Photo: PROVEA

The measures adopted by the Venezuelan government, in the context of the election of the Constituent Assembly and protests by those who question it, further aggravated the human rights situation in that country.

On July 30, the government again responded with violence to demonstrations against it. On this occasion, ten people died, raising the number of people killed in protest situations to 119 in the last four months.

According to investigations by the Public Prosecutor’s Office, a considerable percentage of these deaths resulted from shots fired by police and military officials. Other deaths are due to the actions of armed civilian groups that respond both to sectors of the opposition that propose an insurrectionary response and to para-state groups. In situations of protest, the state response must be based on the principle of protecting life; this emanates from states’ international human rights obligations.

Women salt winners at work

For the third time in 10 years the government of Ghana is involved in a drive to stop illegal artisanal and small scale gold mining, popularly called 'galamsey'. Unlike the previous times the state is supporting rather than leading the campaign against 'galamsey'.

There is currently a campaign spearheaded by the media against the activities of illegal gold mining in Ghana. This campaign has not only called for all unsanctioned and unregulated small- scale gold mining activities to be brought to a halt, but has also led to calls for the operations of legalized small-scale gold miners to be stopped as well. Ghana's policy makers have taken up the cause and have taken a series of actions aimed in the short term, at addressing the challenges posed by illegal small-scale gold mining, 'galamsey'.

On the last official day of the UN High-Level Political Forum, civil society express concern that ‘vision without implementation is hallucination’.

New York, 19 July 2017: Despite soaring rhetoric, glossy reports and slick presentations, the fact remains that implementation on the ground is “stalled”, as highlighted in a series of civil society national reports as part of the global Spotlight Report initiative.

Increasingly, civil society is expressing concern that the SDGs are being used not as a roadmap for social, economic and environmental transformation, but as a vehicle to entrench inequitable power relations.

“SDG-implementation: How are governments doing their part?”
The experience of Civil Society shadow (or spotlight) reporting. How it is key for meaningful participation and accountability

Alternative “shadow” reporting is a well-established tool of civil society to hold governments accountable to their commitments. A number of CSOs have prepared shadow or spotlight reports to follow-up on their governments efforts to implement the 2030-Agenda. Stalled, or slipping back, is the theme that appears in many of the contributions.

Conversation with authors of the Civil Society Report
Spotlight on Sustainable Development 2017

Reclaiming policies for the public: Privatization, partnerships, corporate capture and their impact on sustainability and inequality - assessments and alternatives

The 2017 edition focuses on privatization, partnerships, corporate capture and the impact they have on sustainability and inequality. The articles and textboxes cover all sectors of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs. According to the report, it is time to counter privatization trends, reclaim public policy space and take bold measures to strengthen public finance, regulate or reject PPPs, and weaken the grip of corporate power on people’s lives. These are indispensable prerequisites to achieve the SDGs and to turn the vision of the transformation of our world, as proclaimed in the title of the 2030 Agenda, into reality.

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