institutions, forced displacement, and loss of job opportunities.

The Syrian Centre for Policy Research (SCPR) launched its report “Social Degradation in Syria” in cooperation with the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs (IFI) at the American University of Beirut (AUB) on June 1st.

We fear that financial markets are as unregulated now as they were in 2008, with PPP appearing as the only available financial mechanism when at the end in 30 years governments would end up paying said Roberto Bissio of Social Watch, who spoke at the event.

The event “Domestic and international private business and finance” that was held last May 24th, 2017. The event took place in the framework of the second ECOSOC Forum on Financing for Development follow-up convened by the President of ECOSOC from 22 to 25 May 2017 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

Building capacity on tax matters is not just an issue for the global South, governments in the North should also strenghtend their own tax capacity, their own administration capacities when it cames to tax matters said Wolfgang Obenland, member of Global Policy Forum (GPF), Germany, who spoke at the event.

The event Follow-up and review of the financing for development outcomes and the means of implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development that was held last May 24th, 2017. The event took place in the framework of the second ECOSOC Forum on Financing for Development follow-up convened by the President of ECOSOC from 22 to 25 May 2017 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

Social security is a human right and in time of crisis is even more important, not just to face the crisis and the impact on people but also to estabilize the economy said Roberto Bissio, Coordinator of Social Watch, who was a speaker on behalf of the Global Coalition for Social Protection Floors (GCSPF) at the side event "Financing Social Protection Floors throught economic cycles".

The question pertaining to the impact of States’ participation in designing an Instrument on transnational corporations and other business enterprises in the area of human rights (hereafter referred to as ‘the Instrument’) on attracting foreign direct investment has been a persistent issue of discussion since the mandate of the intergovernmental group on the Instrument was established. This mandate was established by Resolution A/ HRC/26/9 of the United Nations Human Rights Council, which was passed in July 2014.

It is important to contextualize this question within an understanding of the role of investment policy as one of the development and economic policy tools available to States, including the role of both domestic and foreign investments, and within an understanding of the underlying determinants of foreign direct investment. This discussion could be informed by the experience of countries reforming their positions towards investment treaties, which entail a regulatory change pertaining to foreign investors.

A new report examines the role that multi-stakeholder partnerships play in the implementation of the SDGs. The report warns of the risks, side-effects and dangers, as well as the opportunities, of such partnerships. The contributions deal with some of the major global partnerships in the area of food security, renewable energy and data availability.

Social protection is crucial to build resilience and empower people in tough economic times. It can also spur inclusive growth and productivity in good times if adequate public financing is provided throughout the economic cycle. This event will discuss concrete experiences and options to finance fiscally sustainable social protection systems, including floors, in prosperous and adverse economic times.

“Informal labor is not a marginal issue in Arab countries. It is a core component of modern Arab economies and the distribution of work therein and is doomed to expand under current policies,” explained Samir Aita, lead researcher of the Arab NGO Network on Development (ANND) at the launch of the 2017 edition of the Arab Watch on Economic and Social Rights, last May 8 in Beirut.

The report, launched publicly at the American University, concludes that the “highest percentages of lack of formality are in countries with the least strict laws and bureaucracies, and vice versa. This goes against the stereotype that says that informality is a result of strict laws and bureaucracies.” It also concludes that “informal labor in Arab countries is mostly waged labor, except in rare cases, which contradicts another idea that says that informal labor is a choice, as young people entering the job market have no choice but to find any type of livelihood, no matter how fragile or temporary.”

To show that it takes the 2030 Agenda seriously, Switzerland needs to look at the damaging impact of its international financial and fiscal policies, argues Eva Schmassmann, from the Swiss coalition of development organizations Alliance Sud. "With over 3,000 billion USD of managed foreign assets, Switzerland – as a financial center – is the largest offshore haven in the world and one of the preferred low tax areas for global companies. Developing countries are losing billions in income that they could be using to implement sustainable development because of legal and illegal tax optimization techniques".

“The universal and potentially 'transformative' character of the USPF has broad appeal to many rights-based advocates", explained Victoria Raquiza, convenor of Social Watch Philippines at the start of a debate convened by SWP and UNICEF in Manila, last April 26. “While acknowledging the strides made in social protection such as through the conditional cash transfer program (Pantawid Pamilya), PhilHealth and pensions for the elderly, social protection remains fragmented, inaccessible and unreachable to many Filipinos."

Speakers from the governmental Department of Social Welfare and Development, National Anti-Poverty Commission, and the Coalition of Services of the Elderly reacted to the propositions of UNIEF, the ILO and Social Watch Philippines.

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