Frederico Fellini’s 8 1/2

Frederico Fellini’s 8 ½



Frederico Fellini’s 8 ½ is considered to be a master piece, and has won the Oscar, which is one of the most widely acclaimed recognitions possible for excellence in cinema. This movie is peculiar in that its narrative role is restricted to a form of telling that fills in the gaps of how a film is made. When a usual film is produced, it undergoes a whole battery of processes which are not to be seen by the audience: the sets, the anxiety of the actors and directors etc. all play a part in the overall narrative scheme of a film but remain unnoticed. Fellini’s process in this movie turns this assumption on its head. He uses a meta-cinematic approach (Bondanella, P., 161). He exploits cross-referential commentary by placing it in an unexpected part of narrative: the entire plot of 8 ½ revolves around a filmmaker who is anxious about the process of making his film. Thus, 8 ½ is a visually driven film about film making and is not concerned with complex plotlines or narrative devices, but uses irony to make self-commentary.

The introductory scene uses eerie imagery that is interesting, yet opaque. At this stage one does not know what the plot can potentially develop into. The character on screen is suffocated by fumes in a car, till suddenly he is flying across the sky and eventually, when he least expects it, has a free fall. The scene pans out and we realise that it is the director of the film who has had a nightmare. As the movie develops further, the director is shown to be under great stress and anxiety over the shape his film is taking, or rather not taking. The initial shot in hindsight becomes a predictive omen which opens to the audience a “…pervading anxiety in it that foreshadows the collapse of the director’s plans for his film” (Singer, 201).

Halfway into the narrative scheme, which Fellini constructs with images, the understanding of the director’s problems is made more concrete as a squabble between his mistress and his wife, the petulant actresses and the quibbling director (Singer, 202). He is clad in black through out the movie, which is monochrome, and is shadowed by all the problems that beset his production. When the film is nearing its conclusive moments, and the audience is going to learn what happens of the director’s film, the remains of the sets used for the film are shown as the summary result of his abortive efforts (Singer, 203). The sets were intended for the film, which was based on a post apocalyptic rocket launch, and thus the empty set is a symbolic visual of his plans for the film, which did not take off. The movie at this point is almost tragic, but being the sole engagement of a director with no other plot elements creating a real dilemma or ethical quandary capable of generating pathos, Fellini uses a further device to twist the understanding of the movie.

While the entire movie is replete with the conflicts of the director’s ambition and the resulting anxiety, the last segment in the movie ratifies the angle of interpretation as a visual exercise in ironic self-commentary. From the dream scene at the start we are introduced to the directors later fall from purpose; his failure in making the film he intended. At the end, the actors on screen are two laughing clowns and a comical tune by Nina Rota plays in the background, indicating that the project has ended in a laughable outcome. It is also symbolic of the relief of the director in knowing that at least the harrowing part of making the film is over (Singer, 204). There is also the irony of the director who failed, and that his failed film is a film on its own. In effect the director in being the focal character indeed deserves the last laugh. Thus, while the film is largely visually driven it is also a retelling of the prosaic efforts that go into making one.

Works Cited

Bondanella, Peter. The Cinema of Federico Fellini. UK: Cambridge University Press,

2002. Print.

Singer, Irving. Cinematic Mythmaking; Philosophy in Film. USA: The MIT Press, 2008.





Since the early 1970s, the number of refugees worldwide has gone high by a factor of four, from about four to twelve million people. Additionally, the number of people seeking asylum in developed countries has also increased by a factor of about 10 over the same period, from a figure of about 50,000 per annum in the 1970s, to over half a million in 2001. It has been widely viewed as a serious crisis that requires quick intervention. It has been seen by many as a humanitarian issue (McDonald, 2007). This is because most of the refugees who are displaced from developing countries undergo numerous forms of human suffering such as torture, poverty and disease. Secondly, the increasing migration of asylum seekers in developed countries continues to trigger political controversy about asylum policies that have contributed to a rising political temperature, mostly from the far right. This paper is divided into a number of sections (Giovanni and Gerald, 2006). The first section will analyze various background issues facing refugees and asylum seekers in the United Kingdom. It will also analyze why people move from their home countries to another country, demographic information, and sociological perspective on the issue. The second section will examine the social construction of refuges and asylum seekers as well as the legislative and policy responses facing the problem of refugee and asylum seekers.

Refugees and asylum groups represent a diverse group with one thing in common: they are individuals who have been subjected to forced migration, fleeing from persecution in their home countries. The term ‘asylum seeker’ is used in this paper to refer to individuals who have applied for asylum and are waiting for a decision on their applications. It also refers to the group of people whose applications have been denied based on their inability to fulfill certain requirements. On the other hand, the term refugee is usually used to refer a person who have applied for asylum and who have been given recognition based on their refugee status (Burnett and Peel, 2000). It is also adopted for those who have been given an exceptional or indefinite leave to remain in the United Kingdom. Markedly, the occurrence of war, conflict, minority persecution and factional fighting are deemed to be some of the major reasons that have contributed to this worrying trend. It can be noted that in 2002, there are a high number of people seeking for asylum in the United Kingdom from countries such as Afghanistan, Somalia, Zimbabwe and Iraq. As noted earlier, conflicts and war have been the major cause of refugee flights in many countries. Giovanni and Gerald (2006) contend that the high displacement of people in countries such as Rwanda, Afghanistan, El Salvador, and Somalia has been due to numerous incidences of conflicts that have heightened the movement of refugees to become a humanitarian issue. It is also noted that the movement of refugees are also highly determined by economic and demographic forces as well as violence and political situation in the given country or region. From this perspective, refugee flights and asylum seeking has been attributed to several factors such as repressive political regimes, lack of democracy and weak institutional framework along with other issues that cause human rights abuse (Burnett and Peel, 2000).

It can be noted that refugees and asylum seekers represent a hugely varied group that is different from other migrants. Burke and Shani (2009) mentioned that there are several reasons that differentiate asylum seekers and refugees from other migrants in the United Kingdom. Some of these issues include lack of proper documents, multiple and transition issues, reasons for being in the United Kingdom, unfamiliarity with the country’s culture or system, to mention a few. While the number of refugees and asylum seekers in the United Kingdom has been on the rise, the British government is continuously coming up with new restrictive policies on asylum. It was noted that in the 1980s, the number of asylum seekers and refuges entering Britain rose significantly due to the environmental devastation, military conflict, and breakdown of state structures in the Eastern Europe. Nevertheless, following the introduction of new policy measures, the percentage of successful asylum applications dropped from 58 percent in 1982 to less than 10 percent during the 1990s. McDonald (2007) contends that while political debates in ‘fortress Europe’ has been on the rise, there are no clear or formal policies or programs that have been established to oversee the resettlement of refugees. This implies that the needs of these vulnerable groups are inadequately met. Nevertheless, apart from the refuge community organizations who have assumed an important role in the provision of practical and emotional support, the local authorities also contribute to the livelihood of refugees. On the other hand, under the current support system, asylum seekers have inadequate choices about where they are accommodated. There also cases where asylum seekers have been detained or forced to live in accommodation centers. Burnett and Peel (2000) assert that these forms of treatment have resulted into social exclusion that continues to separate such vulnerable groups from the mainstream society. The situation of asylum seekers and refugees has been characterized by an increasingly hostile environment that has made settlement and development of new goals to be a very difficult endeavor.

The existing information about the population of refugees and asylum seekers in the United Kingdom can be said to provide only partial of the actual numbers and flow of this segment of the population. According to Home Office data, there were a total of 25,930 applications for asylum in 2008, 10 percent more than the previous year. In 2009, the figure was about 24, 485, a decline from what was recorded in 2008. Generally, the numbers have fallen since 2002 where over 30,000 applications of asylum were made (Lorna and Sweeney, 2010). Additionally, in 2008, the UK had the second number of asylum applications from various countries such as Afghanistan, Eritrea, Iraq, Sri Lanka, China, Zimbabwe, Sudan, Iran, India, Democratic Republic of Congo, Pakistan, and Nigeria. Information regarding asylum decisions indicates that a total of 19,400 initial asylum decisions were reached in 2008, 10 percent fewer than the previous year. This also represented a lesser number of the total applications (25,930). Out of this number, a total of 3,725 principal applicants were granted asylum in the United Kingdom, which was 19 percent of the initial decision (Lorna and Sweeney, 2010). In addition, a total of 2,165 people were granted discretionary leave to remain or humanitarian protection, which amounted to 11 percent of the initial asylum decisions. It is also indicated that in 2008, many of the individuals granted asylum in the United Kingdom came from Eritrea (30 percent), Zimbabwe (14 percent and Somalia (13 percent). From this statistics, it can be mentioned that majority of the asylum applicants in the same year were denied asylum in the United Kingdom. Home office data (2009) indicate that 13,505 asylum applicants who make up 70 percent were refused (as cited in Lorna and Sweeney, 2010).

Additionally, there is also information available for children as asylum seekers in the United Kingdom. It is shown that 4,286 unaccompanied asylum-seeking children (UASCs) aged 17 and below applied for asylum in 2008. This figure represents 15 percent more as compared to that of 2005 where 3,645 applicants have been received. It is indicated that in most of these applications, over 91 percent are made in the country of origin while less than 5 percent are made at port. Out of the 2,675 initial decisions made on UASCs, 285 children were granted asylum, 1,790 were granted discretionary leave and humanitarian protection while 585 of the initial decisions were refused (Lorna and Sweeney, 2010).

While the United Kingdom is widely known for providing sanctuary to large numbers of refugees and asylum seekers, the social construction of these people by the media, social and political institutions reveals otherwise. With the increasing reaffirmation of national identity and the concept of common heritage, there is a revived media and political interest into the number of people moving into the United Kingdom (Priya, 2010). Across Britain, conservative electioneering has taken ‘asylum seeking’ to be a major issue during elections, particularly during the 2001 general election campaign. There have also been sensationalist media reports that continue to dominate this issue. Additionally, negative portrayal of asylum seekers has painted them a big challenge to the cultural distinctiveness and a potential threat to the stability of society (Burke and Shani, 2009). It is evident that by all means, the issue of asylum seekers remains to be a social problem in the United Kingdom. The ethnic origin of people seeking asylum in the United Kingdom remains to be one of the primary aspects leading to such social construction. It is revealed that, ‘the non-whiteness’ nature of asylum seekers is central to the ensuing prejudice and racism in the United Kingdom. Priya (2010) contends that this ideology is largely rooted in social mechanisms and practices hence forms the basis of public opinions on the issue. The ideology of national identity and the rise of Englishness can be said to play a critical role in the knowledge and understanding of asylum seeking as a social problem. McDonald (2007) noted that the state and media selectivity has contributed to the promotion of the idea of preferred immigrants. Therefore, the imposition of order based on the concept of common knowledge is critical in the discourses and interpretive constructions of asylum seekers in United Kingdom.

The media remains to be a powerful tool for the construction of knowledge and understanding on this issue. Nick and Susan (2003) portends that the media provides an inherently rhetorical picture that is based on promoting values and ideas that are meant to promote the status quo. The repositioning of asylum seekers based on dissenting voices and counter discourses in the media as well as social and political fronts has led to the construction of what may be referred to as the ‘new apartheid.’ It emerges that in the United Kingdom, the media seem to have reinforced the dominance of certain groups. Therefore, media discourses have assumed a critical role in the facilitation and maintenance of discrimination against asylum seekers and refugees. This is because the language used in defining and categorizing asylum seekers as the ‘other’ contributes to the production and construction of certain types of knowledge about asylum seekers. The rise of xenophobia and racist construction has been fostered by media discourses. Political institutions have also contributed to the social construction of asylum seekers. Burke and Shani (2009) contend that the immigration policy can never be static hence the legislators and politicians have the authority to alter or create many any changes to such policy. It is shown that after the 9/11 event, there has been numerous changes on the criteria for entry in the United Kingdom.

The social construction of asylum seekers and refugees has contributed to the emergence of terms such as ‘bogus asylum seeker’ and economic refugee. These terms have considerably been used to justify the enactment of strict, draconian immigration controls. Consequently, such concepts may not be only confined to policy-makers, immigration officials or politicians but also widely used by ordinary people (Giovanni and Gerald, 2006). On the other hand, there has been numerous inhuman tragedy facing asylum seekers and refugees. It is noted that many of these people has fallen victims to violence, trafficking, and other forms of human rights abuse.

Furthermore, in many cases the type of support given to such individuals does not include cash benefits or employment in the case of asylum seekers (Nick and Susan, 2003). There have also been cases where refugees have been categorized as a threat to the very foundation of the British society based on issues of terrorism, diseases, begging and crime. While the social, political and media institutions continue to paint asylum seekers and refugees in a bad light, change of policy, procedure and social norms are required to enhance inclusion, promotion of social care needs and improve the experiences of asylum seekers and refugees in the United Kingdom (Burke and Shani, 2009).

The asylum and immigration policy appears to be one of the most publicly and politically divisive issues in the United Kingdom. Over the years, asylum policy has been a central issue in elections and a source of conflict between the judiciary and politicians. In light of this, policy and legislative approaches toward asylum seekers has been highly mixed up over the years. Nevertheless, since mid-1990s, successive governments undertook numerous changes on the social welfare policies as a way of securing the integrity of the asylum process as well as setting into place immigration controls (Nick and Susan, 2003). For the last two decades, policy and legislative responses has highly targeted ways of reducing the flow of asylum seekers into the United Kingdom. The Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 established the national asylum support service (NASS). It also set up the framework to be employed in the dispersal of destitute asylum seekers to various parts of the country. Additionally, this act removed all the benefits that asylum seekers were entitled to, particularly employment benefits. It also stopped asylum seekers from working and introduced in a new voucher system that only allowed weekly payment of not more than £10. Under the act, the NASS was given the responsibility to allocate housing to dispersed individuals. There are also numerous changes for children under the act. For instance, it removed the obligation of local authorizes to ensure proper living standards for children as outlined under the Children Act 1989 (Priya, 2010). The voucher scheme made many children and their families to live on lower rates than income support and hence highly exposed to racism and exploitation. Children also have inadequate access to education. Therefore, there are involuntary dispersal of people that contributed to the poor living standards, exploitation, and racism toward asylum seekers and refugees in the United Kingdom. The removal of right to work can be viewed as a counterproductive and in fact continue to contribute to long term exclusion of refugees from the United Kingdom’s labor market (Nick and Susan, 2003).

The National Immigration and Asylum Act of 2002 is another major policy response. This act has high emphasis on the removal and control of unsuccessful asylum applicants. This act emphasizes the deportation of unsuccessful and undocumented immigrants. The act also requires all individuals who are seeking for asylum in the United Kingdom to have adequate knowledge of life and society in the United Kingdom based on language mastery. The act also led to the introduction of new policies that touched on education, employment and training of asylum seekers. The act also requires all successful applicants to show allegiance to the queen by attending the citizenship ceremonies and making a pledge of loyalty to the United Kingdom. Moreover, the law placed measures that abolished the conventional distinctions between legitimate and illegitimate children seeking asylum (Priya, 2010).

In conclusion, the reaction of the European government to the rising numbers of asylum seekers have led to introduction of new policies that are highly restrictive. The number of those seeking asylum in the United Kingdom continue to drop and there is no clear argument of whether restrictionalism is based on treating the issue as an economic or security issue. However, it is also equally a new apartheid or new racism depending on the circumstance. In brief, there is a need for legislative and policy reforms along with public education that will enable social and behavior change toward asylum seekers, ensuring that only legitimate ones are helped.


Burke, S.G. and Shani, B. (2009) Discursive deracialization in talk about asylum seeking. Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology, 21 (2), 111-123.

Burnett, A. and Peel, M. (2000) What brings asylum seekers to the United Kingdom? BMJ,322, 485-8.

Gil, L. (2008) Protracted refugee situations: political, human rights and security implications.

London: United Nations University.

Giovanni, F., Oliver, L. and Gerald, W. (2006) Asylum seekers in Europe: the warm glow of a hot potato. Journal of Population Economics, 19 (2), 411-430.

Lorna,O. and Sweeney, F. (2010). The exclusion of (failed) asylum seekers from housing and

home: towards an oppositional discourse. Journal of Law & Society, 37 (2), 285-314.

McDonald, I. (2007) Current developments: the treatment of asylum seekers in the UK.

Journal of Social Welfare & Family Law29, (1), 49–65.

Nick, L. and Susan, L. (2003) A phantom menace and the new Apartheid: the social construction

of asylum-seekers in the United Kingdom.Discourse & Society14 (4), 425-452.

Priya, K. (2010) From persecution to destitution: a snapshot of asylum seekers’ housing and

settlement experiences in Canada and the United Kingdom. Journal of Immigrant &

Refugee Studies8 (1), 4-31.

The Role of the UN in Fighting HIV/Aids



HIV/AIDS poses a severe danger to global health, security and also development. Over 33 million people currently across the globe are living with the dangerous disease. 2.5 million, Infections were recorded in 2007 and more than 2 million died because of the disease. Sub-Saharan Africa host majority of those infected but high spreading of the disease has also been recorded in other parts of the world. The HIV/AIDS epidemic is a major development crisis killing millions, destroying and impoverishing communities and separating families. Regions highly affected by the disease experience high poverty index and discouraging erosion of human capital.

Health care is under pressure in most of these countries as the government struggle to address the growing demand of infections. Sustaining development in these countries is also a challenge as most of the funds are channeled to HIV/AIDS. In sub-Saharan Africa severe economic consequences have been detected investment levels, per capita income and production as human capital is getting decimated. As a global disaster; governments, United Nations, other nongovernmental organizations and the private sector combined their efforts and started to fight the spread of the disease.


The United Nations system has played a central part in developing and shaping the global AIDS agenda over many years of the pandemic. In 2000 world leaders in the United Nations millennium summit structured the eight millennium development goals MDGS. One of the goals was to stop spread of the disease and try to create an HIV/AIDS free environment. A strategy to fight was outlined by the summit and Kofi Annan the then secretary general of the United Nations called for the governments And international community to partner so as to provide resources to make the plan achievable by 2015.

Through UNAIDS and core sponsors much progress was realized in treatment, care and prevention. The United Nations development program (UNDP) has advocated for fight against HIV/AIDS from 1980s. The disease agenda was made the top organizational strategy since June 2001. Within the framework of United Nations system strategic plan for HIV/AIDS from 2001 to 2005 devoted lot efforts to revising its action plan against the disease.

Because of the vital consideration given to the disease there was direct contribution in the second MYFF period (2004-2005). This campaign has seen an increase in external financial support over the years. This has led to a sharp increased in public expenditure on health in most sub-Saharan Africa countries. Through UNDP united nations has been able to help in management of the funds to ensure that they are used for the intended purpose in the corrupt nations. The organization has therefore realized immense accomplishments in the size of its funding with partners becoming the key players in the funding.

Community empowerment, leadership development programs in pilot nations has also been funded to increase the community awareness on HIV/AIDS related programs and initiatives at the community level. A lot of policy support by the UNDP is also being experienced in the sub-Saharan Africa countries to the national HIV/AIDS boards and commissions. Decentralized support to national government, local government and provincial administration has also been done to have the necessary elaboration on the disease related policies. Civil society support, gender related actions, national human development activities have also been done to facilitate integration of the disaster issues into activities ahead of the traditional HIV/AIDS sector.

The United Nations also substantial contributions were also realized in the shift from biomedical to the developmental aspects on the disease. Its participation also encouraged greater governments’ commitment and other partners’ actions towards policies, structures, strategies and plans that shape the national response on HIV/AIDS. Three major significant out comes have stood out as the United Nations continuous to play a central role in addressing the global issue. Change of national policies and central frameworks for HIV/AIDS management, the decentralization and strengthening HIV/AIDS institutions and increment in the civil society engagements and vulnerable groups in participation and advocacy.

The acceptance of multisectoral nature of the disaster and the urgency for mainstreaming-integration of the AIDS issues, in government policies and plans, enhancement of the non-governmental roles has also been the role of the United Nations. Substantial efforts, by the United Nations to include HIV/AIDS policies into poverty reduction plans as a mainstreaming issue has also been a key role in fight against the disease. This has been successful working closely with the developing economies national partners. Poverty and inequalities in the society deepens with the spread of HIV/AIDS and it is therefore, necessary to have a supporting plan cutting across all the sectors in the economy.

Capacity development is also a major priority for the United Nations in fighting the spread of HIV/AIDS (Pretoria, 2008, p. 66). Capacity enhancement has been strengthened both at institutional and personal capacity at all levels, from government or the national and spread to the community level. Specific capacity development programs have been done to respond to HIV/AIDS at different areas: institutional and individual capacity in HIV/AIDS national commissions and government ministerial departments; decentralized planning capacity; management of HIV/AIDS polices and their implementation; capacity of the community based organizations with AIDS related objectives; empowerment of the infected and affected in the community; and knowledge related to the epidemic to guide responses. In countries where the financial ability is a major challenge in national response, notable successful involvements by the United Nations have been realized at the community level and even at the decentralized levels of the national government (Ruxin, 2005, p. 147).

United Nations has actively participated in ensuring there is partnership and coordination for the achievement of the strategies by the partner governments on the epidemic. Without coordination of activities and plans then the positive country results would not be achievable. This strategy has helped the organization achieve its targets in resource mobilization and more allocations by governments on HIV/AIDS programs. The United Nations has been urged by the international community to continue providing and coordinating leadership for countries HIV/AIDS response. Further, strategies to strengthen the coordination in partnership development have been laid down in the millennium development goals.

Monitoring and evaluation policies to ensure sustainable HIV/AIDS response have also been done by the UNDP. Initially inadequate data on monitoring and evaluation imposed serious challenges and questions on the sustainability of the United Nations and the international community response to the disease. There were a lot of weaknesses due to lack of outcome –oriented evaluation and documentation of evidence until the intervention of the UNDP.


Prioritization of the HIV/AIDS issue as a global agenda has seen the reduction of the transmission risk by 96% over the last two decades. There is a constant increase in funding for early treatment of victims and also for spreading awareness on the disease. The past decade has shown very positive result to the United Nations fight against HIV. Over the last one decade a more that 25% decline in infections and reduction in related effects has been reported (Hinds, 2007, p. 65).

The AIDS society has also congratulated the United Nations intervention to fight the disease at the right financial and scientific point of view. The spread of awareness and community empowerment has succeeded to prevent over 11 million people sub-Saharan Africa and other poverty stricken areas of the world from getting infections. The trend in the number of deaths and HIV infections has been falling globally according to statistics from the United Nations HIV/AIDS program. However, evidence indicates that the epidemic is currently declining but stigma and discrimination still causing challenges for the estimated 33 million victims living with the disease (Boesak, 2010, P. 91).

UN officials against the disease reiterated that discrimination and bad laws with respect to homosexuals and drug users will continue to drag the fight against the deadly disease. The millennium development goal strategy has also enabled the UN to chive great heights in the fight against the disease in developing economies over a short duration of time.

With a combination of focused approach and attention to the community wide context which risk occurs, evidence of successful fight against the disease has been seen in many countries. Building of synergies between care and prevention has underpinned progress in Brazil and also indicates great potential the highly poverty stricken regions in the sub-Saharan Africa. Efforts against discrimination and stigma which is an obstacle to the society access to service have been successfully carried out in occupational settings and the health sector.

Achievements have also been realized in the care and support. The United Nations intervention has seen the development of national care and support policies in over 30 countries across the world. HIV care and support technical notes developed and UNICEF helped pilot countries in training, policy and needs assessment across the continents. UNICEF has also provided extensive global advocacy and leadership on education a strategy which enlightened the young reducing their risk to potential infections. Life skills based education for HIV prevention with more emphasis on the girl child has been focused in the sub-Saharan countries (Unicef, 2003, p. 95). The program which supported by UNICEF in the high prevalence countries has helped the young between 20-35 years survive in the vulnerable environment.


Despite the immense efforts by the United Nations to fight the deadly disease all its plans have not been successful and require further recommendations and reforms in the observed procedures. The United Nations and the international community could do more at the international level but at the national level some countries have failed to honor their commitments. A lot of gaps in financing sound leadership have slowed the fight in most of the developing countries. The UN reactions have been substantial at the country level weakening the success of the global agenda. Technical and management gap to fight the disease have been evidenced in developing countries has the UN has not yet focused on giving the appropriate assistance to these nations. United Nations should also intensify the search for co funding it its programs. While financial support has increased in the recent past its availability is still not commensurate with the needs in the UN and amongst partners.

Support by the UNAIDS operating at the country level to the global done should be in a number of practical ways: trend monitoring in the national response and giving advice on how the use or application of the fund to conform with a expanded and flexible response intertwined with the national strategy; offering advice on how expenditure under the program can support scaling up; using the experience of the expanded theme groups to promote learning through joint membership in the theme groups; ensuring strict monitoring of funds from the global fund to determine whether other national and international funding have been included and providing technical support and financial advice to monitor and evaluate global fund programs to transparency and accountability (United Nations, 2009, p. 1410). The UN should increase its participation in the following areas.

  • Advising on the optimal approach to treatment and prevention
  • Provide more technical support and guidance in strategic plans in development and writing of sound funding proposals
  • Assisting ministries and other government departments to prepare harmonized budgets which accurately entail the country needs.
  • Facilitating mobilization of extra resource not only, financial but also technical and human capital from the international and national sources to cater the growing costs of the addressing HIV/AIDS

The UN has already accepted and executed many of these roles, but the performance to full fill them has been mixed. The major challenge has been the lack of enough personnel on the group with the relevant skills. The heavy presence of civil war and political unrests in most of the countries in th1e world has also posed a great to the United Nations. Deployment of personnel to the sub-Saharan countries have not been possible with the constant mass actions to overthrow dictatorial leaderships and fight against terror groups. However, the United Nations is in a position to offer technical support but its presence is very minimal to make countries to take even the initial steps.

On a daily basis thousand of new HIV infections across the world, thousand also die of the disease and others and families are affected by both. The evolution of HIV/AIDS at this point requires integrative approaches, intensive linkages among national and international partners to realize outcomes that matter to those affected and infected. A strengthened commitment to the national, institutional and individual capacity should be maintained. That United Nations is doing much which through a stronger partnership with other stakeholders the targets of the millennium development goals may be achievable by the year 2015.




Reference List

Boesak, A 2010 Globalisation II – Global Crisis, Global Challenge, Global Faith. AFRICAN SUN MeDIA: Stellenbosch University.

Hinds, M. J 2007 Fighting the AIDS and HIV Epidemic: A Global Battle. Enslow Publishers, Inc: New Jersey.

Nations, U 2009 Yearbook of the United Nations 2006, Volume 60. United Nations Publications: New York.

Pretoria, U., 2008 Compendium of Key Documents Relating to Human Rights and HIV in Eastern and Southern Africa. PULP: Pretoria.

Ruxin, J 2005 Combating AIDS in the Developing World. Earthscan: United Kingdom.

Unicef, 2003 The State of the World’s Children 2004: Girls, Education and Development. UNICEF: New York.



Similarity between the experiences of minority ethnic groups in the UK labor market


Most of the minority ethnic groups in the United Kingdom are considered as non-equals in the labor market in accordance with their ethnic inclination. This has led to the creation of differing social classes where the minority groups such as Black Africans, Asians, and others are considered to have lower contributing efforts to the labor market in comparison to the whites (British). However, there has been an improvement in their labor market in the last few years. Despite this improvement, quite a number of the minority ethnic groups still experience differences in terms of employment, occupational earnings and attainment as compared to white people. According to research, the employment rates for minority groups such as Black Africans, Pakistani and Bangladeshi increased substantially over time due to an improvement in their educational achievements (Cohen, & Kennedy 2007, p.16). Despite this, there remained substantial gaps in employment among these people because of their ethnicity and the advanced racial discrimination experienced in the United Kingdom. Women belonging to the minority ethnic communities did not strive to close the gap created between them and the white women as much as the men tried to close theirs. This resulted in the employment rates among Bangladeshi and Pakistan women going to as low as below 30 percent. Despite the improved job prospects among the ethnic minorities due to improved educational qualifications that promised high returns in terms of employment, their living conditions in deprived regions completely lowered the prospects for them. This drove some of the ethnic groups into self employment especially the Chinese and Indians, due to the prevailing paid employment prospects available for British-born communities. As for the Bangladeshi and Pakistani, their level of self employment remained unchanged with majority of it being concentrated in specific sectors like taxi-driving, retail and restaurants/takeaways.

The main reason for such demarcation of social communities of the minority ethnic groups is the way they were socially viewed. The fact that they were not of British origin placed them at difficult places when it came to employment and other sectors such as education, place of resident and eating joints (Macionos, & Plummer 2008, p.22). Despite the improvement in educational attainment among the minority groups as a way of defending themselves against social discrimination, most of the graduate women belonging to these groups were unable to attain higher-level positions at work due to their ethnicity. Consequently, all workers belonging to all ethnic communities received low earnings on average, in comparison to what the white people earned, but the disparities were smaller for women as compared to men. These groups continued to experience substantial disadvantages in terms of job access and earnings once in employment, despite the fact that they were contributing more to the labor market than their white counterparts. This is because they were mainly overworked on the few jobs that they were able to salvage, and paid lower wages regardless of their educational and professional qualifications. Research indicates that only 20 per cent of Bangladeshi, 40 per cent of Black Africans, and 30 per cent of Pakistanis of working age are currently involved in full-time work, as compared to more than 50 per cent of the white British of working age. As much as the number of Bangladeshi and Pakistani women going to university is increasing, they are less likely to get managerial and professional jobs, as the Indian or white women.

This king of employment discrimination among the minority ethnic communities was not only experienced by first generation immigrants, but also by people of the same communities who were born in Britain. This is to mean that, between a black, Pakistani, an Indian, a Bangladeshi and a white, all born in Britain, the white is more likely to get a decent job, regardless of his/her academic qualification, then the person from any of the other minority groups. As a result, the poverty levels for the said minority groups are far worse than those of the British-born due to inequality in labor markets in the country. However, despite the deterioration of employment rates among all the minority groups, in 1991, the rates of employment for Indians and Chinese were almost close to that of the whites. This did not change much by 2001, similar to the employment rates of black Caribbean men which remained substantially low over the years, indicating their lower education level. Additionally, between 1991 and 2001, the overall employment rates of women increased, including the whites. The increased rates were larger for black Africans, Pakistani, India and Bangladesh women, relative to the white women, but the rates for the black Caribbean and Chinese women remained smaller (Fulcher, & Scott 2011, p.1). Therefore, among the factors leading to lower employment rates for the minority groups in United Kingdom are discrimination by employers, social class origins, educational qualifications (mainly affecting Asian women) and gender (generally women). This disadvantages the minority ethnic groups in the labor market, giving them inferior opportunities of attaining managerial and professional jobs which are highly salaried, while some suffer the risk of total unemployment.

Despite their being a minority group, the Irish are usually, closer to the British born whites in the labor market as they contribute the largest percentage of the minority. Similarly, highly qualified Chinese, which is one of the minority groups in United Kingdom’s labor market, are currently competing for places in the salaried qualifications on even conditions with the British born whites in the labor markets (Abbott 2005, p.3). However, in the manual labor market, this minority community of Chinese origin is not able to gain access to skilled jobs successfully, or avoid unskilled work/unemployment. This is similarly observed among the Indians and Irish who are equally educated as the whites and are on similar grounds in terms of employment opportunities, but cannot access well salaried managerial or professional jobs as the whites. Hence, they are left to compete with themselves in the manual labor market due to their ethnic disadvantages. On the other hand, the black Caribbean and the Pakistan are far more disadvantages in comparison with the Irish, Indians and Chinese in the race for better employment opportunities, but all are compounded as one minority ethnic community with equal chances in the manual labor market. This is regardless of their educational qualification and is mostly precipitated by disadvantageous social classification and origin, in addition to controlling working age (Ridge, & Wright 2008, p.2). Despite the inability of majority of the minority ethnic groups to speak English as fluently as the British born whites, they are placed at the same level of employment and professionalism as the Irish and Black Caribbean who speak the same as their first language. As a result, the high rate of self-employment among the Indians and the Chinese is mainly as a result of the social and ethnic barriers encountered in the United Kingdom labor market.






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Cohen, R. & Kennedy, P. 2007. Global Sociology, 2nd edition. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan

Fulcher, J. & Scott, J. 2011. Sociology, 4th edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press

Macionos, J. & Plummer, K. 2008. Sociology: A Global Introduction, 4th edition. Harlow: Pearson.

Ridge, T. & Wright, S. 2008. Inequality, Poverty and Wealth. Bristol, UK: The Policy Press