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IMMIGRANT LABOR, IMMIGRANT RIGHTS by David Bacon, 18 April 2014

When it was originally written, the bill would have allowed young people to qualify for legalization with 900 hours of community service, as an alternative to attending college, which many can not afford. However, when the bill was introduced, the Pentagon pressured to substitute military for community service, though even with that change, Congress did not pass the bill. In the heat of the 2012 presidential campaign, however, "dreamers" sat in at President Obama's Chicago reelection office and demonstrated nationwide, leading Obama to issue an executive order "deferring" the deportation of DREAM Act-eligible young people. Today, many immigrant rights activists view the DREAM Act as an important step towards a more basic reform of the country's immigration laws, and also see the dreamers' strategy as proof that absent Congressional action the administration has the ability, if not the political will, to end mass deportations.
 
Supporting the DREAM Act and other partial protections for the undocumented are worker centers around the country. Worker centers have anchored the protests against repression in Arizona, and fought to pass laws in California, New York, and elsewhere, prohibiting police from turning people over to immigration agents. They have developed grassroots models for organizing migrants who get jobs on street corners. These projects have come together in the National Day Labor Organizing Network. The National Domestic Worker Alliance was organized in part using the experience of day labor organizing, to win rights for domestic workers, almost all of whom are women. It won passage of a domestic worker bill of rights in New York and California. Other projects organize groups with a large immigrant contingent, from taxi drivers to garment workers.


POLICY COHERENCE IN POST -2015 AGENDA SHOULD BE BASED ON HUMAN RIGHTS, UN EXPERT SAYS, 16 March 2014

Goal 8, the focus of Mr. Lumina’s report, is the one goal that encapsulates commitments by rich countries on debt relief, trade and aid, in addition to access to essential medicines and technology transfer. According to him, the Goal was not framed and has not been implemented in a manner that is consistent with the responsibilities of States outlined in international human rights treaties and the Declaration on the Right to Development.

After a survey of progress on each of the issues covered by MDG 8, the report reached similar conclusions as other assessments of similar nature have: there has been little progress to report on this goal.

The Independent Expert reserved, though, the strongest criticism for the progress on debt relief. The commitments on debt relief were implemented mainly through two debt relief initiatives, the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries initiative and the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative. In the Independent Expert’s assessment the initiatives have generally not reduced the vulnerability of heavily indebted poor countries, with many remaining deeply dependent on foreign borrowing and investment.


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Sustainable Development Goals and the Post-2015 Development Agenda from the Point of View of Global Sustainability and Survivability (Part 2) by Tapio Kanninen 10 November 2013.

Eventual change of focus from short-term to long-term SDGs is not going to be easy. The UN System Task Team on the Post-2015 UN Development Agenda (July 2013) saw this change in this way: “..it has been the experience thus far that sustainability targets going beyond descriptive measures will be hard to achieve in this politically fraught area.  Even the selection of benchmark and target dates for sustainability indicators is controversial, as environmental damages have accrued over a long period and their long-term trajectories, say to 2050 and beyond, may be much more critical, even catastrophic, than a trend over 5-10 years would suggest.”

This phrase “long term trajectories, say 2050 and beyond, may be much more critical, even catastrophic…”should be our starting point for any serious work in this area.

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