Sudan

“Informal labor is not a marginal issue in Arab countries. It is a core component of modern Arab economies and the distribution of work therein and is doomed to expand under current policies,” explained Samir Aita, lead researcher of the Arab NGO Network on Development (ANND) at the launch of the 2017 edition of the Arab Watch on Economic and Social Rights, last May 8 in Beirut.

The report, launched publicly at the American University, concludes that the “highest percentages of lack of formality are in countries with the least strict laws and bureaucracies, and vice versa. This goes against the stereotype that says that informality is a result of strict laws and bureaucracies.” It also concludes that “informal labor in Arab countries is mostly waged labor, except in rare cases, which contradicts another idea that says that informal labor is a choice, as young people entering the job market have no choice but to find any type of livelihood, no matter how fragile or temporary.”

Hassan Abdel Nati.
(Photo: Sudan Vision)

Since the student led protest movement emerged in March 2011 in Sudan, demonstrators have acted “peacefully and in line” with the Constitution, but the government reaction has been “vicious”, “unprecedented” and illegal, said Hassan Abdel Ati, Secretary General of Sudan’s National Civic Forum, focal point of Social Watch in the African country.

In terms of gender equity Sudan lags well behind the Sub-Saharan African average and most of its neighbours.

The secession of South Sudan will have severe impacts on both the northern and southern States. Development plans in North Sudan will be seriously at risk due to its dependence on oil revenues, while South Sudan faces major economic and social hardships that could turn the new country into a failed state. Although some gender indicators have improved, there is still a long way to go to bridge the gap between women and men, especially since bias against women is deeply rooted in society. The signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2005 paved the way for civil society organizations to play an effective role in monitoring elections and referendums and to establish parliamentary watch groups.
Liberalisation and privatisation policies, and the new terms of international trade, have had negative impact on the national economy and the socio-economic status of the population. The decline in public investment in services has reflected negatively on human development, as indicated by the decline in calorie intake and the increase of the population under the poverty line. It was also reflected in the almost total failure to realise any of the government’s targets in the fields of health, education, drinking water or sanitation.
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