Social protection needs to be a fundamental part of national economic and development policy in all countries in order to realize the economic and social rights of all the world's people. SocDevJustice has joined with other civil society organizations to fight, especially in developing countries, for adequate floors of basic social protection along the life cycle, from infant and child support through social pensions for the elderly. We do this primarily as a founding member of the Global Coalition for Social Protection Floors (GCSPF), a global network of over 100 civil society organizations and trade unions. See GCSPF website here >>>
The International Labour Organization (ILO) is the lead United Nations agency assisting countries in building social protection floors. See its work at the link here >>> and a background video illustrating social protection policies in different parts of the developing world. See video here >>>
The work on social protection in which SocDevJustice currently engages includes
1. providing expertise and advocacy in the development of a new institutional view on prioritising social protection and other forms of social spending by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in its interactions with developing countries. See our joint statement here >>>
2. participating in "side events" on social protection accompanying official meetings at the United Nations and at the spring and annual joint meetings of the IMF and the World Bank. See here >>>
3. advocating for inclusion of sustainably financed social protection in international agreements. See details here >>>
4. assisting the European Union-supported joint programme on improving synergies between social protection and public finance management in four developing countries, Cambodia, Nepal, Senegal and Uganda (see details here >>>), and in supporting global advocacy campaigns of the GCSPF.
The current global advocacy campaign focuses on mobilizing international support for creating an international fund to help finance technical assistance and support for social protection programmes in developing countries. The most recent initiative is the letter to the Group of 20 major economy countries. See letter to the G20 here>>>
Position Paper of the Global Coalition for Social Protection Floors GCSPF at the Commission for Social Development 61st Session
SocDevJustice joined with other members of the Global Coalition for Social Protection Floors in a position paper on jobs and social protection on the occasion of the 61st Session of the United Nations Commission for Social Development, 6-15 February 2023. While the Commission will focus on "Creating full and productive employment and decent work for all," it also needs to continue to focus on and encourage government expansion of social protection programs and "ensure that the budgetary resources to finance adequate soon floors are guaranteed everywhcial protectiere".
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.
STRENGTHENING FINANCING FOR SOCIAL PROTECTION FLOORS
A SocDevJustice Project by Gemma Adaba and Barry Herman
In February 2016, SocDevJustice began a project to help build international discussion and support for strengthening the sustainable and assured financing of social protection floors (SPFs). The project sought to build on the work of the International Labour Organization (ILO) on the inclusion of social protection as one of the cross-cutting policy foci of sustainable development. In fact, the ILO initiative was adopted at the Third International Conference on Financing for Development (FfD) in Addis Ababa in July 2015, and was reflected in the recommendation given in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to provide social protection as part of the policy package to eradicate poverty, eliminate gender inequality, and reduce inequality overall. Gemma Adaba and Barry Herman, the authors of this note, accepted to be co-directors of the project and in March 2016 we began to invite a number of internationally recognized experts to help design and carry out the project. This note is our report on the activities of the project, its results as of end-June 2017, and envisaged next steps.