In hardly any other area are the contradictions of capitalism as evident as in agriculture and nutrition. Our food is a commodity, the contents of which are as little understood as the social and environmental conditions under which it is produced. Biodiversity, fertile soils and water resources are becoming increasingly scarce. Corporate power in Germany exerts price pressure on agricultural producers. In the Global South, farmers are are having their land and seed control expropriated. Agricultural workers across the global supply chains are being exploited.
Michael Fakhri, Lucía Guadagno
The human right to access to the best possible health, enshrined in the United Nations Charter of Human Rights, is denied to half the world's population. Millions of people around the world die from diseases that could be easily cured with today's medical science. In many parts of the world, there is a shortage of doctors and medical professionals, as well as hospitals and health posts. Access to vital medicines is highly unevenly distributed: One third of the world's population has no access because patent rules in the interest of the pharmaceutical industry lead to high drug prices and prevent a fair distribution of vital medicines. Basic medical care has to be paid for out of one's own pocket in many places, even in public hospitals – unaffordable for millions of people. The result: instead of a publicly accessible health system, health becomes a commodity for the privileged. Medical undersupply is only one part of the global health crisis. All over the world, it is the social and political conditions that determine life and death far more than medical factors. The conditions under which we grow up, live, work and learn have a decisive influence on our health: two billion people have no access to clean drinking water. It is estimated that 20 million people die every year from poverty-related diseases. The sheer coincidence of where one is born determines life expectancy and opportunities, healing or suffering, life or death. Inequalities do not only run along geographical lines, but are also caused by socio-political factors. Poor people everywhere get sick more often and die earlier. Global health policy therefore needs regulation of the prevailing economy. What is needed are not bi- and multilateral trade treaties to protect the interests of investors, but treaties with which the economy is hemmed in across borders according to social standards. Health care must become a public good to which everyone everywhere in the world is entitled.
Berit Köhler, Jan van Aken
The world is coming apart at the seams: social division, inequality, economic crisis, climate catastrophe and the rise of a new authoritarianism are challenging the foundations of civilisation. Saying that capitalism offers no answers will not be enough. We need effective alternatives, alternative experiments, more democracy and socialist discussions. But something else is also true, and this is especially evident in the Corona crisis: the challenges of a global world cannot be solved at the national level alone. Whether it is about the climate crisis, the necessary restructuring of the mode of production or global social justice - the social left in all its many facets, with its regional experiences, in its local struggles for a better world, this colourful world-social left must rediscover internationalism and renew it from the ground up.
Lucas Ramón Mendos and Daniele Paletta
Green New Deal
As we move into a new decade, humanity is facing unprecedented challenges. The ongoing climate crisis and the devastating COVID-19 pandemic are reshaping our world, exacerbating inequalities and fueling the rise of authoritarianism and nationalistic politics. Recently, a powerful narrative has emerged: the Green New Deal, a powerful call for change that brings with it hopes for delivering deep social and economic transformations. Today, the need for programmes that include the comprehensive decarbonisation and restructuring of our economies and social systems while protecting the climate from collapse has become imperative.
Katja Voigt, Uwe Witt, David Williams, Tetet Lauron, Till Bender
Nessim Achouche, Ndivile Mokoena
It would be wrong to assume that slavery no longer exists today. Indeed, according to the latest estimates by the International Labour Organization, at least 40 million people worldwide are affected by “modern slavery”. This term includes forced labour as well as forced prostitution and other forms of exploitation. Modern slavery is woven into our clothing and is prevalent in the global sex industry and in domestic service. It is particularly important to present these connections now, during the COVID-19 pandemic, because victims of enslavement are currently under particular pressure from the threat of deportation. In addition, the economic recession that accompanies the pandemic is likely to put even more people at risk of trafficking and slavery.
Peace is more than the absence of war. Modern (violent) conflicts have not only direct but also indirect and structural causes, such as poverty, hunger, political discrimination or social inequality. They are multi-layered and complex, with direct, e.g. political discrimination, human rights violations and distributive injustice, and indirect aspects such as consequences of climate change and environmental damage or competition for sales markets and global resources playing a role. The term “positive peace” takes these aspects into account and aims at a lasting peace in which not only direct violence is ended, but also indirect and structural forms of violence are eliminated preventively and sustainably. Positive peace means not thinking about peace only when shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted. The causes of conflicts must be taken into account. Conflicts usually only receive attention when they have become violent. Often, however, conflicts are already there long before they become openly violent. Often they are then reduced to being religious or ethnic conflicts or purely geopolitical or regional conflicts. Mostly, however, these conflicts begin as conflicts of distribution or liberation, which are then fought out along confessional or ethno-regional borders as well as at the international and regional level. Critical conflict analyses must therefore analyse the causes of conflicts and examine the various actors, national and international, conflict profiteers and conflict sufferers, and their interests. The conflict analysis is followed by the question of conflict transformation, i.e. peace policy. Positive peace policy thus starts with the causes of conflicts, which must be eliminated preventively. A positive peace policy must therefore consider, analyse and criticise these causes of conflict, e.g. political discrimination, human rights violations, unjust socio-economic distribution, competition for sales markets and global resources, geopolitical interest politics or climate change. All these things fall under the concept of causes of conflict, which must be addressed preventively if peace is to be more than just the temporary absence of war.
In 1999, the Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung chose the name of probably the best-known socialist in the German-speaking world. Many people associate her person and her work with consistent, intelligent and honest left-wing politics. Rosa Luxemburg (1871-1919) fascinates as an emancipated, versatile and also artistically active woman who lived and worked in a time that still has serious implications for the political left today. Her views did not stand a chance in the socialist and workers' movement in the last century, she was ahead of her time. For the political left of today, her approaches are extraordinarily inspiring.
Raphaël Haab and Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung
Michael R. Krätke
It is difficult to determine how many people are stateless worldwide because the data are so incomplete. Germany also has no specific procedure for determining the extent of statelessness. This Atlas of the Stateless not only aims to make this invisible issue more visible, but also to show how solutions are possible for each of the situations and problems it presents. We have not attempted to be comprehensive in our coverage. Rather, we hope to draw attention to the many facets of this diverse topic. People become stateless for many different reasons: deprivation of citizenship, flight or expulsion, religious discrimination, or the consequences of a nomadic way of life. The effects on those affected are as varied as they are far-reaching. Stateless people are especially vulnerable because no state protects them, and they lack access to basic rights.
Think Tank Hub Geneva
Marie-Claire Van Hout, Charlotte Bigland, Nina Murray
As an office in a UN location, one of our central tasks is to engage with UN-relevant issues, especially those affecting the Global South. Through our analysis of UN-level processes, we seek to develop a better understanding of global power relations. The aim of the analysis is to empower social movements, trade unions, political actors, NGOs, intellectuals and grassroots groups to effectively challenge these relations and thereby develop alternatives to the existing global governance system.
Katja Voigt, Uwe Witt, David Williams, Tetet Lauron, Till Bender
Nessim Achouche, Ndivile Mokoena
Every day, in every country, regardless of religion or culture, women and girls suffer human rights violations because of their gender. With the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the United Nations drafted a resolution in 1948 to ensure the greatest possible protection for all human beings. This naturally includes the prohibition of discrimination against people perceived as women. Yet every day, all over the world, women experience the most serious violations of these human rights: violence in the family, by the partner or at the workplace, denial of sexual and reproductive rights, forced marriages, trafficking in women, forced prostitution, targeted abortion of female foetuses. Furthermore, discrimination against women leads to unequal life chances: the female half of the population worldwide generally receives less pay than the male half. Women often have no access to land, although they are the ones who cultivate the majority of it. In many countries, girls can go to school less often and for less time than boys can. Poverty tends to be female worldwide: of the approximately 700 million people living in extreme poverty, about 70 percent are women. And with almost 500 million people, the majority of illiterate people, two-thirds, are women. Our approach to the enforcement of women's rights is feminist. We understand feminism as a movement towards the abolition of gender hierarchies and social injustice. However, feminism does not stand for gender justice alone. It is inextricably linked to changing social power relations that racially discriminate against or oppress, exploit or marginalise people based on their gender or age, sexual identity, religion, nationality, class, caste or ethnicity.
Worker's Rights and Supply Chains
Everyone has the right to work. The right to work is a basis for the realisation of other human rights and for a life in dignity. It includes the opportunity to earn a living through freely chosen or accepted work. Fundamental to this is, on the one hand, the availability of employment opportunities and, on the other, ensuring non-discrimination in all aspects of work. Forced labour is prohibited under international law. Closely related to the right to work are the right to just and favourable conditions of work and trade union-related rights, i.e. fair wages, equal pay for equal work, the guarantee of a minimum wage, safe and healthy working conditions, adequate working hours and rest periods, and respect for human dignity in relation to all types of work. Workers must also be guaranteed the right to organise and bargain collectively for better working conditions and living standards. They must have the right to form and join a trade union of their choice and to strike. Many human rights violations occur at the beginning of supply chains, e.g. child labour on plantations or the displacement of people for mining projects. The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights stipulate that companies proactively and systematically analyse the risks along their entire supply chain and then take measures that address the extent and scope of human rights violations and their own ability to influence them. Central elements of the UN Guiding Principles are transparency and reporting. These must ensure that companies actually address possible human rights violations and environmental damage, uncover grievances and take appropriate action.