The presentation by Finland of its second VNR in 2020 initiated a new kind of cooperation between state authorities and civil society, with non-governmental actors presenting their assessment in the official report. Both views are largely in line, but civil society is more critical.

There is no extreme poverty in Finland and a comprehensive social security covers the whole population. Still there are challenges in relation to poverty and inequality. A crucial problem is that increasing in inequalities and social exclusion seem to accumulate and extend across generations, causing intergenerational transmission of poverty.

As a result of longstanding failures in dealing with internal and external challenges, and in particular conditionalities imposed by IMF loans, Jordan has faced a large series of social and political protests in recent years. In the wake of increasing deteriorations of the economic situation, the demonstrations have received an enormous upswing and received public support from all segments of society.

The alternative report on Jordan, prepared by the Phenix Center for Economic Studies, describes the dynamics and the leading role of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) during the demonstrations, and takes a look at the aftermath of the protests and upcoming challenges.

Feminist organizations have insisted for decades on the importance of recognizing the systemic role of care work. This invisible work is indispensable for reproducing the labour force and more broadly for sustaining life. The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed this feminist message into an accepted truth.

The new coronavirus has forcefully exposed the fragility of human life. All of us face the risk of catching a disease that can kill us. In this context, it is also made very visible that our lives are interdependent. To avoid contagion, we need to take care of ourselves, but we also depend on the whole of society adopting habits of caring.

Only a handful of political leaders decided to confront scientific advice, and one of these was President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil, for whom COVID-19 was “just another little flu”. The result has been catastrophic, not just in terms of the pandemic (over 100,000 diagnosed deaths by mid-August 2020, second only to those in the USA) but also in terms of the economy that his denial policies tried to protect.

In June, the World Bank forecast an 8 percent decline in Brazil’s GDP in 2020 (from a previous forecast of 2% growth), while the global economy is estimated to decline by 4.9 percent and emerging market and developing economies, including Brazil, by 3 percent, in their first contraction in at least 60 years.

A range of different forms of confinement and quarantine were implemented around the world in order to slow down the spread of the pandemic and avoid a collapse of overburdened health systems. In that process, low-paid services such as home deliveries, food processing, garbage collection and care-giving were identified as “essential”.

In most comparatively affluent countries those services are largely provided by immigrants and yet, as reported from the UK by Imogen Richmond-Bishop of Just Fair, “COVID-19 has disproportionately affected migrant communities” through drops in income; limited access to welfare support; barriers for homeless migrants to access accommodation and overcrowded and substandard housing.”

Syndicate content