MALMÖ, SWEDEN: Swedish Human Rights Conference (Nov 16)

MALMÖ, SWEDEN: Swedish Human Rights Conference (Nov 16)

BIEN co-founder and honorary co-president Guy Standing will be speaking about basic income as a human right at the Swedish Forum for Human Rights, which will be held in Malmö on November 16.

The Swedish Forum for Human Rights is Scandinavia’s largest annual forum about human rights–drawing over 2,000 attendees from schools, universities, businesses, government offices, non-governmental organizations, and more.

The forum was created in 2000, when a coalition of groups–the association Ordfront, the Academy of Democracy, the Foundation for Human Rights, the Stockholm School of Theology, and the Swedish Institute of International Affairs–decided to create a space in which to connect research and practice in fields related to human rights. Since 2004, the Swedish Forum for Human Rights has convened annually in November, with the location alternating between Stockholm and another Swedish city.

The theme of the 2016 forum is “It’s about your rights!”

We all share the same human rights but what are these rights and what do they entail? In what way does this affect you in everyday life? How do you gain knowledge about your rights? Today, the state’s obligation to uphold human right is often lacking and civil society and activists have to assume responsibility. How does this affect people’s opportunity to obtain their rights and what happens to the accountability? During a time when so many are seeking refuge, the right to asylum risks being threatened. How can it be protected?

For more information about the event, including a complete list of speakers, see:

Reviewed by Ali Özgür Abalı

Photo: “Stockhom Uni subway” CC BY 2.0 Wrote

HUMAN RIGHTS DAY: Basic income as human right campaign

bihumrightHuman Rights Day is celebrated across the world every year on December 10. The date was chosen to honor the United Nations General Assembly’s adoption and proclamation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on December 10, 1948.

Human dignity is inviolable and basic income is a human right. Make your point by changing your profile picture on social media. Choose your picture here or add new ones. And invite your friends to join!

The action started on December 5 and will end December 12. Basic income supporters around the world are participating in numbers.

The hand-bird symbol in the pictures is the official Human Rights Logo. The background is taken from the German-Swiss movie “Basic Income: a Cultural Impulse”, by Enno Schmidt and Daniel Häni – you can watch the movie with English subtitles.

For the Facebook event, click here. The main page of the initiative is

David Peck, “Rob Rainer on human rights and income security [Interview]”

Summary: In this episode Rob talks about human rights, basic income security and an approach to poverty that makes a whole lot of sense. Rob has 20 years of experience in not-for-profit leadership, primarily in environmental conservation and sustainable development and more recently concerning poverty in Canada. He has been described as a mentor who is “light on my feet” with respect to his capacity to initiate and make decisions. Through his new consultancy, CauseWorth Mission Impact, he is applying his experience, knowledge, skills and contacts in support of organizations involved in social justice, social service, personal development, conservation and environmental protection.

David Peck, “Rob Rainer on human rights and income security [Interview],” Face2Face, August 30, 2013.

Equal Right’s Cap and Share Proposal to Fight Climate Change

Equal Right’s Cap and Share Proposal to Fight Climate Change

Equal Right (formerly ‘World Basic Income’) is a global justice organization advocating for climate and economic justice without borders. We research and campaign for innovative approaches that could achieve global redistribution, tackle global inequalities and secure fundamental human rights for people everywhere. 

Our main focus at present is the intersection of UBI and the climate crisis, and how a radical yet feasible policy known as ‘Cap and Share’ could tackle the harm caused by extractive industries, fund a just transition and deliver a universal cash payment to every person in the world – a payment symbolizing the ‘Equal Right’ we all have over the global commons and the wealth it generates. 

To read the full proposal and learn about a July 25 webinar and employment opportunities with Equal Right, click here.

Unified Basic Income: A Viable Solution for Israel and Palestine?

Unified Basic Income: A Viable Solution for Israel and Palestine?

While the proposition may appear daunting, the exploration of Universal Basic Income (UBI) for both Israelis and Palestinians is certainly worthwhile. Given the sustained conflicts in the region — from bombings in Gaza to raids in villages — and the current Israeli government, a unified UBI may seem implausible. 

Nevertheless, a robust discussion on the potential benefits of a shared UBI program across troubled landscapes from the Mediterranean to the Jordan River is a necessity. Despite a history of failed negotiations and a prevailing sentiment of intractability, a UBI offers a novel approach to a perennial issue.

Scholars like Diana Bashur, renowned for her research on the influence of UBI in conflict-ridden areas, argue for its potential to improve social cohesion, bolster peacekeeping initiatives, strengthen social contracts, and enhance the resilience of communities. As demonstrated in her most recent work on post-war Syria, UBI might not be a panacea, but it could be a crucial step toward a more equitable society. This innovative peace-building measure, detailed extensively in Bashur’s work, ought to be considered seriously by policymakers seeking to address one of the oldest conflicts of mankind.

Imagine the application of UBI across Palestine and Israel — in Gaza, the West Bank, Jerusalem, and Haifa. This shared income would not discriminate between Palestinians and Israelis but rather assert a human right to live with dignity. Such a policy could foster a sense of shared belonging and equality, thus promoting mutual respect, regardless of religious, cultural, or ethnic differences. It would necessitate a cooperative approach from both Palestinians and Israelis, forging a partnership necessary to make UBI a success.

A harmonious social connection, coupled with non-discriminatory policies, could enhance security and decrease instances of violence. Moreover, acknowledging the human rights associated with UBI could demonstrate to even the most radical factions the shared humanity of all residents. From an economic perspective, investments into UBI could foster development and societal contribution, provided these efforts are accompanied by comprehensive security measures and advancements in healthcare and education.

Contrary to critics, such a program may not be prohibitively costly. With the successful implementation of UBI and accompanying reforms, reductions in military and security spending could be realized, thus paying for itself. The benefits of UBI in terms of lives preserved and cycles of violence broken are invaluable. Providing Palestinians, particularly those in Gaza and the occupied regions, with genuine opportunities could not only disrupt the status quo but also increase their societal contributions.

The current situation in the region, marked by loss, radicalization, and animosity, is untenable. Desires for change resonate on both sides — the Israeli protests and the widespread dissatisfaction among Palestinians are testaments to this. Therefore, despite its potential complexities, the implementation of a shared UBI could be both economically and politically feasible.

While this article merely introduces the concept of a unified UBI for Israel and Palestine, the technicalities of such a policy’s execution will be elaborated in forthcoming work.

It is not asserted here that a shared UBI would be a panacea for all the region’s problems, nor that its implementation would be straightforward. The argument presented is that a unified UBI could assure the right of all residents to a life of dignity, thus breaking the cycle of violence. Once this foundation is established, politicians can convene to debate boundaries and borders in an environment free of immediate pressure.

Written by: Ahmed Elbas

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