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When will dignity for all be achieved?
"We have a collective responsibility to uphold the principles of human dignity, equality and equity at the global level. As leaders we have a duty therefore to all the world’s people, especially the most vulnerable and, in particular, the children of the world, to whom the future belongs.” (Millennium Declaration, 2000)

What is the bare minimum required for a decent life for all? The world leaders who signed the Declaration did not define it clearly, but its principles are embedded in the commitment to achieve certain targets by 2015. Some of these goals are set “for all” (100% basic education, 100% access to water and sanitation), while others aspire, for example, to “reduce by half the proportion of people who suffer from hunger”. Such a reduction would be a major achievement… but still leave the other half hungry. When will we achieve the basic standards of material dignity for all the world’s people? Not in a hundred years unless we substantially accelerate the current trends of progress in the social areas! 

Thalif Deen
Thalif Deen

The Social Scorecard summarises present status, progress and regressions on the basis of a selection of areas taken from the measurable goals established at the 1995 World Summit for Social Development in Copenhagen and the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, as well as the 2000 Millennium Summit.

The indicators used to produce the tables «Progress and Regression» and «The Present Situation» are grouped in seven areas, each of which combine more than one variable: «Illiteracy» (adult illiteracy rates and illiteracy among 15-24 year olds); «Reproductive health» (percentage of pregnancies and deliveries attended by skilled personnel); «Food» (daily per capita calorie intake and percentage of under-5 children suffering from malnutrition); «Services» (percentage of population with access to sanitation, percentage of population with access to improved water sources and telephone lines per 1,000 inhabitants); «Childhood» (infant mortality rate, under-5 mortality rate, percentage of children reaching 5th grade and net primary school enrolment rate); and «Gender» (female to male ratio with respect to unemployment, gross enrolment rate in primary school and illiteracy among 15-24 year-olds).

Since 1995 Social Watch has presented a summary of the situation of countries in relation to the 2000 targets set as part of the commitments assumed by governments at the World Summit for Social Development in Copenhagen and the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, and in relation to the goals set for the year 2015 in the Millennium Declaration. For this edition we have developed a monitoring strategy by thematic area that incorporates and consolidates the dimensions of analysis relating to development and human security, in line with the approaches defined at the international summit meetings.

By Thalif Deen
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