To whom justice has failed

Social justice worldwide

The corona pandemic acts like a burning glass: Social inequality is increasing worldwide. About 1 percent of humanity owns 45 percent of global wealth. The poorer half of the world's population has next to nothing, while the rich are getting richer, this trend is accelerating dramatically in the corona crisis. For the first time since 1990, the UN expects a global increase in poverty.

With their trade policy and location competition, the Federal Government and the EU intensified international differences and weakened international agreements and institutions. There has long been a new arms race, and arms exports around the world have reached their highest level since the end of the Cold War. The militarization of foreign policy has neither fought terrorism nor created more security. The federal government likes to call democracy and human rights, but other goals count in everyday political life: asserting economic interests or sealing off Europe from refugees.

We want more social justice - worldwide! We want to overcome the crisis not only for Germany or Europe, but globally. We want to finally put the unleashed predatory capitalism on a leash. We want to fight the causes of flight and not refugees. Our foreign policy must promote democracy, human rights and peace, support civil society, instead of just serving economic interests and making deals with dictators. It must become feminist, social and ecological - that is, include women's organizations, trade unions and social movements. We fight together with partner parties, with trade unionists and social movements for social justice, peace, climate protection, democracy and against racism. Strong movements give us hope, like Fridays for Future or the Black Lives Matter movement in the USA. Together we can change the world.

Socially and ecologically just global economy - combating the causes of flight

A just trade policy is a prerequisite for a peaceful world and for more global social justice. German and European foreign trade policy must no longer be shaped by the narrow-minded goal of putting short-term self-interests first: Those who make others poor and let them stay cannot win. And if you really want to combat the causes of flight, you have to stop creating and exporting them again and again. Partner countries must build their own economies and value chains and be able to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. We want to finally turn trade policy into an instrument of global cooperation, socio-ecological progress and democratization.

  • End trade disputes! Trade conflicts such as those between the USA and China or the EU have caused economic and social damage and intensified competition between locations. Trade policy must no longer be used for political blackmail.
  • Cooperation instead of free trade agreements! Economic agreements must contain a set of rules for the conditions of production. This is how we want to ensure good work and environmental protection along the global production and supply chains. The European Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) cement the global South's dependencies as a supplier of raw materials and must be replaced by fair trade agreements.
  • We are calling for a supply chain law worthy of the name. The law planned by the federal government leaves too many loopholes. Companies must be obliged to rule out human rights violations, child labor and environmental destruction along their value chains. This includes an effective liability rule to strengthen the rights of those affected in raw material extraction areas and to improve working conditions. We want to end the import of rare raw materials that are extracted in conflict regions. That is why we are in favor of a certification requirement. The ability to unionize must become part of the law.
  • Globalize labor law! We support the “UN Treaty”, which obliges companies to respect the rights and dignity of their employees. This gives employees the opportunity to sue for their rights anywhere in the world where they work. Fair trade should become the normal form of trade, both internationally and at local weekly markets.
  • The UN Migration Pact aims to strengthen the rights of refugees and migrant workers. As the country with the world's largest surplus in trade in goods and capital, Germany must campaign for the international ILO convention for the protection of global migrant workers to be legally binding. We demand that the global recruitment agencies for labor migration are only allowed to operate under license, their fees and contracts must be transparent and recruitment fees must be borne by employers.
  • Sustainable economic policy instead of national competition for locations! What is needed is an international equalization mechanism that obliges states with export surpluses to keep their trade balances balanced. In this way, the economy is geared more towards domestic demand. This requires an end to the policy of austerity that promotes the low-wage sector and keeps wages artificially low in Europe. This exports poverty worldwide and is detrimental to the economy.
  • Not again! Hundreds of thousands resisted the planned free trade agreement with the USA, TTIP, because it primarily served the interests of export-oriented companies on both sides of the Atlantic. We want TTIP to be abandoned for good. We also reject the agreement with Canada (CETA) and with South American countries (Mercosur). Ecological and social standards must no longer be neglected, we reject special lawsuits that subordinate democracy and fundamental rights to profit interests.
  • Access to universal health care! The development of vaccines can only come about jointly and must not be conceived by pharmaceutical companies for profit maximization or only at the national level. A broad financial basis must be made available to the World Health Organization (WHO). Medicines that are developed with research funded by taxpayers money must be made available license-free for post-production. We want to expand research and development to combat the deadliest infectious diseases and diseases that are often neglected, such as HIV / AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis.
  • Ban land grabbing and food speculation! The number of starving people around the world has been increasing again since 2014, and this crisis is being exacerbated by the corona pandemic. Our goal is: right to food and food sovereignty for everyone! The World Trade Organization should no longer be responsible for food trade, but the UN's World Food Organization.
  • Overcoming hunger and poverty means securing the livelihood of farms worldwide! We want to support regions in not practicing agriculture primarily for export. We must put an end to the fact that food markets from outside are inundated with food - such as food subsidized in the EU.
  • We want to promote ecological production all over the world and for this purpose agree international systems that protect against falling prices. A reduction in the consumption of raw materials is required, for which we are calling for a new European raw material strategy. The dependence of the countries of the south on raw material exports must be ended. The raw materials strategy presented by the federal government primarily follows the interests of industry.
  • Enable independent development! International cooperation can help overcome poverty through technology transfer and the targeted establishment of local companies. Raw materials should be processed where they are taken from the earth. There is no right of European corporations to access raw materials. Value creation must be enabled and promoted in the countries of the global south.
  • We want data protection and transparency worldwide! In all areas of technology, we need global cooperation in order to create a set of rules that creates binding data protection rules for robotics, data flows and artificial intelligence and makes the algorithms transparent.

Development through Justice

Despite decades of Western "development policy", inequality is increasing worldwide and is hampering economic and social development. The previous development policy has not simply failed. It is an instrument of (post) colonial oppression and exploitation. Development cooperation must finally focus on dignity and solidarity - and break through the destructive dynamics of boundless capital utilization. To do this, we want to strengthen public and civil society structures. Development cooperation must be based on the goals of partner countries and their societies and support them in pursuing independent development paths. The unequal integration of countries in the world market intensifies the economic crises and weakens the countries of the Global South politically.

Our plan for solidarity development work:

  • Right to food and clean water for everyone! Food sovereignty and social security are the foundation of security and stability. To this end, local food markets must be strengthened, the diversity of flora and fauna must be preserved and the misuse of agricultural development programs by transnational corporations must end. The export of highly dangerous pesticides must be banned.
  • Development funds may no longer be misused as incentives to invest in German or international capital. We want to discontinue initiatives such as the Marshall Plan with Africa or Compact with Africa.
  • Development finance from public sources! The money for development cooperation must come from public funds. We want to end the undemocratic influence of private foundations and large investors, as well as public-private partnerships. We want to strengthen the budget support instrument. We want to raise the funds for development cooperation to the amount that has been promised.
  • Not just more, but different! We want development cooperation to be oriented towards the needs of the people in poorer countries - instead of continuing to serve the interests of European companies in particular! We reject the dovetailing of development and security policy, in the sense of so-called border protection and migration control. Isolation is not a development policy! Money should be made available to the countries of the global south in order to enable independent development.

Global climate justice

The countries of the global south are particularly hard hit by climate and environmental degradation, although the main culprits are in the global north. According to Oxfam, the richest 10% of the world's population cause just as much CO2 Emissions like the poorer 50% of the population. The global consequences of climate change are already catastrophic. Water shortages, droughts and floods deprive people of their livelihoods, the consequences are distribution battles over dwindling resources that are forcing more and more people to flee. This must end: the rich must be held accountable. We need a change of course in trade policy and raw material consumption. The Paris Climate Agreement was a minimum consensus between the states. The reduction volumes promised so far by the individual countries are by no means sufficient to achieve these goals (see climate chapter).

  • Germany too must step up and - as one of the main causes of climate change - provide more funds for the Global South so that it can shape its development in a climate-neutral and fair manner.
  • At the UN level, we want to set up a compensation fund for the consequences of climate change and colonialism, which is financed by the industrialized countries. Former colonial powers should pay more into this fund than other states. We want to increase the corresponding climate finance transfers annually.
  • As long as the countries in the global south cannot cover their own needs with green electricity, we therefore reject hydrogen imports from these countries (see chapter on the energy transition).
  • Climate justice instead of greenwashing and indulgences! Industrialized countries are increasingly outsourcing climate and environmental protection measures, e.g. forest protection initiatives, to the Global South, thus evading their responsibility.

Fair taxes around the world

Rich people and corporations must share in the global costs of crises and climate change. What is needed is a fair international tax system with a financial transaction tax. Tax havens must be drained in order to finally enable transnational corporations to participate more in the development of the countries from whose exploitation and resources they benefit (see chapter on fair taxes and chapter on banks and finances).

  • Double taxation agreements that Germany has concluded with many countries in the global south often prevent fair local taxation, most of the money flows to Germany. This has to be stopped!
  • We want the poorest countries to be forgiven, their debt burden crushes them and makes any progress impossible. This requires an international arbitration tribunal. We demand the introduction of state bankruptcy proceedings.

Strengthen the UN and international cooperation

A system of stronger cooperation is needed at the international level, but multilateralism is in crisis. There is an ice age in international relations. The US and its allies on the one hand, and China and Russia on the other, have blocked the Security Council and the United Nations (UN) in recent years. The foundation of the UN includes securing peace and preventing conflicts, safeguarding human rights, promoting social progress and social development, and international cooperation. The UN should provide the framework for states in which the rules are laid down. Its 17 development goals (SDG), including poverty reduction, equality, education and health, are to be achieved by 2030. But the world is far from that today. Poverty and hunger are growing rapidly as a result of the corona pandemic: According to estimates by the UN, up to 235 million people will not have sufficient access to food and drinking water in 2021. While wealth is accumulating in the financial markets, the UN is lacking money everywhere. This makes them dependent on support from private companies and foundations, which primarily pursue their own interests. This undermines the independence and neutrality of the UN.

  • Recalling the Charter of the United Nations, the prohibition of violence, the binding nature of international law. For us, only one standard applies: we condemn breaches of international law, unlike other parties in the Bundestag, regardless of who they originate from.
  • Strengthening and democratizing the UN! The General Assembly must be strengthened vis-à-vis the Security Council. We therefore reject the demand for Germany to have a permanent seat on the Security Council.
  • The countries of the global south need more influence! The social and economic policy competencies, such as in the Economic and Social Council of the UN (ECOSOC), must be strengthened. Exclusive forums such as the G7 should be incorporated into it.
  • The specialized agencies of the UN, such as the World Food Program, the World Health Organization or the refugee agency are not in a position to deal with the crisis appropriately due to underfunding. The rich member states must finally meet their payment obligations and close the funding gap. In the case of the UNHCR, it is about four billion euros, i.e. only a fraction of German armaments spending.
  • In order to reduce the influence of private actors, we want to increase the basic contributions. UN expenditure on military operations must be redistributed in favor of funds for hunger control, peaceful conflict management and civilian crisis prevention.
  • We support the UN Secretary General António Guterres' appeal for a global ceasefire.
  • Economic sanctions hit the common people above all and must be ended.

Enforce human rights

Human rights are universal and require political action. All human rights are equally important to us: social, economic, cultural and political. As LINKE, we criticize the breach of human rights everywhere. We oppose the double standards of the federal government.

  • We want to enforce human rights globally, for this the international judiciary must be strengthened.
  • Peace is an essential prerequisite for the realization of human rights and comprehensive human development. We want the right to peace to be enshrined in international law. Human rights must not be instrumentalized to wage war.
  • We want the Federal Government to sign the Additional Protocol to the International Covenant on Human Rights so that individuals have the opportunity to appeal to the UN.
  • We want to promote civil society instead of making deals with dictators! To this end, we will set up a fund to promote civil society actors, who work for democracy, equality and social justice worldwide, we want to provide him with substantial financial resources.
  • Germany must actively campaign for the release of political prisoners. We want to end the arbitrary criminalization of progressive movements, also by the authorities in this country.

Dealing with German and European colonialism

DIE LINKE demands that German colonialism and its effects in international relations be dealt with to this day. Colonialism must finally be recognized as rule of injustice.

  • We want a public debate within German institutions and support for the anti-colonial culture of remembrance in the former colonies. To this end, we are calling for a parliamentary study commission to be set up.
  • The federal government must apologize for the genocide of the OvaHerero and Nama in the former German colony of South West Africa. Consultations on adequate compensation must begin with representatives of the communities in Nambia. BMZ development projects do not constitute compensation payments.
  • Cultural and natural objects must be returned to their countries of origin. Artifacts may only be exhibited on loan in the Federal Republic of Germany with official approval. Mortal remains must be handed over to the communities of origin. Research on illegally acquired collections must be stopped.