“This new global Human Development Report is an urgent call to tackle one of the world’s great development challenges – providing enough decent work and livelihoods for all,” UN Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator Helen Clark said, launching the report at a ceremony in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.The 2015 Report, Work for Human Development, an editorially independent publication of the UNDP, calls for equitable and decent work for all. In doing so, 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, UNDP said in a summary of the annual report.‘Decent work’ is defined by the UN International Labour Organization (ILO) as opportunities for work that is productive and delivers a fair income, security in the workplace and social protection for families, better prospects for personal development and social integration, freedom for people to express their concerns, organize and participate in the decisions that affect their lives and equality of opportunity and treatment for all women and men.”As for the report’s new Human Development Index (HDI), Sub-Saharan Africa continues to rank among the lowest, but 12 countries have individual HDI levels that put them in the high or medium human development group, and they are: Botswana, Cabo Verde, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Ghana, Mauritius, Namibia, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, and Zambia.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. 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 top five countries in rank order of HDI are: Norway, Australia, Switzerland, Denmark and Netherlands, with no changes from 2014. The bottom five countries in rank order of HDI are: Niger, Central African Republic, Eritrea, Chad, and Burundi. The report’s lead author Selim Jahan said: “Human progress will accelerate when everyone who wants to work has the opportunity to do so under decent circumstances. Yet in many countries, people are often excluded from paid work, or are paid less than others for doing work of the same value.”The report released today said “with better health and education outcomes and reductions in extreme poverty, two billion people have moved out of low human development levels in the last 25 years, the report says.”However, 830 million people are still classified as working poor, living on under $2.00 a day, and more than 200 million people – including 74 million youth – are unemployed, while 21 million people are currently in forced labour, according to the report.The report also presented a detailed new estimate of the share of all work, not just paid work, between men and women. While women carry out 52 percent of all work, “glaring inequalities” remain.“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,” it said. “In contrast, men account for two of every three hours of paid work. When women are paid, they earn globally, on average, 24 percent less than men, and occupy less than a quarter of senior business positions worldwide,” added the report.The report noted that despite new opportunities, more jobs are now becoming vulnerable and a wide digital divide remains.The report also said that work opportunities can be fostered by the Sustainable Development Goals. For example, it said, that around 45 million additional health workers will be needed to meet the health objectives of the global goals that would see the global health workforce increase in size from 34 million in 2012 to 79 million by 2030.
Oscar Pistorius was in the process of buying six guns at the time he shot dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, more than usually allowed under South African law, his murder trial heard Monday.Gun licenser Sean Rens testified that Pistorius had sound knowledge of gun laws, but also once entered full “combat mode” after mistaking a washing machine for an intruder.When Steenkamp died on Valentine’s Day last year, the Paralympic champion had recently been invoiced for six guns including a Smith & Wesson 500, described by its manufacturer as the “most powerful production revolver in the world”.Pistorius had also ordered a Vector .223-calibre rifle, a 38-calibre Smith & Wesson revolver and three shotguns: a Mossberg Maverick, a Winchester and a Carbine gun.“The transaction was cancelled a month post-incident,” said Rens, manager of a firearms training academy in Walkerville, south of Johannesburg, as the athlete’s trial entered its third week.South African law allows non-collectors to possess only four firearms.Oscar Pistorius arrives at the high court in Pretoria, South Africa, Monday, March 17, 2014. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)Pistorius knew the country’s gun laws, says expertRens, whose job involves arranging gun sales, licensing and training, said Pistorius “had a great love and enthusiasm” for firearms and scored high on an examination intended to quiz gun owners on the lawful use of lethal weapons.Licensing examination records confirm that the 27-year-old Pistorius knew the country’s gun laws well, the court heard.He answered correctly that he could only shoot at a person if his life was directly threatened.Asked in the test if he could fire at burglars stealing a television from his house, Pistorius wrote: “No. Life is not in danger.”Pistorius says he shot dead his 29-year-old girlfriend through a locked toilet door after mistaking her for an intruder.But the state has drawn on previous gun incidents to depict the athlete as rash and trigger-happy, in support of the charge of premeditated murder.The sprinter faces three additional non-related charges over firing a gun in a restaurant and from a moving car, and for the illegal possession of ammunition.‘Combat mode’Rens met the Paralympic gold medallist in 2012 through a mutual friend. At the time, Pistorius owned a 9 mm pistol and the pair visited a shooting range together around 10 times.But despite good knowledge of gun laws, Rens said the athlete told him he once drew his gun inside his house at a suspicious noise, which turned out to be the washing machine.“He went into what we call ‘code red’, or combat mode, in other words to draw his gun and go and clear his house,” Rens testified Monday.Pistorius tweeted about the incident in November 2012 saying: “Nothing like getting home to hear the washing machine on and thinking its an intruder to go into full combat recon mode into the pantry!”He later deleted the post.Following Rens’ testimony, police photographer Bennie van Staden walked the court through pictures he took at the Paralympic gold medallist’s upmarket Pretoria home.Earlier in the morning Steenkamp’s mother June attended the trial for the first time since its opening day on March 3. She left as the court was shown photos of Pistorius’s bloodstained prostheses.June Steenkamp, mother of Reeva Steenkamp, leaves the high court in Pretoria, South Africa, Monday, March 17, 2014, after a court break for lunch. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)Van Staden’s meticulous 15 photo albums were detailed after damaging revelations concerning the credibility of the police investigation.Defence lawyers argue police contaminated the scene after officers last week conceded to moving evidence, handling a gun without gloves and even stealing from Pistorius’s house.Van Staden said he moved the athlete’s duvet and bloodied towels in his bathroom to look for further evidence, and only after documenting their original position.Images also showed damage to the bedroom door and a blood splatter on bedsheets and a bedroom wall, suggesting a possible tussle the night Steenkamp died.- © AFP, 2014Explainer: Why do they keep saying ‘My Lady’ at the Oscar Pistorius trial?Read: Friend says Pistorius fired gun out of car sunroof after fight with policemanRead: Oscar Pistorius vomits in court as details of Reeva Steenkamp’s autopsy are given