Conference of the parties: We need equitable agreement from Paris climate change conference

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Photo :COP21

According to UNWHO the climate change has affected the social and environmental determinants of heat ,clean air, safe drinking water, sufficient food and secure shelter, also in between 2030 and 2050, climate change is expected to cause approximately 250 000 additional deaths per year from malnutrition, malaria, diarrhoea and heat stress. Hence, the direct damage costs to health will determine sectors such as agricultural, water and sanitations, it’s estimated to be between US$ 2-4 billion/year by 2030.
Thus, the developing countries will be the mostly disturb because of weak infrastructures to cope without outside assistance to prepare and respond to any calamity. For example, the Netherland is protected against flooding and coastal erosion by natural dunes, dikes, dames and storm surge barriers, to install these defence mechanisms one has to accumulate massive infrastructure and electricity. Recently, India minister of environment said “The world has exploited and profited from their emissions and now they cannot put restrictions on me, so there has to be a justice…So we want just an equitable agreement in Paris 2015”.
Developing countries argues, the western world have built sophisticated infrastructure which has started the era of industrialization of agricultural production and technological innovation, followed by the era political and moral enlightenment were the core principles was to create an equal society that upholds personal liberty and capitalist society, to achieve these aspiration they have versioned to established effective institutions that protects these norms and values. Thus, without hesitation the above economic realisations have laydown the social prosperity that many westerns countries are enjoying to some extent with minimum consideration of emissions that have environmental impact. In contemporary, these alterations in western countries has colossal influence the unindustrialized countries to pursue economic sufficiency and to build viable economic growth they have to fellow the economic capitalist model that has been sated by Western, infrastructure is starting point which requires a massive electricity to build and sustain it.
Therefore, after the colonial power left many East Asian countries there have witnessed unprecedented scale economic development. At the heart of this transformation has based on the integration to globalizing capitalist economy, initially during the colonial era, but with greater momentum in post-colonial times. Yet such integration has not taken place naturally but rather, has been linked to political processes that prompted south-East Asia’s emergence as one of the key natural resource regions in the world. With large scale environmental change Social and economic transformation was accompanied by environmental mutation: changes in forest cover and type, the extension of agricultural production, deteriorating soil condition and increasing levels of pollution. Prior to 1850 much of south East Asia was covered in forest, but hundred years later, large swathes of low-lying forest had already been cleared. This process was partly a respond to the rapidly growing imperial and indigenous demand for timber for housing, government buildings, bridges, boats fuel and railway sleepers. However, by far the main impetus for widespread deforestation was permanent agricultural, with cleared land being used to produce such cash crops as coffee , tea, rubber, sago, palm oil , rice, abaca and sugar cane etc Parnwell & Bryant 1996. Therefore, if the western world and developing countries particularly the East Asian states want to continue the growth of economic sufficiency through the regions desires, they have to agree equitable settlement which balances the natural world and the urbanisation. In addition to that, adopting a viable environmental policies which everybody is accountable.

By Abdiaziz

Reference

  • Michael . J. G. Parnwell and Raymond L . Bryant 1996 [ Environmental change in South Asia , people , politics and sustainable development ] published :ROUTLEDGE, LONDON
  •  Stephan Graham and Simon Marvin 1996( telecommunication and city electronic spaces, urban places) published: London
  • World Health Organization 2015, Climate change and Health, <http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs266/en/&gt; accessed; 30/o9/15

Bibliography
http://www.lse.ac.uk/researchAndExpertise/units/growthCommission/documents/pdf/SecretariatPapers/Infrastructure.pdf
http://www3.weforum.org/docs/NDSI15_report.pdf
https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=w7V_fo3E6vcC&pg=PT15&lpg=PT15&dq=raymond+l.+bryant+and+michael+j.+G.+parnwell&source=bl&ots=XApddRvXvr&sig=sexAZ78fxYthIKyuTy9EzVSyvO4&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiujMaNtbPJAhUBoRoKHVsFCUQQ6AEIJDAA#v=onepage&q&f=false
https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=hvenAwAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=urbanisation+and+climate+change+india&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiw0vKhxbPJAhWGRBQKHay7C-QQ6AEIMDAA#v=onepage&q&f=true
http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/2015_MDG_Report/pdf/MDG%202015%20rev%20%28July%201%29.pdf
http://www.unescap.org/resources/india-and-mdgs-towards-sustainable-future-all
http://www.cop21.gouv.fr/en/learn/what-is-cop21/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2015_United_Nations_Climate_Change_Conference
http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs266/en/

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Enquiring a genuine Foreign Aid and Development Assistances

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Photo: The Spectator

The establishment of international and regional intuitions which conveys a different perspectives and claims such as; harmonising social and economic integration, spreading democratic values and political inclusiveness or human right protections. To some extent, these institutions provides aids into a variety ways, in some cases, they participate institutional capacity building in the developing countries and provides the technical expertise’s, for instance, IMF has great role in terms of financial and economic stability around the world, which gives the capacity to influential the outcome. Thus, the IMF is well knowing thought-out the developing countries, to the elites and masses alike, the organisation often appears to exercise as much or even more authority then their own government, similarly the United Nation has massive presence around the world through IGOs, regularly they employ the brightest peoples within that region, consequently, this disables societies to be innovative and create tangible economic sector which the country can benefit and depending it on, instead of a foreign aid.
Historically, the phenomenon of foreign economic aid as it is understood today originated from the aftermath of the Second World War. In 1945, delegate from 40 countries agreed in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, to create institutional for new monitory system and a multilateral world economy. Among the newly created institution was World Bank, which comes into existence on December 1945. Its primary objectives was to make financial resources available to war-torn economic in Europe. It became the basis of multilateral aid. Also at this time, a number of colonized nations gained their independence and become a candidate for foreign aid. In 1945, however, United State shifted its European development funds back to bilateral mechanisms by creating the European Recovery Program (Marshall Plan) leaving the bank only a minor role during the years of European reconstruction. After the creation of the bilateral US program and a UN program for European reconstruction, the bank shifted its focus toward developing countries.
The European recovery program was named after the General George C. Marshall, provided $497 million in reconstruction loans in 1947 and disbursed more than $13 billion dollar by 1952, 89 per cent of which went to Europe, by all created the plan was great success and was largely credit the economic growth rates of western European economies by early 1050s. The Marshall plan ended, the 1953 Mutual Security Act established a new US foreign aid program, though the US commitment to assisting less developed countries comes earlier in the Fourth point of president Harry S Truman 1949 inaugural speech. (Janine L Bowen 1998)
The success of Marshall Plan encourages the developing countries to demanding some treatment to confront the economic crisis that are happening within and reduce the aid dependence which is problematic to the productivity and creativity in these societies. In addition, to emphasis the commitment that has been made the DAC members international target in the aid field is that of raising official development assistance (ODA) to 0.7% of donors’ national income. (ICVA, 1997)
In conclusion, Aid dependence has to end and the developed nations has to adopt an appropriate approach , moreover, to eradicate poverty , promote poor people’s basic rights and exploitations, we need to ask them what are their priorities. This means a much greater commitment by Northern donors to high quality aid programmes that works in the interests of the poor people.

 

by Abdiaziz
References
 Janine L Bowen 1998[Foreign Aid and economic growth a theoretical and empirical investigation, Pub, Ashgate , England
 Reality of Aid management Group ICVA, 1997, [The reality of Aid an independence review of development Cooperation] pub: Earthscan publication limited, London
 History of the 0.7 ODA Target http://www.oecd.org/dac/stats/45539274.pdf accessed 10/12/15
Bibliography
http://www.globalissues.org/article/35/foreign-aid-development-assistance
https://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/depend.htm
http://www.oecd.org/dac/stats/45539274.pdf
http://www.un.org/en/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=S/RES/1772%282007%29
http://www.unmillenniumproject.org/documents/07_aconf198-11.pdf
http://www.unmillenniumproject.org/press/07.htm
http://www.wsb.edu.pl/container/Wydawnictwo/Do%20pobrania/reci-m.pdf
http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/uk-foreign-aid-what-do-the-british-public-think-aid-should-be-for/

gender inequaliy photo blog

(The guardian)

Nowadays, the global economy keep making progress. However, certain inequalities and discrimination still exist all over the world. Gender inequality is a major concern for us. Women were forbidden to vote or participate in election until 1950s. Female status was always lower than male. Women were considered to stay at home and behave themselves. After the First World War and Second World War, people started to realize that women ability was underestimated before. Nonetheless, according to the guardian, “Women earn less money than men, with less stable jobs and lower participation in the workforce – and that drags down the whole economy”. Therefore, Economic inequality for women costs an estimated $9tn per year in the developing world.

As a matter of fact, gender inequality not at first happen in workplace. Many girls in the developing countries did not receive proper education. It is due to the stereotype that female is less worthy and important than male. Besides, parents in the developing countries need to struggle with living cost, let alone to afford tuition fee, uniform and books for children. Most parents only send their son to school instead of daughter. Moreover, women in the developing are allowed or forced to get married in young age, so that parents won’t let their girls to receive education. According to girls Not Brides, 9% of children married by 15 in Zambia. Lack of education caused women could not have more opportunities in the workplace. Most of them can only ended up working in the factory. Besides, both women and men in the developing countries encounter a struggle in order to make ends meet, women are almost always at the bottom, in the lowest paid and valued jobs. Women make up 60% of the world’s working poor, but on average they are paid between 10% to 30% less than men for the same job (from World bank). Female employees are more likely to work in temporary and part-time jobs, are less likely to be promoted. Many women are also responsible for unpaid and undervalued work such as cleaning to childcare and domestic work. Most people just ignore the fact that this is kind of labor force participation. Even though women do not receive wage or pay doesn’t mean that they don’t have any contribution. Therefore, the society has been devaluing women’s ability.

Not only women cannot have a fair wage, the also encounter social inequality and discrimination or even violence. Certain people have the stereotype that women have lower ability than men in terms of occupation, female are always considered weaker than male. Lower income, unregulated and insecure work and a lack of economic security makes women have to be more obedient and dependent at home. Some husband even exerted violence on their wife. This is particularly obvious in less developed countries, where economic inequalities are often even more apparent.

From my opinion, government in less developed countries should put more resources and efforts in education. To be more specific, government should enact a policy that girls must receive at least six-year free education. Infrastructure is important as well, for example, local government should build female bathroom in schools in order to protect girls and encourage them to receive education.

Regarding fair wages, government should punish those enterprises which discriminate against women. Corporations should also need to eliminate their stereotype of women. Companies should put more emphasize on employee’s ability instead of gender. Recruitment partners should be aware of gender diversity policies and objectives. Last but not least, gender inequality is a major part of the global jobs challenge, all the countries should strive for solving this issue.

By Angela Tam

Reference

Ravenhill, J. (2005). Global political economy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

World Bank. Retrieved from http://www.worldbank.org/content/dam/Worldbank/Event/Gender/GenderAtWork_web2.pdf

Action Aid. http://www.actionaid.org.uk

Watson,B. Economic inequality for women costs $9tn globally, study finds. The Guardian. Retrieved from http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2015/jan/23/women-inequality-income-pay-actionaid-study-economy

Nomsa Maseko, N. Zambian child bride: ‘I was forced to marry a stranger’.BBC News. Retrieved from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-28401068

 

Distorted society- the ‘working poor’

 

Distorted society

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The guardian

 

‘Working poor’ is a common phenomenon not only in United Kingdom, but all over the world. The anti-neo liberal argument suggests that world poverty and inequality have been rising. (Ravenhill,2005,p.294) People are working for seven days a week but getting minimum wage; what they earn can hardly support their daily life. According to national minimum wage rates in United Kingdom, the minimum wage per hour for aged 21 and over is GBP 6.7 in 2015.However, the emergence of ‘working poor’ attribute to different reasons.

Firstly, certain business activities and services are contract out to a company. Invitation of tender allow companies to compete with each other such as lower wages or cheaper materials. Consequently, company who is more suitable for the requirement would take the bid. The guardian took cleansing services as an example, the former bid involved paying cleaners £9.15 an hour, the level considered enough to live on in London. The latter one based on an hourly rate of £6.50 – the minimum wage (July 2015). The organization finally picked the cheaper bid, it would be wise from an economic point of view. Ultimately, the victim would be the working class. Since they don’t have bargaining power, employees have to accept unfairly low-wage job.

Secondly, the living wage outweigh employees’ minimum wage. The living wage is basically about how much employee should earn minimally to make ends meet. According to the living wage, set annually by the Living Wage foundation, the cost of living in the United Kingdom has increased by 40p to GBP8.25 an hour outside London and by 25p to GBP9.40 an hour in the capital. In United Kingdom, it is obvious that the living cost is higher in London.

In accordance with a report by Economists at UBS, house prices in London are the most over-valued of any major city in the world. For a grassroots worker, it is a heavy burden to rent a house in London, let alone various expenses. It is ironic to see while some of the middle class are purchasing luxurious good and the working class are struggle with buying basic needs.

However, the ‘working poor’ situation is not only happening in United Kingdom. China has a similar situation as well.To be more specific, ‘ant tribe is the new ‘working poor’ in China now. ‘Ant tribe’ refers to people who received higher education but only had a low-paying jobs. The ‘working poor’ in China are slightly different from Western countries, they are mostly university graduate.

The appearance of ‘ant tribe’ is related to China political and economic history. After the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution from 1966 to1976, the Chinese government decided to have an economic reform from 1980s. China started to open the local markets, privatized state enterprises and reduce tariffs in order to attract foreign investment. The government also put more resources and efforts in higher education so as to nurture more people with professional skills. Since the 1980s, more and more people have been receiving higher education from the university. In 2010, China had more than 6 million college graduates.

Some graduates came from poor village. After they graduate from university, they want to stay and work in the big cities such as Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. However, the living cost is very high in the big cities. There are many fresh graduates each year, the competition is very serious. Graduates who don’t have ‘background’ and ‘social network’ are difficult to find a decent job. Lian Si, who studies ‘ant tribe’ phenomenon expressed that many graduated ended up working in the sales and hospitality industries. They don’t have labor contracts with their employers and are not entitled to any social or medical insurance. ‘Ant tribe’ can only earn about GBP 2300 per year. It is pathetic to know that they received education in university and planned to apply for decent job, but they ended up with an unfairly low-wage job and a dull future.

Different countries should have specific solution to the ‘working poor’. For United Kingdom, the government should raise minimum wage so that hardworking grassroots workers are able to afford their basic needs and daily necessities. The British government should also promote the idea of business ethics and corporate social responsibility to the enterprises. Implementing living wage to employees would enhance their loyalty to the company; so it will also improve quality of the work. Paying living wage to employees also build a positive image for the company, which is important for doing business.

As for China, the government should create more jobs and opportunities for the fresh graduate. The Chinese government also need to provide a more comprehensive and secure social protection and insurance for workers.

By Angela Tam

References:

Ravenhill, J. (2005). Global political economy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Hill,D. Number of London’s ‘working poor’ surges 70% in 10 years. The Guardian. Retrieved from http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/oct/21/number-of-londons-working-poor-surges-70-in-10-years

Hilton,S.My conversion to the cause of the working poor. The Guardian. Retrieved from http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jul/03/working-poor-minimum-wage

Osborne,H. London house prices most overvalued in the world, says UBS. The Guardian.Retrieved from http://www.theguardian.com/money/2015/oct/29/london-house-prices-most-overvalued-world-ubs

Branigan, T. China’s working poor not yet ready to revolt. The Guardian. Retrieved from http://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/feb/27/china-working-poor-revolt

Zhao,X. China’s growing postgrad ‘ant tribes’.CNN. Retrieved from http://travel.cnn.com/shanghai/none/china-buzz-ant-tribe-460917/

https://www.gov.uk/national-minimum-wage-rates

http://www.livingwage.org.uk

How We Destroyed Our Environment

We often use the term “global issue” to describe a matter of urgent concern that affect human populations locally and that are shared among diverse human societies within our global community. The impact of global warming is costing the world more than $1.2 trillion a year. This is according to a report published in the guardian. We seem to be spending so much now on preventing environmental crisis but when we had the chance to do so we turned our backs and just ignored what was happening. This is an issue that is already affecting the global economy as our environment is constantly changing. Undoubtedly, our planet is burning which will cause massive global warming and we are definitely part of the problem.

Globalisation has caused many damages to the environment and the irony is we don’t need any evidence for this; just think about what globalisation needs in order to function effectively? Firstly, it needs technology and the more technology evolved the more damages we have seen. The years of 1994, 2000,2002 and 2003 we have seen the hottest temperatures in 500 years

This is an issue that is related to global economy because the facts show us how much money is being spent to counter this threat in many parts of the world and deal with the impacts caused. However, let’s first understand how and when this has come to the discussion table of global economy. In 1988 Lynton Caldwell noted that there were three types of environmental agreements (Global political economy, p 356). First one being the Pacific Treaty in 1911 and a second type took place in 1954 which focused on the preventing pollution and lastly Caldwell notes the convention on the High Seas as an important environmental agreement.

Paris climate summit was supposed to be held in this month where surely a lot would have been discussed however, as a result of the recent Paris attacks that didn’t happen. Over population would have been on the top of agendas to be discussed but let us really discuss that. The argument that many have is that there is isn’t enough food to feed the whole population if the earth which is something that I strongly oppose to as there are more food to feed all humans on this earth but the real problem is the distribution of the food. Is population growth realty a problem to our environment? Since when are humans the enemy of their own planet? I don’t think so!

To say that we want economic growth, development while the same time protecting the environment we would be selling ourselves a fake dream. Considering the time this issue has been brought to the table in order to be discussed and prevent the triggers or potential causes, one might say that we as the people of the earth have been too complacent on this issue. The next generations to be born within the next 50 or even 100 years from now will experience the results of our actions in our pursuit of materialistic development. We always want the latest technology, the latest cars and in most cases especially in the developed countries you are likely to come across single house 4 different cars. Just think about the amount of pollution s they are causing!

COP15--Black-clouds-hover-001

Abdifatah Haji

 

References

Global North-South Economic Divisions

4733hpw7-1400688857Picture Courtesy of http://theconversation.com/hs2-and-the-myth-that-wealth-will-trickle-up-from-london-27037

The words “Liberal” and “Independent” are controversial subjects as many people disagree on their meaning. During the cold war, both the Soviet Union and the United States of America had very different ideas on what freedom and oppression where and therefore both believed, at least in theory, that they were attempting to rescue the citizens from each other from oppression.

One place to examine this is with the ‘Independent’ Central Banks, over which country’s governments have no or little control. The theory being that if the government has too much control they become authoritarian and this abuses the freedom of their citizens. We have to ask then: Who controls these banks then? Or due to the bank controlling the economy of a country does the bank therefore have control over the government?

The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, which have immense power within the Global Economy, controlling the market and putting countries into debt in order to privatise and buy their resources are under control of the Triad Nations. Within the World Bank the Triad Nations have 63.79% of voting rights and within the IMF they have 66.48%, despite their population only being 14% of the World [Millet. Page 2]. It is not a coincidence therefore that the Triad has 78% of the planets wealth, despite it having fewer resources than Global South nations [Millet. Pages 42-49].

According to Marx the Bourgeois of the ‘Triad’ Nations are currently a World in their own image [Marx. page 19], in 2008 the United States Secretary of State: Condoleezza Rice also said that it was ‘America’s job to remake the World, and in its own image’ [Ravenhill. Page 306].

The Global corporations and institutions make it extremely hard to have any regulation in wealth and therefore often create imbalance and instability. According to John Ravenhill, of the University of Waterloo: “the rapid spread of the recession worldwide was caused in part by the increasing presence of global supply chains in countries trade.” The economy is therefore so interlinked that economic problems can now be played out on a Global, rather than a national, scale [Ravenhill. Page 5]. This idea goes back to the ideology of colonialism, when he Europeans used the term “White Man’s Burden” to describe the need to civilise the Global South, in reality it was just an excuse to build their empire. The idea of the “White Saviour Complex” also comes into play, whilst in reality the people of the Global South are the only ones who can develop their nation for the benefit of the nation, rather than for the benefit of a tiny rich minority and of Imperialist powers.

The current argument taking place between Liberals and Marxists is whether Globalisation encourages or discourages conflict between countries, Liberals believing that it helps, whilst Marxists believe it hinders peace. Political philosopher Immanuel Kant predicted that in the future we would have a global free market and monarchies would be replaced with republics, bringing about peace [O’Brien. Page 23]. This may sound like Capitalist Utopianism to many analysts.

It is clear that as long as the markets of the Global South nations are controlled by the Triad, they will never get their hands on the wealth which is rightfully theirs. This means that we must see an end to ‘independent’ central banks and privatisation of important services. The Imperialists know this and therefore will fight to keep their capitalist empire by any means necessary.

By Hüseyin Diakides

 

Bibliography

  • Ravenhill, J, 2014. Global Political Economy. 4th ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Karl Marx, 1960. Essential Left (U.Books). Edition. Allen & Unwin.
  • O’Brien, R, 2010. Global Political Economy. 3rd ed. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Damien Millet, 2004. Who Owes Who: 50 Questions about World Debt (Global Issues). Edition. Zed Books.

Cheap Labour Force?

BSSP-Child-Labour-02
http://harmonyfdn.ca/?page_id=861

Have you ever wondered who sewed your clothes (by the way, in terrible conditions) or harvested plants that were used to produce your food? The answer is, in many cases, children.

Child labour is a still relevant problem of contemporary global political economy, what can be proved by data of UNICEF, the ILO and the World Bank indicate that 168 million children aged 5 to 17 are engaged in child labour (unicef.org). According to International Labour Organization (ilo.org), it can be defined as “work that deprives children of their childhood, their potential and their dignity, and that is harmful to physical and mental development”. In other words, it is the work that children should not do because they are too young, or it is too dangerous for them.

ILO, when trying to fight against the child labour phenomenon, has adopted many Conventions, inter alia, Convention No. 182 on the worst forms of child labour or Convention No. 183 on the minimum age for admission to employment and work, which are the most fundamental. They helped to focus the international spotlight, for example, “on the urgency of action to eliminate as a priority, the worst forms of child labour without losing the long term goal of the effective elimination of all child labour” (ilo.org).

The beginnings of child labour can be seen with the period of Industrial Revolution. In 19th century Britain, it was beneficial for factories to employ children or women (O’Brien, 2013: 67). They worked for a few times smaller salary, which was at the same time generating additional profits for the factories.

There are many forms of child labour, such as agricultural labour, work in mining, manufacturing or scavenging. There are also cases where children are ‘engaged’ in illicit activities like drug trafficking and organized begging. Therefore, in some parts of the globe, it is not even a little strange thing, when someone sees a child working long hours in heat on a farm. In the graph below, it can be seen, how does it look like in numbers.

child labour graph
http://www.ilo.org/ipec/facts/lang–en/index.htm

And how it is shaped across the world? The ‘winner’ is Asia and the Pacific with almost 78 million exploited child population, and right behind there is Sub-Saharan Africa with the number of 59 million children. The situation in Latin America is quite better, because there are 13 million of children in child labour, and in the Middle East and North Africa the number is 9,2 million (ilo.org). These statistics only strengthen the view, that child labour is one of the biggest issues of today’s political economy.

Therefore, what are the causes of these bad-impression-making numbers? When only basing on them, it could be said that poverty is one of the factors which are causing the problem of exploitation of children. The parts of the world which are mentioned above are considered as the poorest ones. Moreover, barriers to education are also one of the causes, because of the fact, that schools are not available in lots of world’s areas, especially rural. When parents cannot afford to send their children to school, or the education is not relevant for them – then, they send them to work with a view that it could be better for them. Another reason for the exploitation are culture and tradition, because in some countries children are expected to help parents and work in the age of 5 or 7 is considered as a common thing (un.org). And there is still the market demand factor.

Child labour is such an easy way for entrepreneurs. In this cruelty, they see only benefits – children are cheaper than standard workers, since they work almost for free. It is nothing, that such an exploitation harms their health and deprives a better future just right from the start, because of the fact that children go to work rather than to school.

In Joe Sandler Clarke’s article, we can see perfect example of this. In the period from September to December 2014, researchers from Fair Labour Association (FLA) visited 260 cocoa farms used by the company in Ivory Coast. They found 56 workers under the age of 18, when 27 of which were under 15. They found also an evidence of forced labour, with a young worker who has been not receiving any salary for a year’s work. All of these farms are connected to the big corporation, which can be seen as one of the wealthiest in the global market (Sandler Clarke, 2015).

There is one question that comes to mind because of this, didn’t the people managing these farms and corporations have childhood as well?

The solution to this may be pressing companies to take some actions against child labour or engage the governments in fight against this problem. But at this moment, it cannot be stated if this would help, because this is like a puzzle, but not the simply one.

 

Anna Rainko

 

References:

How does it make you feel to read this from the safty of you home?

Certainly, talking about sensitive matters is never easy. But with some research on the matter, we learn to be less afraid of it by shaping the issue which in this case is Human trafficking.

Human trafficking is not a new feature of our economy, neither of our era, but unlikely to other times, nowadays trading humans (especially when they are alive, but not only) is not socially acceptable. Human trafficking is studied so as a illicit activity, punishable by the law. Because of its immorality is so delicate to talk about it and to have an accurate inquiry about it. Most of the information is approximative in this blogpost.

Firstly, some statistics: Each year more than half a million persons are trafficked. They are forty nine percent were women, twenty one percent girls, eighteen percent men and twelve percent boys, says the UNITED NATIONS New York, 2014 Global Report on Trafficking Persons in 2014. This persons are mostly forced into prostitution but not only, they are also tangled in forced labour and servitude (modern kind of slavery) and a in a minority of cases in organ removal.

Blaam (2010) sees woman and children as principal targets because of their weaker status on society, the lack of political rights, education and poverty make them easier objectives of organised criminal networks.

If we estimate that eight hundred seventy-two million people is illiterates in developing countries, imagine that two thirds of all of them are women said O’Brien and William (2013). Then is easier to understand how lack of education is gendered and affects more women rather than man.

Human trafficking happens in all countries and all regions. This UN report confirm 152 different citizenships involved in human trafficking in 124 countries around the world. But human trafficking can also remain within a same country or region. Traffickers were between 2010 and 2012 twenty eight percent of persons convicted for trafficking in persons, were women and seventy two were man.

Capture
From the Global Report on Trafficking in Persons

Child trafficking drift to child slavery, working in mines or markets but prostitution is one of the saddest parts of child trafficking. United Nations international Children’s Fund (UNICEF) estimate that each year two million children are abused! International labour organisation supports that 1.8 million children labour in pornography and sex industries. This is related to the increase of sex tourism. Debt bondage is current in this situations. Poor families, looking forward to upward mobility, sell their youngest to traffickers expecting them to learn respectable jobs. Unfortunately  the child en debt itself toward their trafficker and it is forced, through its labour, to pay back. International Bureau for children’s rights estimate that this trafficking generates twelve millions dollars annually.

ffcecc26918613.5635e175a7828
Indonesian girl- Her brother is actually stealing her food

Sadly there is a connection between sex trade and militarisation said Chenoy (2002 in to O’Brien and William (2013:301) ). We can recall Vietnam war and how the soldiers stimulated the sex tourism in Thailand through their “rest and relaxation” in between battles. Once the war over, new waves of Japanese and western tourist ( mostly males) took the place left by American army. In Thailand, the magnitude of this sex tourism is enormous. t is stipulated that seventy three percent of tourist are single males and that from all the women in Thailand, one in three is engaged in some sort of prostitution.

Woman do not only are the first victims in human trafficking, they also are in child marriage which is another way to strip away the individual possession of its own body. Child marriage in a gendered situation although it affects also boy. For example, in Niger five percent of men aged between twenty and forty nine were married before age eighteen, while for the same range of age seventy seven percent of women are concerned. This is a spread custom in in south Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.

This is a clear manifestation of gender inequality: about two hundred and fifty women alive today were married before the age of fifteen. And UNICEF report on child marriage claims that “almost half of all child brides worldwide live in south Asia; one in three are in India”.

Another place where woman has seen her roles devastated is in the domestic wok. Eighteen thousand Sri Lanka woman, in 1984 where working abroad in domestic service as four years late, in 1988, eighty-one thousand Filipino woman were in the same situation. This woman were sending home almost sixty to a hundred million dollars in foreign exchange.

This huge industry where woman is used in a service industry involuntarily is not frame by the legal system neither by local authorities neither by international organisations.Even though almost all the countries among those covered by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime criminalise human trafficking, in not enough. But the if the legal framework exist it is really poorly respected. International institutions do not make, in my opinion, enough to stop or even frame this industry. To do so we must talk and react on this matters! Their importance cannot be underestimated. Change can come from people like you and me.

Laetitia Nauleau

 

Bibliography

UNITED NATIONS New York, 2014 Global Report on Trafficking in Persons 2014

https://www.unodc.org/documents/data-and-analysis/glotip/GLOTIP_2014_full_report.pdf

 

Balaam, D. N. and Dillman, B.L. (2010) Introduction to international political economy. United States: Pearson Education (US). pp 399

 

Unicef (2013) ‘Ending child marriage: Progress and prospects’. Unite for children

 

Robert O’Brien, Marc Williams (2013) Global Political Economy: Evolution and Dynamics (Palgrave Macmillan 4th edition), pp. 282.

 

picture:https://www.behance.net/gallery/26918613/Bali-Indonesia

Who Are The British Working Class?

Sierra Leone Diamond Mining Picture courtesy of The Guardian.

The Class Issue is one of the most important issues in Global Economics. We live in a world where the 1% of the World owns 48% of the Global GDP, whilst the poorest 80% owns only 5.5% and this gap is growing. [Hardoon, page 3]

The problem is that we have become confused with the class structure defined by Karl Marx in his writings. The British Working Class refers to those who are working class with British Citizenship. This however does not fit with Marx’s view of Working Class or in his words: Proletariat [Marx. Essential Left, page 15], as most of the products we use, eat, drink, smoke etc. are made by the labour of workers in other countries. Therefore the definition of the British Working Class could be extended to include those workers in foreign lands who contribute to the consumer products used in Britain. This relates for many countries, especially under neo-Liberalism where political borders are not recognised by the current World economy.

Yet these workers do not have a vote in British elections and have no say in the countries that most of the big companies that benefit from their people’s labour, come from. The British Working Class have then not yet earned the vote, except for the few who actually live in Britain. Of course they wouldn’t just be British working class, as there are consumers for the products they made across the globe, especially within the ‘Triad’ [Millet page 1] countries of North America, Western Europe, Oceania and Japan.

This shows that when looking at the neo-Liberal economic system Marx is as relevant, if not more relevant, than when he was active. As the Working Class of the United Kingdom have a strong welfare state, which includes a national health service, benefits, free education and council housing, it must be remembered that these are all paid for with the labour of the working class of the Global South. Although there are levels to oppression within the World, the Working Class of the ‘Triad Nations benefit heavily from neo-Colonialism. Everything that we buy, is only truly worth the labour that went into creating it and bringing it to you [Marx. Capital Page 819].This is a fact that many Western Marxists do not speak about, in fact they appear to be closer with their own governments, which they claim to be trying to bring down, than they are with anti-Imperialist governments within the Global South. It appears that they are in reality campaigning for the Working Class within the Triad nations to get a bigger slice of the Imperialist cake.

Whilst the Soviet style communism which attempted to rival the capitalist Triad Nation’s power may not have been perfect, they did force the Triad to have to at least give more to Global South Nations in fear of them becoming communist, although once the point of no return was passed it also encouraged the warmongering head of the ‘Triad Bloc’: the United States of America to be more likely to overthrow the government. Today there is no alternative to the neo-Liberal policies that plague the World and it seems that only Capitalism can bring itself down.

The problem is that when you have a system based on profit and essentially greed, it will inevitably bring you to the point that we are at. Only by controlling capitalism can one sustain it and keep it running, although many say that due to the greedy nature of capitalism any such measures would only be temporary before someone with money power believes he is entitled to more and uses his influence to completely free the market.

Capitalism is a system that says that you should aspire to be rich, rather than to benefit your society and is inherently evil. Now corporations have become so powerful that even the highest ranked people within them are unable to control them. They have the same legal rights as a human being and are legally humans [Bakan. pages 15-16], yet unlike humans who search for the meaning of their lives and usually have dozens of aspirations and objectives in everyday life, a corporation has only one meaning and objective, to earn huge amounts of money. The monsters that we have created out of our own greed are now in control of us and this system will continue to get worse until we rid ourselves of them.

Capitalism may have been an improvement on the Feudalist system that went before it in many ways and at least now a very tiny percentage of those at the bottom can rise up to high ranking levels within the system, however it is now outdated and the next stage of our political and ideological development must begin. Capitalism has not only failed, but it has become the worst humanitarian disaster of all time.

 

Hüseyin Diakides

 

 

Bibliography

  • HARDOON, D. (2015). Wealth: having it all and wanting more.
  • Karl Marx, 1960. Essential Left (U.Books). Edition. Allen & Unwin.
  • Damien Millet, 2004. Who Owes Who: 50 Questions about World Debt (Global Issues). Edition. Zed Books.
  • Joel Bakan, 2005. The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power. Edition. Constable.
  • Marx, K, 1966. Capital: Volume III. 3rd ed. Moscow: Progress Publishers.

‘Heads I win, tails you lose’

…or what will happen if another financial crisis strikes your bank. The 2008 crisis has been recorded to be the worst after the Great Depression in the 1930s. When the stock markets dropped worldwide, various parts of the global economy were heavily affected. For instance, the housing market suffered so much that resulted in people losing their homes. There has been an ongoing process of identifying the reasons behind the financial meltdown. Researchers present many issues in the global market which, if combined altogether, chances are very likely to result in a crisis. Incompetent regulation of finances, excessive borrowing, high risk taking, deregulation of the derivatives, failures of credit rating agencies and conflicts of interests are only some of the many factors that may contribute to the instability of the global economy.

Federal-Reserve-risk
‘Fractional Reserve Banking’ Hot Paper Money

In the aftermath of the devastating effects of the crisis, the Gross World Product is below its pre-crisis peak and its increase is currently highly unlikely. Does that mean that the issues, which caused the crisis, have not yet received the necessary attention and changes? Let us first take a look at the drivers of the crisis. There are several players in the blame game, but financiers have the biggest role, some of whom have illusions of economic security due to the steady growth and low inflation and therefore decide to risk in lending. Then, central bankers and other regulatory bodies are the ones who supported the process of risk-taking. On the other hand, credit check agencies might also have miscalculated the triple As status they have given to many borrowers, who happen to actually have a low chance of repaying, for example, their mortgages. Central banks role may also be considered key to the prospects of economic growth [The Economist 2013].

Central banks are able to broaden their responsibilities over the maintenance of financial stability e.g. deal with the lack of balance in current accounts. However, they remain lenders of last resort and the reason for this is purely political. Ravenhill [2014] says that legal authorities in the contemporary markets are resting on international treaties and constitutional plans. The future of the global economy has been questioned numerous times by researchers after 2008 and trends show that it is not going to be bright. Globally the current economic growth has been the slowest since the 1930s cutting off massive 3% [IMF Global Financial Stability Report 2015].

imf-probability_re_3465349b
IMF Database

Since many emerging markets are currently driving at least 70% of the current output e.g. Brazil, they are more prone to be affected by a credit crunch and a new crisis. Latin American countries and other emerging markets are on a quest for economic growth [Chan 2015]. However, cutting the interest rate and a more responsible approach to mortgage lending are not enough. Massive investments and reforms need to be made in the state, in strategic infrastructure, regulatory bodies etc. Lasting growth could not be created through huge figures of debt.

 

Bibliography

Ekaterina Tsenkova Dragomirova