Partnering for USP and SDG 1.3.

Dear friends,

Thank you very much for this opportunity to contribute to this very last session of the Global Social Protection Week. I am proud as a technical consultant to WIEGO, coalition member, based in the Philippines, to be able to outline for you the role and function of the global coalition for social protection floors for all.

1. Could you please share with us the main objective and composition of Global Coalition on Social Protection Floors? What is the main added value? Could you please share some of the concrete achievements so far?

The Global Coalition is a network of over 100 civil society organizations, trade unions and think tanks from all regions. Our vision is to promote the implementation of social protection floors and the extension of social protection to all. Our Mission is working strategically, collaboratively and in spirit of global solidarity, to provide a space and virtual platform for coalition members united by the common purpose of promoting the consolidation of social protection floors from a human rights perspective in line with human rights instruments, international labour standards, ILO Recommendation No.202 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

You have asked about our main added value and concrete achievements. In our 7 years of existence our coalition has kept the Social Protection Floor high on the international agenda. We have given visibility to many different experiences and expertise in the field of social protection. We have enabled national civil society organisations and trades unions to have a voice, and led on supporting, organising, mobilising and empowering especially the left behind people, such as those in the informal economy, rural areas, older people and persons with disabilities, to have awareness, confidence and agency to monitor and claim their rights to social protection. Our members have used their expertise in monitoring and training to lead and initiate dialogues on SP at the national level, and have ensured the participation of those often left behind in social protection policy formulation.

Our approaches include sharing practice nationally, regionally and internationally. We draw on academic expertise to build our capacity in moving forward on the challenges relating to the extension of social protection floors for all. This has given us the space at national, regional and international level for evidence based advocacy, drawn from experience of members, and shaped by a common framework to achieve the four guarantees of the floor. This framework has guided us in activities – including implementation of the social pension in the Philippines, to examine the impact of the right to care in Uruguay, to submit evidence to the Committee of Social and Economic Rights, to explore approaches to social protection through multi-country studies in Africa and Asia and facilitate multi-stakeholder networking on the right to social protection in nearly 20 countries in Africa Asia and Latin America. Our commitment to information exchange via website meetings, the monthly newsletter and the development of our many technical and policy documents has been supported over the years by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation and Bread for the World.

Since the GCSFP came into being with the adoption of ILO Recommendation 202 in 2012 we have been actively engaged in ensuring that the right to social protection and its implementation of floors is in key global policy documents such as Agenda 2030 and those of regional Commissions, including the EC and AUC. Statements focus on social protection systems and floors and access to public services and infrastructure for gender equality. We participate in sessions of the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR), have submitted shadow reports to the Committee of Economic and Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) and are supporting the finalisation of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights on the Rights of Citizens to Social Protection and Social Security of the African Union. The GCSPF has a seat at the Steering Committee of the Universal Social Protection 2030 Initiative. We believe it is effective to bring in the voice of civil society and trade unions in these regional and global fora where UN organisations and member states lead the way, since civil society and trade unions play an important transformative role in realizing the right to social protection and the implementation of the floors.

In that sense, we are very happy that we were able to co-negotiate the contents of the Call to Action of the Global Partnership for Universal Social Protection, which was launched on February 5th. It was crucial for us that important issues such as the adoption of human rights language, the recognition that universal systems require both contributory and non-contributory components and that civil society and trade unions must be centrally involved in the development, implementation and monitoring of national regional and global social protection policies.

2. In the future social protection systems need to be universal, comprehensive, adequate, sustainable and adapted to the transformations of the world of work, and to face many new challenges.

a. What concrete actions does the GCSPF plan to take to fill the coverage and financing gaps for universal social protection, and build the future of social protection to ensure that no one is left behind?

  • Members of the coalition support national and regional work on budget analysis and dialogue on fiscal space for SP floor implementation. In 2020 we will launch an on line data platform of a Social Protection Index to support informed debate on national budget priorities, and to create the policy for this. The index shows that it is financially possible for most countries to implement the 4 social security guarantees. We will support the participation of ‘left behind people’ in Assessment based national dialogues and reinforce budget analysis training. We will engage in processes in relation to global financing initiatives, participate in FFD processes and look carefully at the roll out of the IMF strategy on social spending.
  • We are looking forward to the implementation of the new EU Global Action Programme on Fostering Synergies between SP and Public Finance Management. This is a unique technical cooperation programme, co-financed by the EU, where ILO, UNICEF and the GCSPF will have to work together in four countries – Uganda, Senegal, Cambodia and Nepal – with findings rolled out to many more. Such multi-stakeholder approach is promising and could yield important results. Our ultimate goal is to extend coverage to people, provide them with access to specific social protection benefits and services whilst ensuring sustainable and equitable financing. At the moment, we are making a mapping exercise to identify the different civil society organisations and trade unions which are willing to engage in this programme. And there we really want to ensure that we can reach a variety of organisations working with different groups and communities in the four countries.

b. What are the concrete actions that you plan to take in the Global Coalition on Social Protection Floors to strengthen partnerships for promoting universal social protection?

Over Sunday and Monday of this week coalition members met to make concrete plans for the next two years. Our plans include to take forward human rights monitoring by encouraging coalition members to make inputs to available human rights monitoring mechanisms, including the Human Rights Council and the CESRC on social protection implementation , and to give visibility to the guarantees of the floor within UN processes – CsocD, CSW, HLPF, FFD, and the African Union. We will promote and encourage coalition member experience sharing and enhance partnerships in the global south for capacity building work. We will support Regional Platforms – eg Africa Platform for Social Protection, WIEGO, Asia Monitoring in the in country monitoring of access to benefits and to develop positions and articulate experience of platform members on key issues including informal work, the impact of climate change and humanitarian challenges, and legal standards to underpin the 4 social security guarantees. We envisage more partnerships with academia and think tanks to strengthen our capacities on a number of issues, including fiscal space, public finance management and human rights. We will continue our engagement in USP2030, with individual organisations joining the Membership Assembly and the GCSPF taking up its seat in the Steering Committee, together with ITUC.

Our engagement in the EU Global Action is an example of a multi-stakeholder partnership that we would value in other countries. It is an example of shared commitment to the same objectives and a common guiding framework to make a real difference to people’s lives. The lessons which we will draw from this new EU Global Action will be very useful in guiding future partnerships in other countries, and support our active engagement in the delivery of the human right of social protection for all and its sustainable and long term financing.

Statement of the Global Coalition for Social Protection Floors (GCSPF) at the Session Partnership for USP and SDG 1.3 at the Global Social Protection Week organized by the International Labour Organization (ILO) in Geneva, Switzerland, on 28 November, 2019.

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