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Civil Society Financing for Development Mechanism – Regional Briefing: Asia

By Global Inequalities

This briefing was created by the CSO FfD Mechanism for activists and advocates who are interested in getting involved in or learning more about how global economic governance relates to different sectoral and/or local and national struggles in Asia – including feminist movements, food sovereignty and land rights movements, climate justice activists, youth and student movements, human rights advocates, and more.

2023 Dalit and Adivasi Budget Analysis (DABA)

By India

The Dalit and Adivasi Budget Analysis (DABA) provides a thorough analysis of the Union Budget and examines the budget allocation for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes. In 2023, the findings were particularly concerning and newsworthy, as numerous government schemes intended to support these groups have had reduced allocations, while many general schemes are counted as part of the budget for these groups, although they are not directly targeted to them.

Contrary to the commitment to end manual scavenging, no funds were allocated for the rehabilitation of manual scavengers under the self-employment scheme, the scholarship programme for children of people engaged in manual scavenging has been dropped, and the National Safai Karmachari Finance and Development Corporation received a negligible allocation.

Safai Karamcharis Andolan on Budget Promise on Sewage System

By India

“[The] budget fails to take notice of hundreds of deaths taking place in sewers or septic tanks, all these years, whereas we at Safai Karamchari Andolan have been demonstrating on the streets daily for the last 264 days in various parts of the country, demanding to put a complete halt on deaths taking place in sewers and septic tanks. Ironically, since we started this #StopKillingUs campaign on May 11, 2022, there have been more than 50 deaths of Indian citizens inside sewers and septic tanks. But, governments are mum on that.”

Safai Karamcharis Andolan responded to the Union Budget for 2023-2024 with a press release and a video. The organisation raised the issue of the SRMS (rehabilitation scheme) being removed from the budget and merging with the ‘NAMASTE’ scheme which only allocates budget for producing sewage cleaning machines, but not for the people.

The question was raised of why the human element has been lost and how the people themselves will be supported to step out of this work.

Read more

Policy action needed to tackle discrimination on work and descent in contemporary forms of slavery: South Asia

By India

Modern slavery is the recruitment, movement, harbouring or receiving of people through the use of force, coercion, abuse of vulnerability, deception or other means for the purpose of exploitation. The victim under modern slavery is, therefore, confronted with threats, violence and abuse of power. Modern slavery occurs in different situations in which a victim is severely exploited for the gain of the perpetrator, either personal or commercial. It can take various forms such as bonded labour/debt bondage, forced labour, forced child labour, sex trafficking, child sex trafficking, domestic servitude and unlawful recruitment and use of child soldiers.

Discrimination based on work and descent’ (DWD) is the UN terminology for caste discrimination. It affects over 260 million people globally, it has its roots in the centuries-old caste system of India and is prevalent in India, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and the Indian diaspora, owing to shared histories, borders and people.

The briefing demonstrates the links between caste-based discrimination and forms of modern slavery in South Asia, including the practice of forced labour in the form of manual scavenging and presents recommendations for policy-makers at various levels. 

Cover page of briefing on comptemporary forms of slavery in South Asia. Image of 3 children hugging.

Reject the OECD/G20 BEPS Tax Deal of the Rich! UN Tax Convention Now!

By Campaign, Global Inequalities

The Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development (APMDD) welcomes the support of United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for calls for a UN Tax Convention, recently reiterated by Finance Ministers in Africa and by civil society organizations across the world.  This is a step in the right direction towards fixing the fundamental flaws of the international tax architecture and upholds the rights of Global South countries not only to their tax and fiscal sovereignty, but also to raise revenues and rebuild economies in the face of  multiple crises that have sharpened under the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read the full press release

Asia Days of Action 2022 – Tax Justice Now for People’s Recovery

By Campaign, Events, Global Inequalities, India

The Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development, together with its members at the national level across Asia, carried out the Asia Days of Action – “Tax Justice Now for People’s Recovery” from 23 to 24 September 2022 (click here to watch a video summary).

Multisector groups from Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan took part in days of action, holding seminars, protest actions, solidarity gatherings and photo actions. The groups stressed the urgency to address policies that severely undermine the capacities of people to prepare for, respond to, survive, recover, and rebuild when crisis or natural disasters strike.

Highlights in India included a workshop bringing together CSOs, domestic workers and migrant workers, a puppet show on unjust tax regimes, poster-making by children, and a ‘Ride for a Fair Tax’ that mobilised domestic workers on bicycle.

In Bangladesh, garment workers protested in front of the National Press Club, demanding an end to VAT.

In Pakistan, the Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum organised a rally against injustices in the tax system in Pakistan, and a seminar was held to discuss the need for taxes to work for ordinary people and help deliver public services and much needed relief in light of the floods that struck Pakistan that month.

Click here to read the press release

Click here to watch a video of the Asia Days of Action for Tax Justice 2021

Asia Day of Action calls for “Tax Justice for Genuine People’s Recovery!”

By Campaign, Events, Global Inequalities

This press release coincides with the launch of the Asia Days of Action on Tax Justice, and highlights actions being taken by APMDD’s partners in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and the Philippines.

The statement demands changes and reforms in tax and fiscal systems, asking governments and the UN General Assembly to take action by ending unjust tax burdens on the poor, fairly and sharply taxing the wealth and income of corporations and the elite and ensuring taxes are used to meet people’s basic needs.

Tax Justice Now, towards Ending Inequalities And Building People’s Recovery and Resilience

By Campaign, Global Inequalities

The multiple crises brought to the fore by the pandemic have widened inequalities that had already been present and worsening before the COVID-19 outbreak. Any serious attempt at ensuring peoples’ recovery and addressing inequalities would require bold and decisive actions that strike at the root causes of inequalities and multiple crises.

This is a second press release published by APMDD during the Asia Days of Action, focused on the role of tax systems in addressing inequalities.

Read the statement

Communities Discriminated on Work & Descent People’s Assembly – September 2022

By Events, India

Virtual side event to the General Assembly of the United Nations, the Communities Discriminated on Work & Descent People’s Assembly builds on the in-person CDWD People’s Assembly (and its outcome declaration) which took place in June, and July’s CDWD UN strategy workshop.

The Global Forum of Communities Discriminated on Work and Descent (GFoD) organised this side event during the Global People’s Assembly in which NCDHR spoke about the Global Advocacy Plans of the global forum. 

Watch the video