Acoso escolar: La administración se pasa la pelota en el patio mientras el alumnado se queda castigado sin derechos

1Este artículo fue publicado en eldiario.es

Hoy Amnistía Internacional lanza su primer informe a nivel mundial sobre el acoso escolar. Y se centra en España.

El acoso escolar entre iguales, entre compañeros y compañeras de escuela, se define como una forma de agresión o de hostigamiento de carácter físico, verbal o relacional, que es deliberada, se repite en el tiempo y se basa en un desequilibrio de poder.

El acoso escolar pone en riesgo el disfrute de los derechos de niños y niñas, como el derecho a no sufrir violencia, el derecho a la no discriminación, a la educación o a la salud, todos ellos reconocidos en el derecho internacional. Independientemente de que un niño o niña vaya a un centro público, concertado o enteramente privado, los poderes públicos tienen la obligación de protegerles.

A lo largo de año y medio, Amnistía Internacional ha hablado con 125 personas entre adolescentes, madres y padres, profesores/as, directoras/as de centros, orientadores/as, inspectores/as educativos, asociaciones de padres y madres, y representantes sindicales, entre otros. Este informe ve la luz principalmente gracias a estas personas. Continue reading “Acoso escolar: La administración se pasa la pelota en el patio mientras el alumnado se queda castigado sin derechos”

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Philip Alston’s Austerity Report Must Be A Turning Point For Social Justice In Britain

Koldo Casla & Daniel Willis

Published in The Huffington Post first.

Professor Alston said “austerity could easily have spared the poor, if the political will had existed to do so”. We need a radical change to establish the sort of society we want to become.

Continue reading “Philip Alston’s Austerity Report Must Be A Turning Point For Social Justice In Britain”

The socio-economic duty: A powerful idea hidden in plain sight in the Equality Act

This article was published in Oxford Human Rights Blog.

Section 1 of the Equality Act 2010 asks public authorities to actively consider the way in which their policies and their most strategic decisions can increase or decrease inequalities. I am talking about the socio-economic duty. However, successive governments since 2010 have failed to commence it, to bring it to life in technical terms, which means that public authorities are not technically bound by Section 1. Continue reading “The socio-economic duty: A powerful idea hidden in plain sight in the Equality Act”

Sustainable Development Goals in the UK: Not as rosy as the Government wants you to believe

Koldo Casla and Imogen Richmond-Bishop

This article was published first in Open Democracy.

In 2015, all 193 United Nations (UN) member states adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to address the global challenges of our time, including human rights, inequality, poverty and climate change.

All countries, rich and poor, are expected to meet the SDGs. This July the UK Government is voluntarily reporting at the UN in New York on its progress on the implementation of the Goals. Whilst we have yet to see the final report, the Government has made public the preparatory Emerging Findings.

And not all that glitters is gold. Continue reading “Sustainable Development Goals in the UK: Not as rosy as the Government wants you to believe”

The UK must protect economic and social rights with a new law – here’s what should change

file-20190411-44810-69lpa7Koldo Casla & Peter Roderick

This article was published first in The Conversation

Like many other countries, the UK has voluntarily subscribed to a number of international treaties which say that everyone living in the country is entitled to the right to adequate housing, the right to health, the right to social security and other socio-economic rights.

But unlike other countries, by and large these rights have not been incorporated in domestic law, which means that people living in the UK do not have an effective legal way to claim their rights. The UK is an outlier.

That’s why we’ve just launched a consultation on an Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Bill that we’ve developed together with colleagues from other universities and from civil society. It’s the first stage in a process that we hope will eventually end in such a bill being introduced in the British parliament.

The good news is that this means there are several models of incorporating economic and social rights into a country’s legal system that the UK could learn from.

Over 90% of the world’s constitutions recognise at least one socio-economic right. In around 70% of them at least one of these rights is explicitly enforceable in court, and 25% recognise ten or more socio-economic rights as judicially enforceable – particularly those relating to education, trade unions, health-care, social security, child protection and the environment.

The Finnish constitution, for example, imposes the obligation on parliament to legislate for the protection of socio-economic rights, and a widely respected parliamentary committee leads a thorough oversight of this constitutional responsibility. Canadian courts have the power to strike down legislation if it contravenes the constitutional bill of rights, and courts normally give parliament and government a period to comply with judgments.

The South African system creates the expectation that public authorities will adopt reasonable measures to improve the enjoyment of the rights to housing, health and food. In some circumstances, people in South Africa can claim compensation in court if they think they have been victims of public decisions that do not meet that principle of reasonableness. The Spanish constitution establishes that the constitutional bill of rights must be interpreted in accordance with international human rights law, which is part of the domestic legal order.

What would change

Continue reading “The UK must protect economic and social rights with a new law – here’s what should change”

Britain’s cuts to social security breach international human rights law. It is time to invest in a fair future

downloadThis article was published in Open Democracy.

In accordance with international human rights law, countries must take concrete steps to the maximum of their available resources to fulfil economic and social rights progressively. This includes the right to social security and the right to an adequate standard of living.

In case of serious economic difficulties, countries can slow down, halt and even reverse some of the progress, but those measures must be time-limited, objectively necessary and proportionate, adopted after meaningful engagement with those most affected by them, they cannot be discriminatory, must mitigate inequalities and ensure that the rights of the most disadvantaged people are not disproportionately affected. These are the requirements of the human right principle of non-retrogression.

A briefing recently written by the social rights NGO Just Fair for the House of Commons Work and Pensions Committee shows that tax and social security cuts since 2010 have not met the mentioned requirements of non-retrogression and therefore breach the rights to social security and to an adequate standard of living. This means that the UK is infringing the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (Articles 9 and 11) and the European Social Charter (Articles 12 and 13), both of which have been voluntarily subscribed to by the UK. Brexit will not change that.

The briefing is supported by 15 local and national groups working on fair taxation, community engagement, workers’ rights, child poverty, equality and food security: Caritas Anchor House, Unison, Women’s Budget Group, Back To 60, Equality and Diversity Forum, Community Links, Sustain, Fair Play South West, Race On The Agenda, Taxpayers Against Poverty, Research for Action, Latin American Women’s Rights Service, Tax Justice UK, The Equality Trust, and 4 in 10.

Tax and social security policies since 2010 have not been justifiable in terms of the goals they were meant to achieve (a), they have not been proportionate (b) and the effects have been discriminatory (c). The weight of local government funding cuts has fallen on people at risk of harm, discrimination and disadvantage (d), and benefit sanctions have been harmful and largely ineffective (e). Continue reading “Britain’s cuts to social security breach international human rights law. It is time to invest in a fair future”

El Brexit iba de recuperar el control y eso es precisamente lo que está pasando

Este artículo fue publicado en Agenda Pública

Take back control. Recuperar el control. Ese fue el lema de campaña y el compromiso de quienes dicen hoy honrar la voluntad expresada por el pueblo británico en junio de 2016.

Mañana martes los comunes votarán el acuerdo negociado entre el Gobierno británico y la Comisión Europea. Cuando escribo estas líneas, domingo por la noche, la duda es si Theresa May perderá por algo más de 100 votos o por casi 200. Sobre lo que pasará después hagan sus apuestas.

Ahora les propongo que volvamos a las esencias por un momento. Decían que el Reino Unido tenía que salir de la Unión Europea para recuperar el poder democrático.

Pongámoslo a prueba. Continue reading “El Brexit iba de recuperar el control y eso es precisamente lo que está pasando”