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MP Breifing: Climate and Debt 2021

Use this briefing to speak to your local MP about climate justice and debt cancellation

A Rights-Based Economy Report

The COVID-19 pandemic has shone a spotlight on the fundamental injustice at the core of our current economic model, which results in scarcity for the many, and unimaginable wealth for the few. The economic fallout from the pandemic and the inadequacy of governments’ responses to it are prompting more and more people to question the morality of an economic system which for decades has placed the market at the centre of all human interactions, measuring progress and development solely in terms of economic growth. In this publication, the Center for Economic and Social Rights (CESR) and Christian Aid – two international organisations working for human rights and economic justice – ask: what would it would look like if we had an economy based on human rights?

Under the radar

Private sector debt and coronavirus in developing countries The G20 must step in and compel private creditors to cancel the debts of developing countries to avoid the loss of many more lives. In the global south, coronavirus is leaving a trail of devastation - from widespread loss of life from the virus itself, to huge economic disruption that has left hundreds of millions of people, who were already struggling to make ends meet, without jobs or sufficient food. Despite this huge economic shock, many developing countries are continuing to pay off debts to rich countries, public institutions like the World Bank and IMF, and some of the richest banks and hedge funds in the world. This means they have less money to meet the immediate needs of the population. This briefing aims to shine a light on the debt owed to private creditors by five African countries - Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal and Zambia - and it outlines the steps which the G20 needs to take immediately to avert further economic chaos. It highlights the central role of enormous financial corporations like BlackRock, HSBC, Goldman Sachs, Legal & General, JP Morgan and UBS, which have become increasingly important in the world of sovereign debt. Private creditors’ share of the foreign debts of low- and lower-middle income governments increased from 25% in 2010 to 47% in 2018.1 Multi-trillion dollar asset manager BlackRock alone holds close to US$1 billion of ‘Eurobonds’ in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal and Zambia through a number of funds.

Cancel the Debt Lobbies Guide

Get involved today using this virtual lobby guide for debt cancellation for the most vulnerable countries in the world

Cancel the Debt supporter toolkit

Explore how you can take part in this campaign to cancel the debt of poor countries

Developing skills for life and making connections in Ghana

In this final update from our EU funded GEOP programme in Ghana, we discover how young men and women are gaining technical, business and leadership skills and are using their collective voice to create better working environments. 

Trapped in illicit finance

The world faces some of the most serious economic, environmental, social and political challenges it ever has. Across the world, citizens are calling for governments to implement policies to address these issues. Again, and again, governments tell them the same thing: “we don’t have the money”. At the same time, it’s a fact that governments worldwide tolerate widespread tax evasion and avoidance – and that malevolent actors routinely steal from government funds. Indeed, it is estimated that $416bn is lost every year to illicit financial flows (IFFs) – illegal or harmful movements of money or capital from one country to another. In this report, Christian Aid and our partners propose a simple solution for plugging some of this funding gap: we must stop tolerating the abusive, unethical and immoral IFFs that rob the poor to enrich the wealthy.

Hunger Strike: The climate and food vulnerability index

The Climate and Food Vulnerability Index shows how the countries most impacted by food insecurity are the least responsible for the climate change which drives it.   The top 10 most insecure countries combined generate just 0.08% of global CO2 emissions. Burundi is both the most food insecure country in the world and has the smallest carbon footprint per person.

Generando Empresas y Derechos Humanos

Las prácticas corporativas irresponsables representan graves riesgos para los derechos humanos. A menudo, tienen impactos que afectan a las personas de manera diferente debido a su género, haciendo que las desigualdades que ya experimentan sean aún mayores. En este informe, identificamos estudios de casos, destacamos temas clave sobre el impacto de género de las prácticas corporativas y exploramos su relación con el derecho internacional de los derechos humanos y los marcos relacionados. Creemos que las empresas, en particular las empresas transnacionales, deben hacer valer los derechos humanos y deben ser responsabilizadas por el derecho internacional de los derechos humanos. También creemos que el Marco de Negocios y Derechos Humanos de la ONU, sus mecanismos de implementación, y los estados y entidades comerciales a los que se aplica, deben responder mejor a los impactos negativos de las empresas en los derechos de las mujeres y los géneros marginados.

Corporate approaches to addressing modern day slavery

Download this report providing a snapshot of corporate approaches to modern day slavery based on research of 21 leading brands and retailers. From the Ethical Trading Initiative and The Ashridge Centre for Business and Sustainability at Hult International Business School.

Tackling modern day slavery - the John Lewis Partnership

Download this report from the John Lewis Partnership outlining their business and human rights strategy in response to the Modern Slavery Act. From the Salt Business Network. 

Modern day slavery: what is it?

Modern slavery is one of the most discussed human rights issues of our time, but what really is it? Download this guide from the Salt Business Network. 

Modern day slavery: A case study of Brazil

Download this case study about modern day slavery in Brazil where, despite having a national action plan to eradicate slave labour since 2003, human rights violations still continue. From the Salt Business Network. 

Engendering Business and Human Rights

Irresponsible corporate practices pose serious human rights risks. Often, they have impacts which affect people differently because of their gender, making the inequalities that they already experience even greater. In this report, we identify case studies, highlight key issues on the gendered impact of corporate practices, and explore their relationship with international human rights law and related frameworks. We believe that businesses, in particular transnational corporations, must bring human rights to bear and must be held to account under international human rights law. We also believe that the UN Business and Human Rights Framework, its implementation mechanisms, and the states and business entities to which it applies, must respond better to the negative impacts of business on the rights of women and marginalised genders.

The new global debt crisis

Spiralling debt repayments divert precious resources from governments that can ill afford to spare them. Without spending money on basic services like clean water, sanitation and health, there is little hope of poor countries meeting the development need, and human rights, of their citizens.  This report explores the current debt crisis, its risks, and ways to tackle it. Produced as part of the Citizens for Financial Justice project

World Bank & IMF briefings

Read our briefing papers ahead of the World Bank Group's 2019 Spring Meetings The Big Shift Needed for Climate Justice A Just Global Economy Leave No One Behind? From Violence to Peace