Editorial 1: Tread a new path, one that prioritises social justice


  • May 1 is widely known as Labour Day, a day when we celebrate the contribution of workers worldwide. It is a moment for pride, celebration and hope. Three years after the COVID-19 crisis, followed by inflation, conflict, and food and fuel supply shocks, we badly need this.

Reverse the hard reality, mistrust

  • The  promises of renewal made during the pandemic, of ‘building back better’, have so far not been delivered for the great majority of workers worldwide. Globally, real wages have fallen, poverty is rising, and inequality seems more entrenched than ever. Enterprises have been hard hit. Many could not cope with the cumulative effects of recent unexpected events. Small and micro-enterprises were particularly affected, and many have ceased operations.

The solutions

  1. By prioritising social justice : Our policies and actions must be human-centred, to allow people to pursue both their material well-being and their spiritual development in conditions of freedom and dignity, economic security and equal opportunity.

This approach was agreed aftermath of the Second World War, when the International Labour Organization’s international membership signed the Declaration of Philadelphia, in 1944.

  1. Focusing on ‘decent work’: The most effective way to hit specific growth rates is by providing quality jobs so that people can support themselves and build their own futures — ‘Decent Work for All’, as Sustainable Development Goal 8 terms it.
  2. Ensuring that new technology creates and supports employment; pro-actively facing the challenges of climate change and ensuring we offer the jobs, skills training and transition support necessary for workers and businesses to benefit from the new low-carbon era.
  3. Treating demographic changes as a ‘dividend’ rather than a problem, with supporting action on skills, migration and social protection, to create more cohesive and resilient societies.
  4. We also need to reassess and refashion the architecture of our social and economic systems, so that they support this change of course towards social justice, rather than continuing to channel us into a policy ‘doom loop’ of inequality and instability.
  5. We must reinvigorate labour institutions and organisations so that social dialogue is effective and vigorous and must review laws and regulations affecting the world of work.

Way forward

  • To make all this happen, we need to recommit to international cooperation and  must enhance our efforts and create greater policy coherence, particularly within the multilateral system, such as the Global Coalition for Social Justice.
  • This coalition will create a platform to bring together a broad range of international bodies and stakeholders. It will position social justice as the keystone of the global recovery, so that it is prioritised in national, regional and global policies and actions. In sum, it will ensure that our future is human-centred.


  • We have the chance to reshape the world we live in — economically, socially and environmentally. Let us take this opportunity and move forward to build the equitable and resilient societies that can underpin lasting peace and social justice.

Editorial 2: Stray dogs and poor waste management


  • Cities have witnessed a sharp increase in the stray dog population, which as per the official 2019 livestock census stood at 1.5 crore. The number of dog bites has simultaneously doubled between 2012 and 2020. India also shoulders the highest rabies burden in the world, accounting for a third of global deaths caused due to the disease.

The reasons of attacks

  • Carrying capacity: The ability of a city to support a species  is determined by the availability of food and shelter. Free-ranging dogs, in the absence of these facilities, are scavengers that forage around for food, eventually gravitating towards exposed garbage dumping sites and thus congregate around urban dumps, such as landfills, due to feeding opportunities.
  • Population boom: A rise in population in Indian cities has contributed to a staggering rise in solid waste as the waste often serves as a source of food for hunger-stricken, free-roaming dogs that move towards densely-populated areas in cities, such as urban slums.
  • Distinctive traits: Urban dogs are believed to have a distinct set of traits as compared to rural dogs, as they have learnt to develop survival techniques in fast-paced, often hostile motorised urban environments.
  • Role of urbanisation: A study found a strong link between human population, the amount of municipal and food waste generated, and the number of stray dogs in the cities. It argued that in  effect, the present mode of urbanisation and increase in solid waste has ended up aiding the proliferation of stray dogs
  • Birth control: Tepid animal birth control programmes and insufficient rescue centres, in conjunction with poor waste management, result in a proliferation of street animals in India.
  • Dumping sites: most landfills and dumping sites are located on the peripheries of cities, next to slums and settlement colonies. Thus, the disproportionate burden of dog bites may also fall on people in urban slums leading to dog bites usually  in close proximity to dumping sites than rural slums.

India’s response

  1. The Central Government has framed the Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules, 2023 which is to be implemented by the local authority to control the population of stray dogs through which municipal bodies trap, sterilise and release dogs to slow down the dog population.
  2. The Government has launched ‘National Action Plan For Dog Mediated Rabies Elimination (NAPRE) from India by 2030’.
  3. And finally through rabies control measures, including vaccination drives.


  1. Implementation suffers from low awareness around the health implications of dog bites
  2. Unplanned and unregulated urban development
  3. Lack of serviced affordable urban housing for all
  4. Lack of safe livelihood options and improper solid waste management
  5. Irregular supply of vaccines
  6. Delay in seeking treatments
  7. Lack of national policy

Way forward

  • Rabies deaths in humans are 100% preventable through prompt and appropriate medical care. Vaccinating dogs is the most cost-effective strategy for preventing infection in people. With that adequate and sustained investments, inspiring community pride and educating people about rabies are excellent ways to develop and sustain political will.


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