Day: March 3, 2021

75 PIVOTAL PUBLIC POLICIES: UN CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD

Signed by 140 member nations and becoming effective in 1990, the Convention on the Rights of the Child of 1989 is an international human rights treaty setting out children’s civil, political, economic, social health and cultural rights.   Applying to all people under the age of 18, unless the age of majority is attained earlier …

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75 PIVOTAL PUBLIC POLICIES: RWANDA’S PARLIAMENTARY QUOTA

Following the genocide in Rwanda in 1994, when between 800,000-1m people were killed, Rwanda’s surviving population of between 5.5m-6m was between 60% and 70% female. The country’s new constitution, adopted in 2003, reserved 30% of parliamentary seats for women.   In the event, the 2003 election resulted in 48% of parliamentary seats going to women. …

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75 PIVOTAL PUBLIC POLICIES: COLOMBIA’S PEACE DEAL

In August 2016, a peace deal was announced between Colombia’s President, Santos, and the FARC paramilitary group. This followed four years of negotiations, many hosted by the government of Cuba, to end a deadly domestic conflict that had begun in 1964, left 264,000 people dead, displaced millions from their homes and helped embed Colombia at …

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75 PIVOTAL PUBLIC POLICIES: MINHA CASA, MINHA VIDA

The ‘Minha Casa, Minha Vida’ (‘My house, My life’) social housing policy launched in Brazil in 2009 was hugely ambitious, aiming to provide social housing for an estimated 7m people then living in sub-optimal conditions, The program offered participants financing to either buy a new home built by the government or renovate an old one, …

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75 PIVOTAL PUBLIC POLICIES: BRAZIL’S FORCED LICENSING OF ANTI-RETROVIRALS

Objecting to the high prices being charged by foreign pharmaceutical companies for life-saving anti-retroviral drugs, in 1996 the government of Brazil announced that it would force the licensing of their production in the country, for use in fulfilling its pioneering guarantee of free anti-retrovirals to any Brazilian living with HIV/Aids. Refusing in this way to …

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75 PIVOTAL PUBLIC POLICIES: THE CREATION OF THE DEFENSE ADVANCED RESEARCH PROJECTS AGENCY

The agency that became the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency was created in 1958, one year after the Soviet Union launched the Sputnik satellite in 1957, causing fears in the United States that the country was falling behind technologically, and needed to do something special to regain its innovative edge. Initially focused on military priorities, …

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75 PIVOTAL PUBLIC POLICIES: ESTONIA’S E-RESIDENCY

e-Estonia was created by the Estonian government in 1991 as a movement to facilitate citizen interactions with the state through the use of electronic solutions. At the time, only half of the population possessed a phone line. Nine years later, Estonia declared internet access to be a human right, investing in providing it to the …

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75 PIVOTAL PUBLIC POLICIES: INDIA’S AADHAAR PROGRAM

Aadhaar is the world’s largest biometric identification system. Introduced in 2009, its roots go back a decade earlier to 1999, when issuing identification documents to citizens in areas near India’s frontiers was one of the recommendations of the Kargil Review Committee on national security, set up after the Kargil war. The following year, the Rangarajan …

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75 PIVOTAL PUBLIC POLICIES: JAPAN’S BULLET TRAINS

Running between Tokyo and Shin-Osaka, the Tokaido Shinkansen was the world’s first high-speed rail line. Its construction was approved in 1958, with completion in time for the Tokyo summer Olympics in 1964. The so-called bullet train, serving nine different routes across the country, is allowed to operate at speeds of up to 200mph. In over …

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75 PIVOTAL PUBLIC POLICIES: OPENING THE CHANNEL TUNNEL

If nothing else, the opening of the Channel Tunnel in 1994 sent a powerful message of encouragement to policy makers that a good idea can’t be stopped forever. Plans for a tunnel between England and France were first developed more than 200 years ago by French mining engineer Albert Mathieu-Favier, whose vision was of horse-drawn …

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