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GC Module: Social justice and equity

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Mary Young

on 5 October 2016

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Transcript of GC Module: Social justice and equity

Social Justice and Equity

Global Citizenship Module

Focus on areas such as trade and economics,
help for the poorest and landlocked countries and affordable drugs from pharmaceutical companies.

Goal 8: Global Partnership for development.

A UNDP programme in Burkina Faso, made up of civil society organizations and national networks reduced the HIV/AIDS rate from 7 % in the 1990s to 2 % in 2007.

Goal 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases.

A child dies approx every 5 seconds from lack of food. Pneumonia, diarrhoea and malaria also cause a significant number of deaths.

Goal 4: To reduce child mortality.

In agriculture, women have less access to productive resources and opportunities. With equal access, farm yields would increase by 20 - 30%.

Goal 3: Gender equality/empowering of women.

Approx 1/5th of the world’s population is living in extreme poverty – i.e. on less than US$1 per day.

Goal 1: Eradicate extreme poverty

The millennium development goals (MDGs) have driven “the most successful anti-poverty movement in history” and brought more than a billion people out of extreme penury, but their achievements have been mixed and the world remains deeply riven by inequality, the UN’s final report (pdf) on the goals has concluded.

Some progress in debt cancellation:
Some campaigns raising awareness about the issue:

Jubilee Debt Campaign
Make Poverty History 2005
Global Call to Action Against Poverty

Current situation…


This is the most widely used method of enslaving people around the world. A person becomes a bonded labourer when their labour is demanded as a means of repayment for a loan. The person is then tricked or trapped into working for very little or no pay, often for seven days a week. The value of their work becomes invariably greater than the original sum of money borrowed. Often the debts are passed on to next generations.

...Poverty and the threats of violence force many bonded labourers to stay with their masters, since they would not otherwise be able to eat or have a place to sleep.

The debts often play an important element in human trafficking. People who are offered a ‘job’ abroad often have borrow big sums of money to pay the traffickers to cover the costs of their journey and a fee for finding a ‘job’, often borrowing money against their family house or business. When at the destination it turns out that the promised job doesn’t exist they cannot leave anyway until the debt is paid off. This often goes together with the threats against the victims’ family back at home.

Anti-Slavery International.

Water pipe project in Vanuatu

Approx $20billion is spent on cosmetics annually in the USA– more than double then amount it would cost to provide water and basic
sanitation for everyone.

Goal 7: Ensure environmental sustainability.

Kenyan nurse at health clinic

Goal 5: Improve maternal health.

Partly as a result of debt cancellation Tanzania is on course to achieve 100% primary participation by 2015

Goal 2: Universal Primary Education

Saruda (Nepali) whose parents are bonded labourers in agriculture.
Paper making project in Malawi
In southern Africa a woman has a 1 in 22 chance of dying in pregnancy/childbirth (UNICEF) as compared with 1 in 8000 in UK.
What is the problem globally?

What are some of the causes of social injustice globally?

Any solutions?
'A Matter of Interest' DVD Leeds Animation Workshop
Brazil/Pan African economics meeting

Companies have 'bought' debt cheaply and are now pressing for re-payment.
Traders have speculated on food prices with terrible consequences.
See WDM campaigns

1.) There are too many people.

3.) People are too poor to buy food.

4.) Food is not shared out fairly.

5.) There is not enough Fairtrade food

6.) The best land in poor countries is used to grow food for rich countries.

8.) People in rich countries don't give enough to charity.

What are some of the causes of social injustice globally?
inequality: extreme wealth and extreme poverty

human rights violations

desecration of the environment

unfair trade rules and protectionism

some TNCs and countries having enormous power.

lack of political will to change the status quo.

Historical legacy; unequal distribution and abuse of power; unequal distribution of wealth
Historical legacy, power and unequal wealth distribution have resulted in:
Myths about Africa
WTO swats down India’s massive solar initiative
Amit Dave / REUTERS
Some TNCs have more power than governments
Any solutions?
NGOs and pressure groups
Local solutions
Individual donors
The behaviour of individuals
accessed 26/2/16
Jubilee Debt Campaign has joined the opposition to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), the corporate trade agreement currently being negotiated between the EU and US.

TTIP could allow secret courts to be introduced enabling banks to sue government for ‘lost profits’ resulting from financial regulations, even if they are introduced to protect people and public services. TTIP would also make it easier for vulture funds to exploit financial crises to make illegitimate profits from government debt

One consequence of the agreement of particular concern to debt campaigners is that it will tilt the balance of power even further against countries in debt crisis. In the event that a government needed to negotiate to reduce the amount of debt it owed, it would be in a weaker position as creditors would have even more legal ways of suing governments if debts are not paid. This would particularly strengthen the power of vulture funds – financial speculators who buy up cheap debt from governments in crisis.

Vulture funds refuse to take part in necessary debt reductions when governments can’t keep up with their debt payments, then look for ways to sue for full payment of the debt in the courts, which normally represents a huge profit for them. Provisions under TTIP could make it even easier for vulture funds to sue future European governments which are unable to pay all their debts.

With assets of $43.5 billion the foundation is the largest charitable foundation in the world. It is arguably the most influential player on issues of global health and agriculture, and distributes more aid for global health than any government.

accessed 26/2/16
Creating a world without poverty
The State of the World's Children Report

The State of the World's Children Report 2015
Solutions: calling for innovatons to address inequality
8 Millennium Development Goals
Current situation re MDGs:
p.9. progress and disparities for children

Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis recentlylaunched a legal battle to challenge India's right to produce cheap, generic versions of medicines.
A worldwide campaign protested and the company has backed down.

e.g. The Bill and Melissa Gates Foundation
In 2013, in line with the Government’s
UK Aid promise, the UK met the historic target
to spend 0.7% of gross national income (GNI)
Promoting pro-poor initiatives; Regulating big companies; holding companies to account.
UK Uncut
. HIV Aids is no longer a global health problem.

In 2014, around 220,000 children were newly infected with HIV, bringing the total number of children under age 15 living with HIV to 2.6 million. Nearly 90 per cent of these children live in sub-Saharan Africa.

One bright spot on the global horizon is the rapid decline of nearly 60% in new HIV infection among children (aged 0-14) since 2001, largely due to stepped-up efforts to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV.
- See more at: http://data.unicef.org/hiv-aids/global-trends.html#sthash.e5MY19yf.dpuf
Why are some people in the world hungry?
Initiatives such as Fairtrade
During the famine of 1984-85 which killed a million people, Ethiopia was exporting green beans to the UK

Around the world, one in eight people go to bed hungry every night, even though there is enough food for everyone.

"Inequality is not inevitable.
It is a disease that can be cured – but only if we address its major cause:
the inequities of opportunity that limit children’s futures from the first days of their lives."

Joseph Stiglitz,

accessed 27/2/16

Julius Nyerere, President of Tanzania, 1960 - 1985.

accessed 27/2/16
See more at: http://newint.org/features/1992/12/05/hunger/#sthash.8i2srm8B.dpuf
But there is still more to do as Jubilee Debt Campaign, along with ten other organisations, including Health Poverty Action and the African Forum, has published research which reveals Africa is losing $192 billion every year to the rest of the world – almost 6 and a half times the amount of ‘aid’ given back to the continent.

Reasons include: illicit financial flows; profits taken out of the continent by multinational companies; debt payments; brain drain of skilled workers; illegal logging and fishing and the costs incurred as a result of climate change.
TED talk on the connection of slavery and environmental degredation.
2.) We cannot produce enough food for everyone.
7.) People can't grow food because of wars.
Wealth not related to desert
Understandable that some people will earn more than others.
However it is the grossly unequal distribution of wealth that is a problem.
accessed 28/2/16


What are the world's 100 wealthiest bodies?
Are the reasons for poverty explained?
How does historical legacy still have an impact on the African Continent?
183 people prosecuted for people trafficking in 2015 in the UK
BBC News 26/2/2016
The trend to involve business in addressing the world’s problems is increasingly part of international development aid. The UK government is a keen advocate and has been strongly criticised by the Independent Commission for Aid Impact for pursuing this model without ensuring that partnerships with business actually make a difference to poverty and inequality.

Karma Dorji
Tang Primary School
from 10.44-17.09
Need for critiquing and questioning
“Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity, it is an act of justice. Like Slavery and Apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings. Sometimes it falls on a generation to be great. YOU can be that great generation. Let your greatness blossom.”
Gleik in de Villiers 2001:17 Water: The Fate of Our Most Precious Resource
Half the world's population do not have the water and sanitation of Ancient Rome.
Oxfam Global Food Index
World Bank: 'extreme poverty' to fall below 10% of world population for first time

It projects 702 million people or 9.6% of the world’s population will be living in extreme poverty in 2015, down from 902 million people or 12.8% in 2012
In 2000 189 member states of the UN agreed on a strategy to tackle poverty:
Bhutan is a landlocked Himalayan country with a population of 720,679 (2012). 12% of the population lives in poverty (2012), and life expectancy is 67 years. The country is the last remaining Buddhist monarchy in the Himalayas.
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