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”
This piece was published in UKSSD blog. (Image credited to UKSSD)
The UK Government committed to reducing inequalities through Sustainable Development Goal 10. Three years later things aren’t on track but is the socio-economic duty the solution we need? Koldo Casla from Just Fair explains.
By signing up to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015, among other things, the UK Government committed to reducing inequalities.
The SDGs, with their 17 Goals and 169 Targets, set the world on a trajectory where we have eradicated poverty, reduced inequalities, halted the loss of biodiversity and combatted catastrophic climate change. Some call them an action plan for the world. But as our chapter on SDG 10 in Measuring up shows, three years later the UK’s chances of hitting the targets on reducing inequalities by 2030 are not looking too good.
Three reasons why the UK will struggle to reduce inequalities
- Between one in five and one in four people earn less than 60% of the median income in the UK. This has barely changed since 2010, and things are not likely to improve as income inequality is projected to rise in the coming years.
- Although wealth inequality (the ownership of assets, including property) contracted between 1997 and 2007, it is now going up as a result of the decreased access to home ownership and because land values are growing faster than the economy. The richest 1,000 people are wealthier than the poorest 40% of households.
- Tax and social security cuts introduced since 2012 have had a particularly severe effect on people on low incomes. Black and ethnic minority households, families with at least one disabled member, and lone parents (who are overwhelmingly women) have suffered disproportionately. According to the Equality and Human Rights Commission, as a result of the tax and welfare reforms households in the bottom 20-30 per cent have lost more than twice as much as those in the top 20 per cent. At this pace, in four years from now 1.5 million more children will live in poverty.
The UK has a strong legal framework to prevent discrimination, we just need to use it Continue reading “Could the socio-economic duty be a way to reduce inequalities in the UK?”
This text introduces the UK chapter of the Spotlight on Sustainable Development 2017 international report, with other contributions from Social Watch, Third World Network, the Global Policy Forum and the Center for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, among others.
“While the Sustainable Development Goals themselves are not framed explicitly in the language of human rights, virtually all of the Goals correspond to the contents of key economic, social and cultural rights.”—UN Secretary-General, December 2016
This report examines the progressive realisation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and economic and social rights in the UK. Specifically, it focuses on three issues: a) the impact of welfare reforms on the right to an adequate standard of living; b) substantive equality; and c) human rights-based accountability for the implementation of the SDGs.
The present and future of economic and social rights in the UK will depend considerably on the legal and policy consequences of the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union. In March, the UK communicated formally its intention to leave the EU, and the negotiations only began in late June. What follows will therefore frame economic and social rights in the context of the uncertainty derived from Brexit.
Author: Koldo Casla