Dignity is in short supply and govts are responsible for it

Social Watch report blames inaction of governments and mal-action of private sector for inequality

trithesh

Trithesh Nandan | January 2, 2012




More than anything else, dignity seems to be in short supply the world over. Take dignity as a sum total of basic human rights, or the freedom to shape one’s future, and you will see why the world is angry, why the just concluded year witnessed so many street protests.

Though ‘dignity’ seems more a state of mind than a piece of statistics, Social Watch International has broken it down to its components and analysed it. This is what it has found: the world faces a growing dignity crisis, as many countries have not been able deliver on the basic indices of development like tackling hunger, infant mortality rates, malnutrition and poverty.

The “inaction” of the governments of these countries “and the mal-action of business as usual are amassing a mountain of social and ecological liabilities,” states a Social Watch report titled ‘The right to a future’. Those hurdles have provoked “social and political tension and unrest […] from Cairo to Manhattan to New Delhi,” says the report.

Read the report here: http://www.socialwatch.org/node/14034
Read the chapter on India here: http://www.socialwatch.org/sites/default/files/india2012_eng.pdf

“If fulfilment of basic dignity levels of enjoyment of social, economic and cultural rights is not incompatible with sustainability and achievable with existing resources, not doing so is not just an ethical fault but also a threat to the global system…,” wrote the coordinator of Social Watch, Roberto Bissio, in the overview of the report.

The report also says that high economic had little bearing on setting aright social disparities. “In rich and poor countries alike, only a small minority benefitted from the excellent economic performance of the world up to the financial crisis of 2008,” Bissio points out.


It also says, “The world as a whole is more unequal than any country, with a Gini value of around 70.”

The report says that several governments have cut down their social sector spending since the financial crisis began in 2008. “Austerity fiscal policies that cut on social spending started to be implemented in debt-affected countries and are now spreading even to countries that do not suffer from debt problems or fiscal deficit,” said Bissio.

“Citizens around the world are demanding change… people have right to a future and the future starts now,” the report held.

As for India, Himanshu Jha of Social Watch India writes in a chapter in the report:

“The country faces several social challenges, such as inequitable economic growth, poor natural resource management, the exclusion of the majority of the population from decision making and from access to basic services, unabated environmental degradation and failure of institutions to sufficiently integrate environmental and social development considerations into economic policy objectives. Over the last decade it has been hit by a series of natural disasters that have severely damaged the economy and depleted natural resources, threatening the livelihoods of millions. Currently, 77% of the population lives below the poverty line.”

If our policymakers and planners want to prepare agenda for 2012, they can begin with this paragraph above.
 

Comments

 

Other News

Banks not adhering to RBI guidelines, finds study

Banks across India are levying inconsistent service charges on basic savings accounts. A study, “Benchmarking Reasonableness of Service Charges by Banks in India”, uncovers and exposes inconsistencies in adherence to RBI mandates by banks. It finds some banks impose charges exceeding reasonable

“Mumbai Infra boom similar to that of Manhattan in 19th C”

Mumbai’s ongoing infrastructure boom – with a new coastal road, Atal Setu, metro lines and much more – creating transport corridors – is comparable to that of Manhattan in New York during 1811-1870, according to BMC commissioner Bhushan Gagrani. The iconic projects being implemented

Global Gandhi: How the Mahatma captured the world’s imagination

Gandhi’s Australia, Australia’s Gandhi By Thomas Weber Orient BlackSwan, 348 pages, Rs 1,800  

Urban apathy in Mumbai, Maharashtra sees 49% voting

Polling in the fifth phase of General Elections 2024 which commenced at 7 am on Monday simultaneously across 49 PCs recorded an approximate voter turnout of 57.47% as of 7:45 pm. Voters came out in large numbers braving hot weather in many parts of the states that went for polls on Monday.

Voter turnout: Drop from 2019 reduces further

As the voting percentages dropped drastically in the first couple of phases of the ongoing general elections, observers and analysts spoke of ‘voter apathy’ blamed it on a lack of “wave” this time – apart from the heatwave, that is. The latest figures after the fourth phase, h

GAIL reports annual revenue of Rs.1,30,638 crore

GAIL (INDIA) Limited has reported 75% increase in Profit before Tax (PBT) of Rs.11,555 crore in FY24,  as against Rs 6,584 Cr in FY23. Profit after Tax (PAT) in FY24 stands at Rs. 8,836 Cr as against Rs.5,302 Cr in FY23, a 67 % increase. However, revenue from operations registered a fa

Visionary Talk: Amitabh Gupta, Pune Police Commissioner with Kailashnath Adhikari, MD, Governance Now


Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook Twitter Google Plus Linkedin Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter