World Economic Forum





World Economic Forum Report Warns of Dangers in Growing Inequality.


LONDON, Jan 16, 2014 - (Reuters) - A chronic gap between rich and poor is yawning wider, posing the biggest single risk to the world in 2014, even as economies in many countries start to recover, according to the World Economic Forum.......

"Societal concerns include the breakdown of social structures, the decline of trust in institutions, the lack of leadership and persisting gender inequalities. Risks related to ideological polarization, extremism – in particular those of a religious or political nature – and intra-state conflicts such as civil wars, were also frequently highlighted."

Direct Link to Full 60-Page 2014 Report:



Table 1: Ten Global Risks of Highest Concern in 2014


Global Risk


Fiscal crises in key economies


Structurally high unemployment/underemployment


Water crises


Severe income disparity


Failure of climate change mitigation and adaptation


Greater incidence of extreme weather events (e.g. floods, storms, fires)


Global governance failure


Food crises


Failure of a major financial mechanism/institution


Profound political and social instability





Website of the UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty & Human Rights:



Excerpt of Statement by Special Rapporteur - Austerity & Rights of Poor:

.....The Special Rapporteur acknowledged that governments across the globe are struggling to deal with the impacts of the crises, but warned the need to adopt budgetary austerity does not legitimize the adoption of laws and policies that punish the poor. “Not only do such measures undermine human rights, but the cost of implementing them often greatly outweighs the costs of addressing the root causes of poverty and exclusion,” she said......






Extreme Poverty - International Standards

Eliminating poverty and promoting human rights are inter-related objectives voiced by many international treaties and commitments. The persistence of extreme poverty and the recurrence of violations of civil, cultural, economic, political, and social rights are mutually reinforcing. ________________________________________________________


Articles 11, 12, 13 and 14 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (1979)

Art. 11 : 1. States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in the field of employment in order to ensure, on a basis of equality of men and women, the same rights, in particular: a) The right to work as an inalienable right of all human beings; b) The right to the same employment opportunities, including the application of the same criteria for selection in matters of employment; c) The right to free choice of profession and employment, the right to promotion, job security and all benefits and conditions of service and the right to receive vocational training and retraining, including apprenticeships, advanced vocational training and recurrent training; d) The right to equal remuneration, including benefits, and to equal treatment in respect of work of equal value, as well as equality of treatment in the evaluation of the quality of work; e) The right to social security, particularly in cases of retirement, unemployment, sickness, invalidity and old age and other incapacity to work, as well as the right to paid leave; f) The right to protection of health and to safety in working conditions, including the safeguarding of the function of reproduction. 2. In order to prevent discrimination against women on the grounds of marriage or maternity and to ensure their effective right to work, States Parties shall take appropriate measures; a) To prohibit, subject to the imposition of sanctions, dismissal on the grounds of pregnancy or of maternity leave and discrimination in dismissals on the basis of marital status; b) To introduce maternity leave with pay or with comparable social benefits without loss of former employment, seniority or social allowances; c) To encourage the provision of the necessary supporting social services to enable parents to combine family obligations with work responsibilities and participation in public life, in particular through promoting the establishment and development of a network of child care facilities; d) To provide special protection to women during pregnancy in types of work proved to be harmful to them. 3. Protective legislation relating to matters covered in this article shall be reviewed periodically in the light of scientific and technological knowledge and shall be revised, repealed or extended as necessary.

Art. 12 : 1. States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in the field of health care in order to ensure, on a basis of equality of men and women, access to health care services, including those related to family planning. 2. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph 1 of this article, States Parties shall ensure to women appropriate services in connection with pregnancy, confinement and the post-natal period, granting free services where necessary, as well as adequate nutrition during pregnancy and lactation.

Art. 13 : States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in other areas of economic and social life in order to ensure, on a basis of equality of men and women, the same rights, in particular: a) The right to family benefits; (b) The right to bank loans, mortgages and other forms of financial credit ; (c) The right to participate in recreational activities, sports and all aspects of cultural life.

Art. 14 : 1. States Parties shall take into account the particular problems faced by rural women and the significant roles which rural women play in the economic survival of their families, including their work in the non-monetized sectors of the economy, and shall take all appropriate measures to ensure the application of the provisions of the present Convention to women in rural areas. 2. States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in rural areas in order to ensure, on a basis of equality of men and women, that they participate in and benefit from rural development and, in particular, shall ensure to such women the right: a) To participate in the elaboration and implementation of development planning at all levels; b) To have access to adequate health care facilities, including information, counseling and services in family planning; c) To benefit directly from social security programs; d) To obtain all types of training and education, formal and non-formal, including that relating to functional literacy, as well as, inter alia, the benefit of all community and extension services, in order to increase their technical proficiency; e) To organize self-help groups and co-operatives in order to obtain equal access to economic opportunities through employment or self- employment; f) To participate in all community activities; g) To have access to agricultural credit and loans, marketing facilities, appropriate technology and equal treatment in land and agrarian reform as well as in land resettlement schemes; h) To enjoy adequate living conditions, particularly in relation to housing, sanitation, electricity and water supply, transport and communications.