Sherwood’s “Human rights groups face global crackdown ‘not seen in a generation’” reports a shrinking civic space in a growing number of countries. Oxfam and Civicus also ring alarm bells and Amnesty International plans to launch a campaign to protect NGOs next year. 60 countries have passed laws to restrict NGOs’ activities over the past 3 years with India, China, Russia, Egypt, Uganda, and Cambodia being the most recent. The main forces being this trend: less aid and influence from the West, governments’ growing fear of uncontrollable uprisings, and proliferation of counter-terrorism measures.
The Economist‘s “Why the UN does not pay its interns” explains just that. It follows the buzz created by the story of David Hyde who interning with the UN in Geneva slept in a tent because he could not afford a rent with an unpaid internship. [It turns out that the story was entirely plotted to shed light on the disapproved UN rules…] I have interns in my team yearlong and believe that their work should be paid. As a first step, let’s align with the ILO and FAO who offer stipends to cover for interns’ living expenditures?
My graph this week is from Diamond’s “How we die in the US versus how people die abroad”. It compares causes of death in high-income and low-income countries: heart diseases, strokes and lower respiratory infections kill rich and poor. And life expectancy at birth averages 81 years for the rich versus 59 for the poor.
My quote of the week is from Putnam at the Aspen Ideas Festival where he talks about his latest (great) book Our Kids: “The costs to the whole society of a generation of 25 million poor kids in America are estimated at roughly, over their lifetime, 5 trillion dollars. […] The most important reason why it is in our interest to help those poor kids is that our economy will grow more rapidly if we make use of the talents that are currently not being used because these poor kids are not being put in a position to advance. […] We are moving towards an America where being affluent and being poor is inherited.” [13’24”]