Social Justice in Global Development

A Global Fund for Social Protection: Advocacy Letter to the G20

The Global Coalition for Social Protection Floors calls on the G20 to launch an initiative to establish a Global Fund for Social Protection.

In 2021, several important decisions will be taken at the international level as the world community strives to find ways out of the COVID 19 crisis. The focus will be on the vaccination efforts that are now beginning in many countries. An essential complement to that is to overcome the devastating social and economic consequences of the pandemic and build resilience going forward. To that end, and in advance of the G20 Employment Working Group meeting on February 15–17, we call on the G20 to launch an initiative to establish a Global Fund for Social Protection.

We write to you on behalf of the Global Coalition for Social Protection Floors, a group of over 100 national and international non-governmental organizations promoting the right of all people to social security.1

The crisis has not only created unprecedented demand on national healthcare systems, but it has also decimated jobs and workers’ livelihoods, and it has fuelled greater poverty and inequalities. In order to support those affected, as well as better prevent comparable crisis situations in the future, well-functioning social protection systems are needed. In many parts of the world, however, such systems are not in place. According to the International Labour Organisation, even before the crisis less than one half of the world’s population had access to any form of social protection, and more than two-thirds of the world’s population were unable to count on a comprehensive set of protections set out in international labour standards2. In many cases, it is not the political will that is lacking, but sufficient financial resources, especially in low-income countries. To support those countries lacking fiscal space in setting up appropriate social protection systems, a broad, solidarity-based and well-coordinated initiative by the international community is therefore needed.

This is why Magdalena Sepúlveda, former UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights, and Olivier de Schutter, current UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights, have called for the establishment of a Global Fund for Social Protection.3 This call is supported by the government of France4, a number of civil society organisations and trade unions.5 The Global Coalition for Social Protection Floors strongly backs this initiative and has published a global call for the establishment of a Global Fund.6

A Global Fund for Social Protection would provide technical assistance for governments to offer a set of benefits that would guarantee a minimum income security for all over the lifecycle. It would also provide temporary matching funds to low-income countries.

This year’s G20 is a critical opportunity for the world’s largest economies to come together and coordinate a response to overcome the consequences of the pandemic. We therefore urge you to use your political means within the framework of the G20 to advocate for such a Fund. Such an act of international solidarity would unite the world on the path towards an equitable recovery from this pandemic.

Read here the advocacy letter or download a pdf version.


Original Campaign on the Social Protection Floor (SPF)  

Knowing that more than 1.4 billion people still struggle to live on less than $1.25 a day (World Bank), it is obvious that much more must be done to eradicate the scourge of extreme poverty. The International Labour Organization (ILO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) coordinate the Social Protection Floor Initiative (SPF-I) as a joint UN effort to build a global coalition committed to supporting countries in building national social protection floors for their citizens.

A Social Protection Floor (SPF) is the first level of a comprehensive national social protection system that helps to realize human rights for all through guaranteeing:

1. Universal access to essential services (such as health, education, housing, water and sanitation and other services as nationally defined);

2. Social Transfers in cash or kind to guarantee income security, food security, adequate nutrition and access to essential services.

How can you be involved?

1.  By signing on (as individual) to the Petition here »»»

2.  By forming a network to get as many signatures as possible to promote the initiative with your own government. You can sign as an individual or as an organization.

  For more information see here »»»