Heat stress spike predicted to cost global economy $2,400 billion a year
An increase in heat stress at work linked to climate change is set to have a massive impact on global productivity and economic losses, UN labour experts said on Monday.
Highlighting that the world’s poorest countries will be worst affected, particularly in West Africa and South-East Asia, the International Labour Organization (ILO) warned in a new report, that the lost output will be equivalent to 80 million full-time jobs in 2030 and cost $2,400 billion.
People working in agriculture are likely to be worst-hit, as the sector will see 60 per cent of the total global working hours lost from heat stress by the end of the next decade.
Construction will also be “severely impacted”, according to ILO, with an estimated 19 per cent of global working hours lost by 2030.
According to ILO, heat stress generally occurs at above 35 degrees Celsius – that’s 95 degrees Fahrenheit - in places where there is high humidity. In extreme cases it can lead to heatstroke, which can be fatal.
1.4 million refugees set to need urgent resettlement in 2020: UNHCR
More than 1.4 million displaced people in over 60 refugee-host ing countries will need resettlement next year, the UN refugee agency said on Monday.
According to UNHCR’s Projected Global Resettlement Needs 2020 report, those with the greatest resettlement needs in 2020 will be nationals from Syria, followed by South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Globally, resettlement needs in 2020 are set to rise by one per cent compared with this year, driven by increased displacement in Africa and the Americas, of six and 22 per cent respectively.
“Given the record numbers of people needing safety from war, conflict and persecution and the lack of political solutions to these situations, we urgently need countries to come forward and resettle more refugees”, said UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi.
Meanwhile, in a related development, UNHCR has added its support to a call for many more States to increase protection for the LGBTI community and to be more aware of their “unique vulnerability”.
Today, only 37 States grant asylum to individuals on the basis of persecution based on sexual orientation or gender identity, according to UNHCR’s Assistant High Commissioner for Protection, Volker Türk, and UN Independent Expert Victor Madrigal-Borloz.
Many LGBTI refugees continue to face prejudice and violence in countries of transit and host countries, according to Mr. Turk, while Mr. Madrigal-Borloz insisted that others are also exposed to disproportionate levels of arbitrary detention, police abuse, violence and extrajudicial killings, along with forced sterilisations and so-called “conversion therapies”.
Belarus: UN human rights experts denounce execution
And finally, Belarus should halt the execution of individuals who have contacted the Human Rights Committee for help, UN human rights experts have said.
In a statement addressed to the Belorussian authorities, the UN panel cited the case of Aleksandr Zhilnikov, even though it had requested a stay of execution on his behalf.
“To date, Belarus has disregarded every Committee request for interim measures not to execute individuals while their cases were under the Committee’s consideration”, it said on Monday.
Non-compliance with the UN panel’s request “constitutes a serious violation by Belarus of its international obligations under the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights”, to which Belarus acceded in 1992, according to Human Rights Committee.
It noted Mr. Zhilnikov is the 14th person whose execution was carried out despite the fact that his case was pending before the Human Rights Committee.
Daniel Johnson, UN News.