Please visit this page regularly for significant developments concerning childhood.
- Our World in Data analysed conflicts in which at least one party was the government of a state and which generated more than 25 battle-related deaths are included. The data refer to direct violent deaths. Deaths due to disease or famine caused by conflict are excluded. Extra-judicial killings in custody are also excluded.
Understanding food - where it comes from; how to get it to everyone who needs it in a cost-effective but sustainable way; what's healthy and what isn't - has never seemed a more urgent challenge. Halcyon is therefore monitoring key food-related trends around the world.
Please see below the latest key developments around (in)equality.
- A report from the World Bank found that South Africa is the world’s most unequal country. The top 1 percent of South Africans own 70.9 percent of the nation's wealth. The bottom 60 percent of South Africans collectively control just 7 percent.
- The picture for the economic gap between men and women is bleak and won’t be closed for another 217 years, according to the latest World Economic Forum analysis.
Signal Media noted in early 2018 that the three largest economic zones on Earth differ significantly in how they treat privacy. Europe gives people the last word on how their personal data can be used – and imposes harsh penalties on rule-breakers. In China, it’s the government that has the real sovereignty over all data and information flows (Russia and Turkey are trying fitfully to do the same.)
But in the US, apart from some sector-specific exceptions such as healthcare and a general ban on deceptive trading practices, it falls to private companies to set their own privacy policies on their platforms. As Facebook and others have found out, profit-seeking, politics, and privacy don’t always fit together neatly.
London boasts over 300 different spoken languages — more than any other city in the world, according to The Information Capital. The capital’s lingua franca, of course, remains English: 78% of Londoners cited it as their ‘main’ language in the 2011 Census. The other 22% speak in different tongues, including Urdu, Somali and Tagalog.
"Politics is the great generaliser and literature the great particulariser" - Philip Roth
There are currently about 3.3 billion people living under political systems considered autocratic, according to a report by the Bertelsmann Stiftung, a research institution. That’s the highest number registered since they began regular surveys in 2006. Still, 4.2 billion people live in democracies.
Can we imagine how we might all become just slightly happier, rather than trying to solve the insoluble - i.e. the perennial problem of human happiness and fulfilment?
Becoming happier is a subject that has occupied some of history's greatest thinkers, but how do we sort the good ideas from the bad? Are there any hard and fast rules when it comes to happiness, and should we trust anyone who claims to know the secret?
Identities are always at some level imagined, believes Eurasia Group, arguing that what people choose to focus on differs widely from country to country, according to a 2017 study by Pew Research. A few findings:
52% of Hungarians see place of birth as the most important attribute of national identity, while only 13% of Germans say the same.
84% of Dutch say being able to speak the national language is very important to being truly part of the nation, but only 59% of Italians share this view.
We often think being alone is something to fear. Yet it has been an integral component in the lives of many of our greatest thinkers. Are we more real when we are alone and perhaps also more alive?
Animals like lobsters feel pain. Our laws need to protect them, Quartz argued in early 2018. On the news of Switzerland banning the boiling of live, non-stunned crustaceans of the species, it’s time to reopen the ongoing discussion about animal consciousness and cognition.