3 June 2018   Leave a comment

Philip Alston is the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty, an initiative undertaken by the United Nations as a mandate consistent with its responsibilities governing human rights.  He has been conducting an investigation into the problem of poverty in the US, focusing particularly on the status of children in the US.  His most recent report outlines the grim statistics on the US:

  • 18% of American children – some 13.3 million – were living in poverty in 2016, making up almost a third of the total poor;
  • more than one in five homeless people are children, including 1.3 million school students who were without a home during the academic year;
  • infant mortality, at 5.8 deaths per 1,000 live births, is almost 50% higher than other advanced nations;
  • the US ranks 25th out of 29 industrialised countries in terms of the amount it invests in young children.

These findings are consistent with a recent report by Save the Children.  Save the Children does an annual ranking of 175 countries, measuring many indicators of child welfare such as mortality, nutrition, and education.  In its most recent ranking, Singapore, Slovenia, Norway, Sweden and Finland are the five countries with the highest ranks and “The U.S. ranks 36th, between Belarus and Russia, and well behind other developed nations, including the United Kingdom and Canada.”


The Slovenia Democratic party (SDS) has won the Parliamentary elections with about 25% of the vote, a percentage that will require a coalition government.  The party is led by Janez Janša, a former Prime Minister, and its platform is populist and anti-immigrant.  Janša was supported by Viktor Orban of neighboring Hungary and the election is consistent with others in Europe, including the most recent one in Italy, as populist parties become more popular.   Slovenia was a transit point for many refugees fleeing the violence in Syria, and the vote signals a backlash against that movement of people.  The sentiment is also reflected in the recent statement by Alexander Gauland, the co-leader of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) Party in Germany who was quoted as saying: ““We have a glorious history and it, dear friends, lasted longer than those blasted 12 years.  Hitler and the Nazis are just a speck of bird poop in more than 1,000 years of successful German history.”

Posted June 3, 2018 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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