United Nations Human Development Report 2015 released

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The United Nations Human Development Report 2015 was released on 14 December 2015 with the title Work for Human Development in Ethiopia. As per the report, 2 billion people lifted out of low human development in last 25 years.

The report urges governments to act to ensure no one is left behind in the fast-changing world of work. It calls for equitable and decent work for all.

In the 2015 report, India with a score of 0.609 has been ranked 130 out of 188 countries in terms of Human Development Index (HDI). In the 2014 report, India was ranked 135 out of 187 countries.

Highlights of the report
• With better health and education outcomes and reductions in extreme poverty, 2 billion people have moved out of low human development levels in the last 25 years.
• 830 million people are classified as working poor who live on under 2 US dollars a day.
• Over 200 million people, including 74 million youth, are unemployed, while 21 million people are currently in forced labour.
• Women carry out 52 percent of all global work, however glaring inequalities in the distribution of work remain there.
• Women are less likely to be paid for their work than men, with three out of every four hours of unpaid work carried out by women. While, men account for two of every three hours of paid work.
• When women are paid, they earn globally 24 percent less than men on average.
• Globalization and technological changes are producing an increasingly polarized world of work for example, the rise of e-commerce and the mass outsourcing of banking, ICT-support, and other services.
• Today, there are seven billion mobile phone subscriptions, 2.3 billion people with smart phones, and 3.2 billion with internet access.
• In 2015, 81 percent of households in developed countries have internet access, but only 34 percent in developing regions and 7 percent in the least developed countries have that access.
• The report warns that many types of routine work are predicted to disappear or be replaced by computers while many more workers face other insecurities.
• The report stresses the key roles that work can play in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). It estimates that around 45 million additional health workers will be needed to meet SDG.
A Three-Pronged Action Agenda
The report proposes a three-pronged action agenda for creating work opportunities and ensuring workers’ well-being. The agenda is:
• A New Social Contract between governments, society, and the private sector, to ensure that all members of society, especially those working outside the formal sector, have their needs taken into account in policy formulation.
• A Global Deal among governments to guarantee workers’ rights and benefits around the world.
• A Decent Work Agenda, encompassing all workers, that will help promote freedom of association, equity, security, and human dignity in work life.

Human Development Index (HDI) in Tables

Top Five Countries

Country HDI in 2014 Rank
Norway 0.944 1
Australia 0.935 2
Switzerland 0.930 3
Denmark 0.923 4
Netherlands 0.922 5

Lowest Five Countries

Country HDI (2014) Rank
Burundi 0.400 184
Chad 0.392 185
Eritrea 0.391 186
Central African Republic 0.350 187
Niger 0.348 188

HDI of Developing Regions

Regions HDI (2014)
Sub-Saharan Africa 0.518
South Asia 0.607
Arab States 0.686
East Asia and the Pacific 0.710
Europe and Central Asia 0.748
Latin America and the Caribbean 0.748

India’s HDI (2014)

Human Development Indices Score
Life Expectancy @ birth 68.0
Expected Years of Schooling (in years) 11.7
Mena Years of Schooling (in years) 5.4
GNI per capita (2011 PPP$) 5497
Inequality-adjusted HDI 0.435
Multi-dimensional Poverty Index (MPI) 0.282
Gender Inequality Adjusted Index (GII) 0.563
Gender Development Index (GDI) 0.795

India’s HDI vis-à-vis BRIC

Country HDI (2014) Rank Category of Human Development
Russia Federation 0.798 50 High
Brazil 0.755 75 High
China 0.727 90 High
South Africa 0.666 116 Medium
India 0.609 130 Medium

India’s HDI vis-à-vis SAARC countries

Country HDI (2014) Rank Category of Human Development
Sri Lanka 0.757 73 High
Maldives 0.706 104 High
India 0.609 130 Medium
Bhutan 0.605 132 Medium
Bangladesh 0.570 142 Medium
Nepal 0.548 145 Low
Pakistan 0.538 147 Low
Afghanistan 0.465 171 Low

• There are 12 countries that have individual HDI levels that put them in the high or medium human development group and these are: Botswana, Cabo Verde, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Ghana, Mauritius, Namibia, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, and Zambia.
• The countries with the steepest drops in HDI rank in 2014 were reported as Libya, which slipped 27 places and Syria, which slipped 15 places.
• The Index is a summary measure of average achievement in key dimensions of human development: a long and healthy life, being knowledgeable and have a decent standard of living.
Suggestions given in Human Development Report 2015
• It encourages governments to look beyond jobs to consider the many kinds of work, such as unpaid care, voluntary, or creative work that are important for human development.
• It calls to reduce the inequality between men and women, societies need new policies, including better access to paid care services.
• Ensuring equal pay, providing paid parental leave, and tackling the harassment and the social norms are among the changes needed.
• It calls on governments to formulate national employment strategies that take into account the many challenges emerging in the rapidly changing world of work.