Virtual Side Event: On the Road to 2025: A New Social Contract with Universal Social Protection and Full Employment and Decent Work for all

Date: Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Time: 1:15 pm – 3:00 pm EST (Confirm your local time here)

Please register at: http://bit.ly/3D3Dek7

The side event will be in English. French and Spanish interpretation will be provided.

Organized by the Global Coalition for Social Protection Floors (GCSPF). Co-organized by Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP), Gray Panthers, African Platform for Social Protection (APSP), Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd

Concept Note

Download pdf file.

The Virtual Side Event: On the Road to 2025: A New Social Contract with Universal Social Protection and Full Employment and Decent Work for all will take place during the 61st Session of the Commission for Social Development CSocD61.

Social protection is a human right and an investment with high social and economic returns – yet more than half the world’s population do not have access to comprehensive social protection. Coverage remains particularly low for marginalized children, people with disabilities, older people, widows, women, people working in the informal economy, migrants, and the LGBTQI community.

COVID-19 has highlighted inequalities and served as a stress test for access to social protection, basic human rights, income, health security, and such essential goods as housing and food. People living in poverty have been particularly vulnerable during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many countries have realized both the necessity and the long-term benefits of universal, comprehensive, and adequate social protection for all, based on sustainable and equitable financing, robust, adapted, and tripartite administration anchored in law. The necessity for guaranteeing, financing and delivering social protection to all, including the hardest to reach may require, notably in low-income countries, the technical and financial support of a Global Fund for Social Protection.

To respond to the recovery of the COVID-19 pandemic, many countries have put in place some social protection responses to support workers, children, and families1. However, these are, for the most part, ad hoc measures of short duration, and need to be transformed into sustainable social protection.

Creating full and productive employment and decent work for all is integral to an ethical and moral vision. However, the informality of work appears to be growing worldwide and becoming the new normal, with over sixty percent of the global workforce supporting themselves in this way- hoping to meet their basic daily needs without health coverage, social insurance, or access to maternity or sick leave. In Africa, this figure can be as high as eighty percent. Further, these informal workers do not have voice and representation for their interests and are often prohibited from unionizing.

While this has been the norm in emerging economies, today the trend is on the rise in more developed and globalized economies, in the form of deregulation, outsourcing, and flex and temp work. All of this erodes the dignity of the person and violates human rights and opportunities for decent work conditions. The globalized nature of finance, investment and business ventures is facilitating this erosion with exploitative practices against people and the planet itself2.

It is more important than ever to make connections between social protection and the ongoing crisis, strengthen and scale up social protection systems and for that a renewed social contract is needed to ensure an inclusive and sustainable recovery for all.

The Global Coalition of Social Protection Floors (GCSPF) invites you to a 105-minute side event with speakers from Governments, United Nations, and civil society.

We will tackle the diverse and interconnecting perspectives on social protection and the urgency of a “renewed” social contract anchored in human rights for a new era and consider why the Global Fund for Social Protection is necessary to deliver to all the right to social protection.

Insights and conclusions will be inputted into the ongoing work of the Commission for Social Development and the discussions about the Global Fund for Social Protection.

Read here the position paper of the GCSPF at the the 61st Session of the Commission on Social Development: ‘Creating full and productive employment and decent work for all as a way of overcoming inequalities to accelerate the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.’

Details of the virtual side event

Date: Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Time: 1:15 pm – 3:00 pm EST (Confirm your local time here)

Please register at: https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEqf-qtrT8iGtekNIJL1OnNxMmYOcuopcwA

The side event will be in English. French and Spanish interpretation will be provided.

Moderator: Dr. Paul Ladd, Executive Director UNRISD

Session 1: Welcome and overview of the topic

• Ms. Hanna Sarkkinen, Minister of Social Affairs and Health of Finland - The road to the Social Summit 2025, the urgency of a “renewed” social contract to ensure full implementation of the right to social protection.

• Dr. Veronika Wodsak, ILO/USP2030 - Priority Theme - decent work, SPF; evidence of SP impact

• Priscilla Gavi, Africa Platform for Social Protection (APSP) – Charting progress on the right of all Citizens of Africa to Social Protection.

Session 2: Action for Change: collaboration between civil society and the United Nations

• Laura Alfers, Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO) - Ensuring the informal sector have the right to social protection.

• Dr. Abiola Tilley-Gyado, Board Chair, Society for Family and Social Protection in Nigeria, board member of Nigeria Network of NGOs/GCAP Nigeria; Experience and call for action of those who are Left Behind

• Nicola Wiebe, Global Coalition for Social Protection Floors; Financing gaps and role of the Global Fund

Conclusions and Recommendations

• Dr. Paul Ladd, Executive Director UNRISD

Notes:

2 Statement submitted by Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd to the Commission for Social Development Sixty-First Session 6-15 February 2023.

Winifred Doherty of the Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd prepared the position paper.  International KOLPING, International Presentation Association, Social Justice in Global Development, JusticeMakers Bangladesh, and Free Trade Union Development Center Sri Lanka, all members of the Global Coalition for Social Protection Floors endorsed the paper.

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Download pdf version.

The Global Coalition for Social Protection Floors (GCSPF) welcomes the theme of the 61st Session of the Commission on Social Development: ‘Creating full and productive employment and decent work for all as a way of overcoming inequalities to accelerate the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.’ The realization of this optimistic theme presumes a conducive socio-political-economic-human rights informed environment. The reality is that the global community is living through very turbulent times with ‘code red’ alarm bells sounding for the very survival of the planet. The ongoing economic effects of COVID-19, increasing hunger, ongoing war, displacement of people, and climate change, coupled with runaway inflation, are entrenching more and more people in poverty and further increasing inequality. This current situation has knocked us off track in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. The recent report in the Third Committee by Mr. Olivier De Schutter, Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights, highlighted povertyism” and “negative attitudes and behaviours towards people living in poverty that restrict people’s access to employment, housing, health care, education and social protection - the very tools put in place to support them out of poverty.”

Commitment 3 of the Copenhagen Declaration and Platform for Action (1995): ‘promoting the goal of full employment as a basic priority of our economic and social policies, and enabling all men and women to attain secure and sustainable livelihoods through freely chosen productive employment and work’, has failed miserably in the context of the global reality twenty-eight years later. One of the main reasons for this failure has been the lack of critical analysis of the impacts of dominant systems and structures and how these actually facilitate exploitation, perpetuate inequality, ignore human rights violations, and exclude people in poverty from having equal access and opportunity. Power imbalances, and unexamined systems and structures are the carriers and drivers of much of the inequality and injustice experienced in today's world. Decision making at the financial, corporate and business levels have not incorporated moral and ethical considerations.

A paradigm shift is required from long-established sets of concepts, mindsets and ‘business as usual’ approaches that have informed and shaped policies in the past but are now contributing to and exacerbating gross inequalities, while normalizing exploitation and violating workers’ rights and human rights. Alongside the technological and scientific developments, we need a corresponding shift in consciousness at the individual, corporate, societal and governmental levels- a shift informed by moral and ethical principles that are inclusive and life enhancing for all people and the planet.

The Copenhagen Declaration, with its principles, ten commitments and platform for action, is informed by moral and ethical principles. The same moral and ethical compass guided the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. SDGs 1, 5, 8 and 10 are at the centre and aim to promote inclusion and reduce inequalities. While the implementation of Social Protection including floors had been gaining traction prior to the pandemic, the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) Flagship Report, Social Protection Report 2020-22, underlines the fact that COVID-19 provoked an unparalleled social protection policy response to protect people’s health, jobs and incomes, and to ensure social stability. It further states that establishing universal social protection and realizing the human right to social security for all is the cornerstone of a human-centred approach to obtaining social justice. Doing so contributes to preventing poverty, containing inequality, and enhancing human capabilities and productivity. Social Protection also fosters human dignity, solidarity and fairness, and reinvigorates the social contract.

Creating full and productive employment and decent work for all is integral to an ethical and moral vision. However, the informality of work appears to be growing worldwide and becoming the new normal, with over sixty percent of the global workforce supporting themselves in this way, hoping to meet their basic daily needs without health coverage, social insurance, or access to maternity or sick leave. In Africa this figure can be as high as eighty percent. Further, these informal workers do not have voice and representation for their interests, and are often prohibited from unionizing. While this has been the norm in emerging economies, today the trend is on the rise in more developed and globalized economies, in the form of deregulation, outsourcing, and flex and temp work. All of this erodes the dignity of the person and violates human rights and opportunities for decent work conditions. The globalized nature of finance, investment and business ventures is facilitating this erosion with exploitative practices against people and the planet itself.

The ILO has long sought to implement a decent work agenda, stressing that a transition to the formal economy is a pre-condition to realize decent work for all. A specific statistical indicator, SDG 8.3.1, on moving from an informal economy, seeks to measure efforts towards formalization of the economy. The expert group meeting papers, in preparation for the Commission for Social Development 61st Session, outlined the many variations and complexities within the informal economy and how it is now imperative that Member States tackle the issue and formalize decent work.

An ILO Publication ‘Women and Men in the Informal Economy: A Statistical Picture’ by Florence Bonnet, Vicky Leung and Juan Chacaltana note that poverty is a cause and consequence of informality - people in poverty face higher rates of informality, and there are higher poverty rates among workers in informal employment compared to workers in formal employment. Women are doubly exploited - firstly within the informal economy, and secondly with the burden of unpaid care work undertaken in the family and community.

‘Creating employment and decent work in new and growing sectors: Care Economy’, a presentation by Dipa Sinha, points to the unpaid nature of much care work, and to the informality that exists in the sector. The care economy is growing with increasing demand for childcare and care for older persons in all regions. While this sector is characterized by lack of benefits and protections, extremely low wages or non-compensation, and exposure to physical, mental and, in some cases, sexual harm, it has the potential to be reorganized and set within in a decent work agenda. It is clear that new solutions to the provision of care are needed on two fronts: in regards to the nature and provision of care policies and services, and in the terms and conditions of care work.

The multiple and complex challenges being surfaced during the review on informality can be addressed through the launch of global social dialogues that require a whole of government and whole of society approach in elucidating and defining a new social contract. This new contract requires a moral and ethical foundation upholding the dignity of the person, all human rights, and care for the Earth. Strong political will favouring inclusion, sustainability and accountability principles is called for, with zero tolerance of criminality, exploitative practices and human rights violations. The words of Mahatma Gandhi, “The world has enough for everyone's need, but not enough for everyone's greed”, provide an opening statement for promoting global social dialogues.

Recommendations:

Ensure Universal Social Protection as a right for every person. Governments and the international community will ensure that the budgetary resources to finance adequate social protection floors are guaranteed everywhere on the basis of national and, if necessary, international solidarity.

Accelerate the shift from informality to formality with full recognition and acceptance of the four pillars of decent work: promoting jobs and enterprise, guaranteeing rights at work, extending social protection, and promoting social dialogue. These pillars are basic to the inclusion of all, particularly people in informal work.

Hold Governments and all employers accountable for every infringement of worker rights, including the exploitative engagement of child laborers.

Engage a whole of Government and whole of society approach in the lead up to a second social summit – a summit that enhances the principles and commitments of the Copenhagen Declaration, and provide a relevant strategic framework for the transformation of systems, structures and gender relations towards a more equitable, inclusive, sustainable way of relating with one another and the planet.

End conflicts and war, which generate enormous profits for those who engage in the arms trade. Instead, invest in enhancing the well-being of people and planet through financing universal social protection, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and loss and damage.

Michael Cichon (1953-2022)
Compilation of tributes

Before I Go

Well before it may be time to go
Whenever that may be
And be it not
for quite a while
if I can help it.

I wish to place on record
That I will go
Deservedly or not
A happy, blessed and thankful man.

Leaving the people
I love
And their world
In hands I trust.
Their own

It is with great sadness that I learn about the death of a formidable man, Michael Cichon. The world has lost a social justice knight and a great human being.

Michael Cichon was a mathematician committed to social justice. This unusual combination made him compelling. In a world alienated by neoliberal economists obsessed with fiscal cuts, he was a knight: standing up to them, defying orthodoxy with its own quantitative weapons and showing with hard numbers that paying benefits to those in need, to those sick and without jobs, those disabled or elderly, to children and mothers, was not only right, but also affordable and feasible.

He worked very hard, and was unstintingly generous with his time. Michael Cichon believed in education and trained an army of knights to fight with his weapons, teaching in Turin, Geneva and Maastricht; always caring about his staff and students.

He wrote more than 50 publications, of which many have become battle manuals for social justice, known to everybody in the world of social protection.

There were tough times and hard battles, with many losses, such as the pension war, when enemies at the World Bank, IMF and OECD started privatizing pensions, no matter Michael and his team at the ILO Social Security Department showed they impoverish pensioners, particularly women. But Michael had the rare and inspirational ability to turn defeat into a call for yet greater effort and inspire others to do the same.

He navigated the difficult environment of ILO and despite petty bureaucrats, vested interests, and administrative obstacles, he managed to get a new international standard, the famous Recommendation 202 on Social Protection Floors, approved by governments, federated employers and trade unions from the whole world. That cost him his health.

In 2012 he had to prematurely leave ILO. Despite his failing health, he accepted to become President of the International Council on Social Welfare, the oldest global NGO, with the idea to further mobilize civil society to push for social protection floors. He spent the following years supporting the Global Coalition for Social Protection Floors (GCSPF) with more excellent work.

He was a honorable knight in his personal life too, faithful to his wife, Irmgard, and a proud father. His home was a joyous and welcoming sanctuary. So much so that he even remodeled his house in Germany, splitting it into two to accommodate a Syrian refugee family during the Syrian civil war.

I have no words for the sadness I feel. So many wonderful memories of this great man will be with me forever. From heartfelt reflections on history and development, to heated no-nonsense discussions in times of crisis… In the last email I exchanged with him, just one week before his passing away, he was at the hospital talking about our dangerous times and the need for a binding convention on social protection floors at the UN.

Michael left us this poem: “I wish to place on record / That I will go / Deservedly or not / A happy, blessed and thankful man / Leaving the people / I love / And their world / In hands I trust / Their own.”

Let this be a call to arms to all you knights around the world: raise your weapons to salute Michael Cichon, and continue his legacy fighting for social justice.
Isabel Ortiz, Director Global Social Justice/IPD, former Director of the ILO Social Protection Department


What a shock to read of Michael's passing! May he rest in peace! I first met him in New York in late 2010 or maybe 2011 when he was at the UN DESA in New York to talk about social protection. This was prior to the passing of Resolution 202. When I heard his presentation it was powerful and 'seeded' the imagination that indeed a world without poverty was possible and the tool was Social Protection by right for all. Michael was indeed a man of vision and dedication - an academic and yet having a simplicity and sense of wonder and fun that was infectious and drew all to him and enabled many to cross boundaries and to engage for the common good. The Coalition is one such endeavour and we will certainly miss him. I am in disbelief and what I am reading but your many e-mail indicate that it is reality. Rest in peace Michael. It was a privilege and a blessing to know you!
Winifred Doherty, The Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd


Michael is so special, has been so special, he has changed the world in so many ways, his was a gift of selfless giving and struggle to make things better. He was very influential and such a great comrade. I hope you are comforted by knowing how loved he was. And what amazing words to leave. I mourn and at the same time am so glad I had the opportunity to work, have done memorable meals, and laugh with him, I and many others will always carry his spirit. Thinking of you and the children and grandchildren as you get through these difficult times.
Sylvia Beales, Gray Panthers, Africa Platform for Social Protection - APSP


This is an extremely sad news. Michael was a special person, full of kindness, love and a huge advocate for social justice. For me, he was a real monument and a true inspiration. He will be so much missed. Condolences to his family and friends.
Barbara Cacciolo, Solidar


Dear members of the Global Coalition, Michael passed away last December 30th. His great achievement was the adoption of ILO Recommendation No.202, for the application of which he has lobbied in the Global Coalition for Social Protection Floors. He was a member of the Core Team of the Global Coalition. Our thoughts are with his family and colleagues.
Ana Zeballos, Global Coalition for Social Protection Floors (GCSPF)


The death of Michael is indeed a great loss to humanity and its movement for social protection. My heartfelt condolences to the family and loved ones he left behind. May his spirit and works inspire the struggles of generations for a better world.
Baba Aye, Health and Social Services Officer Head Office, PSI, France


Dear Irmgard and family, I am so very, very sorry for your loss. What a terrible loss for us all. He has left an indelible imprint on all who have had the joy to know him, and has left the world a better place for his wisdom, perseverance and extraordinary creativity. His contribution to social progress is historical. I am so very sad. It is a challenge to enter the new year and imagine the future without him. The only comfort is in knowing that he has left such remarkable achievements for us all to carry forward. He did not leave us alone. We all have work to do. Our most significant tribute starts now, fom the time of the Recommendation + 10 onward.
Odile Frank


I am very saddened to hear of the loss of Michael Cichon and have been overwhelmed by all the touching messages shared over last days. Michael was one of the world’s most predominant advocates for the extension to social protection, and a fierce defender for social justice. His loss is deeply felt by the labour movement globally. He leaves behind him an important legacy of strengthening international commitments and frameworks for social protection, especially Recommendation 202 for Social Protection Floors – a key internationally agreed framework for guaranteeing an adequate floor of social protection for everyone.

Many of those who have worked with Michael know that he was a man of deep conviction. When he had a strong idea about something, he made sure that everyone knew it. And as some of you may know, at times we butted heads. Our debates were lively and passionate, but always respectful. And at the end for the day, we agreed far more than we disagreed, and were fully united in our commitment for rights-based, universal social protection systems for all – a goal that as a coalition, must continue to advance.
Evelyn Astor, Economic and Social Policy Advisor, ITUC International Trade Union Confederation


I am very sad to hear about the passing of Michael Cichon.

I met Michael in Maastricht in 2001 at the MSc Social Protection Financing where he taught; and was privileged to work with and learn from him over past 2 decades. I have, witnessed with great admiration, his strong and pragmatic leadership, promoting and nurturing inclusive social protection systems everywhere.

I share my deepest condolences to his family and friends in the SP world.

Michael leaves us a great and noble challenge: to complete the social protection revolution he started. Well played, Michael. Rest in peace.
David Lambert Tumwesigye | Global Advocacy Manager, Child Poverty | Save the Children International


Michael always seemed to be juggling the heaviest issues in the room with the lightest air of humility. He once quipped in passing at a night out with some of us masters students (in the early years of the Maastricht Graduate School of Governance) that ‘life is a budget’. On the face of it, seemingly technocratic and chilled, but underneath a sobering reminder that for most of the world, life is about how the common budget is set, and also (more romantically) how important it is to balance our lives. Michael was always there to help if he could, and advise when he could not. He is missed. Humans like him do not come around so often, and I’m happy to know he left a legacy to lead the future Michael Cichons of the world. Thank you for everything Michael.”
Daniel Horn, Senior Research Officer, Understanding Society, Institute for Social and Economic Research


Dear Irmgard, I have joined forces with Michael since 1994 when I became part of the ILO Social Security Department. Michael has always been a very dependable and straightforward colleague and friend. In his work he had all the qualities that made him so useful for the ILO: good at this subject, a good manager, a good colleague and good political acumen. His great achievement was the adoption of ILO Recommendation No.202, for the application of which we have since lobbied together within the Global Coalition for Social Protection Floors. We shall miss his insightful comments, his enthusiasm and commitment. I shall also miss his warmth, love and straightforwardness. Unfortunately I cannot come to Bocholt to say goodbye to him, but I wish you and your family all the strength to overcome his absence. Sending you lots of sympathy and best wishes for 2023 and beyond.
Wouter van Ginneken, International Movement ATD Fourth World, Geneva


Such sad, sad news.

As many of you said, Michael was unique, unique in many ways; full of enthusiasm, a visioner, and a smart, strategic-thinking person with a warming sense of humour.

Without him, there would be no Global Coalition for Social Protection Floors. It was back in the early days of 2012 when my then director, Matthes Buhbe, and I came to his office at the ILO to chat about possible joint activities during that year when Michael suggested to bring together a group of NGOs to build support for a strong Recommendation on social protection floors. And he knew exactly what he was doing.

He knew that the battle for the envisaged Recommendation could not be won by like-minded countries and (some) trade unionists alone. And he knew that such a workshop could not be organized by the ILO, but a strategic “neutral” partner could do that. So, Michael was not only a vital and crucial element of the Global Coalition. He was the person who kicked the ball first. Luckily, the ball was kicked to some of you back in 2012 who played it further into the right direction. The Global Coalition was born after the ILC in 2012 - more than 10 years ago - and has become an inevitable part of the call for human rights based social protection worldwide.

Michael has left us. It is an indescribable loss.
Yvonne Bartmann, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung - FES Geneva


I have no words for the sadness I feel. Michael was my mentor and at the heart of the coalition. Without him all this wouldn’t have been possible.
In loving memory and with sad greetings to you all,
Cäcilie Schildberg, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung


Good and bad live together. While we celebrate the new year 2023 and received the shocking news that the demise of Michael. This is the way of an unbelievable world.
Tilak, Ftudc Free Trade Union Development Center, Sri Lanka


How is this possible? I was only just getting to know Michael over the last several years. Only in 2019 at a conference in Hawaii we said how unfortunate our paths did not cross during our UN days. How vital! How sharp! How much fun! Like those of you who knew him for decades, I will miss him tremendously.
Barry Herman, Social Justice in Global Development


The sudden passing of Michael Cichon, who left a lasting legacy in the field of social protection, has left the Social Protection Civil Society Network (SPCSN), Nepal and its members inconsolably heartbroken. Although he will be sorely missed, his legacy will endure.

He will be always in our thoughts and memory for his contribution with rigorous advocacy to adopt ILO Recommendation No. 202 in Global Coalition for Social Protection Floors.
Memorial,
Saroj Acharya, Social Protection Civil Society Network (SPCSN), Nepal


This is tragic news for many people who knew Michael. Very difficult to believe that he is no longer with us. A wonderful person, a man of principle and wit, so widely respected. He will be sorely missed.

I had a privilege of knowing him for almost a quarter century, both at the UN and ILO, and beyond. Several years we worked together at ICSW. I always admired his intellectual foresights, and his human qualities. At Bocholt, in New York or elsewhere his company was so engaging and always a pleasure. Michael was full of life and creative plans. It is a huge loss not only for his family but also for all of us, his colleagues and friends. Deepest condolences to Irmgard and his family.
Sergei Zelenev, International Council on Social Welfare (ICSW)


I express my deepest tribute to the late Michael.
Daya Sagar, NACASUD-Nepal


Extremely sorry to hear about it. May his soul rest in peace.
Sanju, Ageing Nepal


What a sad news for 2023. My thoughts go to Michael’s family and friends. Michael will be remembered for his wonderful work for the adoption of the ILO 202 recommendation and his great contribution to the GCSPF.
Johanna Wagman, Action Contre La Faim France | ACF-France


It is sad to hearing this news. Our deepest condolences to the bereaved family. His contribution to the GCSPF is always remember to us.
Om Shanti. Tilottam Paudel, Chairperson, Social Protection Civil Society Network, Nepal


Michael was an icon in the area of Social Protection. He was a colleague, a friend and a comrade in arms. His contribution to our focus area is without measure. On behalf of the African Platform for Social Protection - APSP family, we pass our deepest condolences. May his soul rest in peace.
Tavengwa (Nhongo), Africa Platform for Social Protection - APSP


So sorry to hear that news. What a great legacy he left us in the adoption of the ILO Recommendation no 202. May he rest in peace.
Jean (Quinn) - UNANIMA International


It is very unfortunate that Michael is gone. He brought about boundless contributions to the GCSPF.
Frederick Ouma Bwire, Uganda Reach the Aged Humble - URAA


My deepest condolences to his family and friends
Ahmad M. Awad, Director, Phenix Center for Economic and Informatics Studies, Amman Jordan


Very sad news!! May his soul rest in eternal peace!
Hur Hassnain, Evaluator Treasurer at the International Evaluation Academy


My condolences to the family. He was such a great guy and a giant in the field of social protection. May his soul rest in peace.
Ebenezer Durojaye, Dullah Omar Institute (DOI), University of the Western Cape, South Africa


Remembering Our Colleague, Teacher, and Friend, Michael Cichon
Chris De Neubourg

I am so saddened to receive this sad news about the death of the Global Champion of Social Protection and Social Justice - Michael Cichon. I have read and used the works of Michael Cichon in most of my work on social protection. My deep condolences to his family. May his soul rest in eternal peace. Despite his physical departure, he has left a good legacy behind and will always be remembered for the good works that he has done for humanity. With deep condolences.
Isaac Kabelenga, PhD, Founder of the Zambian Think Tank for Social Protection Foundation Limited (Za Think Social Protection), Lecturer of Social Protection and Social Policy, University of Zambia - School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Department of Social Development Studies

 

The video of the webinar “Progressive realisation: Building inclusive social protection systems in low- and middle-income countries using the principle of universality” is now online. The webinar was held on Tuesday, November 22, 2022.

Speakers

Daisy Sibun, Social Policy Specialist at Development Pathways, author of ‘Can a leopard change its spots? A critical analysis of the World Bank’s ‘progressive universalism’ approach to social protection (download the presentation)

Marion Ouma, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Nordic Africa Institute

Stephen Kidd, Principal Social Policy Specialist at Development Pathways

Moderator: Lena Simet, Senior Researcher and Advocate, Human Rights Watch

Background

There is broad consensus that expansion of social protection is a necessary response to the global food and economic crises. But an immediate reaction when universal social protection is proposed is often that “it is impossible, because it is too expensive!” or perhaps “we agree that universal social protection is the ultimate goal, but we must see it as a long-term vision. For now, we must target the poorest”. At this webinar we show how, in actual fact, universal programmes are a feasible and far more effective policy alternative to poverty targeting available to low- and middle-income countries. And, critically, that universality can be affordable if programmes are gradually introduced but maintain the principle of universality in their approach from day one.

Daisy Sibun launched a new paper, ‘Can a leopard change its spots? A critical analysis of the World Bank’s ‘progressive universalism’ approach to social protection (Executive summary). The paper critically analyses the justification through which the World Bank continues to promote poverty targeted programmes, despite its more recent high-level support for the idea of universal social protection, and contrasts it with the human rights-based approach to social protection as promoted by the ILO.

Stephen Kidd presented evidence on how countries can implement universal social protection schemes progressively in an affordable way through the reports Building universal social security systems using the principle of universality and Taking stock of progress: A compilation of inclusive social security programmes in low- and middle-income countries.

This event was co-organised by Act Church of Sweden, Action Against Hunger France, Development Pathways and Human Rights Watch, with the support of the Global Coalition for Social Protection Floors (GCSPF).

The webinar will be held on Tuesday, November 22, 2022 from 1 to 2 pm UTC.

Register here: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMpduytrT4iHtbO32hiC4pBLg0g0sH4AkEy

Background

There is broad consensus that expansion of social protection is a necessary response to the global food and economic crises. But an immediate reaction when universal social protection is proposed is often that “it is impossible, because it is too expensive!” or perhaps “we agree that universal social protection is the ultimate goal, but we must see it as a long-term vision. For now, we must target the poorest”. At this webinar we show how, in actual fact, universal programmes are a feasible and far more effective policy alternative to poverty targeting available to low- and middle-income countries. And, critically, that universality can be affordable if programmes are gradually introduced but maintain the principle of universality in their approach from day one.

Daisy Sibun will be launching a new paper, ‘Can a leopard change its spots? A critical analysis of the World Bank’s ‘progressive universalism’ approach to social protection (Executive summary). The paper critically analyses the justification through which the World Bank continues to promote poverty targeted programmes, despite its more recent high-level support for the idea of universal social protection, and contrasts it with the human rights-based approach to social protection as promoted by the ILO.

Stephen Kidd will present evidence on how countries can implement universal social protection schemes progressively in an affordable way through the reports Building universal social security systems using the principle of universality and Taking stock of progress: A compilation of inclusive social security programmes in low- and middle-income countries.

Speakers

Daisy Sibun, Social Policy Specialist at Development Pathways, author of ‘Can a leopard change its spots? A critical analysis of the World Bank’s ‘progressive universalism’ approach to social protection

Marion Ouma, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Nordic Africa Institute

Stephen Kidd, Principal Social Policy Specialist at Development Pathways

Moderator: Lena Simet, Senior Researcher and Advocate, Human Rights Watch

The flyer is here.

This event is co-organised by Act Church of Sweden, Action Against Hunger France, Development Pathways and Human Rights Watch, with the support of the Global Coalition for Social Protection Floors (GCSPF).

For more information: Gunnel Axelsson Nycander (Act Church of Sweden) and/or Pauline Pruvost-Czapek (Action Against Hunger France)

TALLER PRESENCIAL
FORTALECER LOS CUIDADOS Y LA SEGURIDAD SOCIAL
APORTES A LA DISCUSIÓN SOBRE PROTECCIÓN SOCIAL EN AMÉRICA DEL SUR

Como cierre de este ciclo realizaremos un Taller Regional presencial “Protección Social, Cuidados e Igualdad de Género: Desafíos frente a las Políticas de Austeridad” se realizará el miércoles 9 de noviembre de 2022 en Buenos Aires, Argentina. El taller se realizará paralelamente a la XV Conferencia Regional sobre la Mujer de América Latina y el Caribe de CEPAL.

El taller tiene por objetivo generar un espacio de reflexión para e intercambio de mejores prácticas internacionales, desafíos y oportunidades en la materia entre expertos/as, sindicalistas, integrantes de organizaciones feministas, académicos/as y activistas. En la reunión se examinarán las experiencias sobre nuestras luchas comunes por la justicia económica y de género, y sobre todo el rol del Estado y de las políticas públicas, así como el rol del monitoreo y los mecanismos de la rendición de cuentas.

El Taller Presencial “Protección Social, Cuidados e Igualdad de Género: Desafíos frente a las Políticas de Austeridad” se realizará el miércoles 9 de noviembre de 2022 en Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Participarán Dão Santos (Brasil), Ana Falú (Argentina), Verónica Serafini (Paraguay), Valeria Esquivel (Argentina), Lucía Cirmi (Argentina), Alma Espino (Uruguay). El taller se realizará en español.

El enlace para registrarse es: https://bit.ly/InscripcionLink

Descargue el folleto en pdf y también aquí.

Para recibir más información visite aquí y/o envíe un mail a: info@socialprotectionfloorscoalition.org.

Las actividades son organizadas por Ciedur, Red de Género y Comercio, Social Watch y Global Coalition for Social Protection Floors.

The slide presentation and the webinar's recording of the webinar the “Work Bank, IMF and Universal Social Protection following COVID-19: The Good, the Bad and the Unclear” are now available. The webinar took place on 20 October, 2022.

In the webinar World Bank, IMF and Universal Social Protection following COVID-19: The Good, the Bad and the Unclear, representatives from different CSOs, unions, and workers’ organisations have shared their perspectives on whether, and if so, how, international financial institutions (IFIs) have changed their position on social protection in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on newly published evidence, we discussed what is new regarding IFI’s engagement on social protection, what counts as progress, and what are areas where IFIs may continue to fall short on realising the right to social protection for all.

Speakers

Lena Simet, Senior Researcher on Poverty and Inequality, Human Rights Watch

Tavengwa Nhongo, Executive Director, African Platform for Social Protection

Daisy Sibun, Social Policy Officer, Development Pathways

Evelyn Astor, Economic and Social Policy Advisor, International Trade Union Confederation

Ghislaine Saizonou Broohm, Coordinator of the Department of Equality and Social, ITUC Africa

Florian Juergens-Grant, Project Manager, Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing

Moderator Rachel Moussié, Director of Programmes, Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing

OrganisersAction Contre La Faim, ACF (Action Against Hunger), Act Church of Sweden, The Africa Platform for Social Protection, APSP, Development PathwaysInitiative for Policy Dialogue, Global Coalition for Social Protection Floors, Human Rights Watch, International Trade Union Confederation, ITUC, African Regional Organisation of the International Trade Union Confederation, ITUC-Africa/CSI-Afrique and Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing, WIEGO.

Resources

Act Church of Sweden, Action Against Hunger France, Development Pathways, Can a leopard change its spots?

ITUC response to the World Bank’s Social Protection and Job Compass

ITUC response to the IMF’s Framework on Social Spending

Human Rights Watch: IMF/World Bank: Targeted Safety Net Programs Fall Short on Rights Protection

WIEGO and ITUC Africa: Building Forward Better: Investing in Africa's Workers (also in French and Spanish)

WIEGO: World Bank’s Push for Individual Savings Provides Little Protection for Crisis-hit Workers (also in French and Spanish)

Initiative for Policy Dialogue (IPD), Global Social Justice (GSJ), International Confederation of Trade Unions (ITUC), Public Services International (PSI), ActionAid International, Arab Watch Coalition, Bretton Woods Project, Eurodad, Financial Transparency Coalition, Latindadd, Third World Network (TNW)

Wemos: END AUSTERITY. A Global Report on Budget Cuts and Harmful Social Reforms in 2022-25

Development Pathways and Act Church of Sweden, Social registries: a short history of abject failure

Read more here and at socialprotection.org

CICLO DE CONFERENCIAS:
“FORTALECER LOS CUIDADOS Y LA SEGURIDAD SOCIAL”
APORTES A LA DISCUSIÓN SOBRE PROTECCIÓN SOCIAL EN AMÉRICA DEL SUR

English version available below.

La cuarta videoconferencia “Lo que la pandemia nos dejó: transformaciones necesarias” tuvo lugar el jueves 13 de octubre de 2022.

Participaron: Roberto Bissio (Uruguay), Dra. Lucía Pérez (México) y Dra. Valeria Esquivel (Argentina). La moderación estuvo a cargo de Mag Soledad Salvador (Uruguay).

Descargue el folleto en pdf y también aquí.

Con el objetivo de fortalecer la incidencia política de la sociedad civil en favor de la protección social en América del Sur realizamos un ciclo de conferencias con la participación de organizaciones diversas de la sociedad civil (e.g. feministas, sindical, ecuménicas, etc.) y expertas y expertos en la materia. En el marco de los temas generales de la seguridad social, de las nuevas propuestas, como los mínimos de protección social, y desde una perspectiva consistente en asegurar la sostenibilidad de la vida se plantea un abordaje innovador a la temática.

Para recibir más información visite aquí.

Las actividades son organizadas por Ciedur, Red de Género y Comercio, Social Watch y Global Coalition for Social Protection Floors.

CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE DISCUSSION ON SOCIAL PROTECTION IN SOUTH AMERICA

With the aim of strengthening the political incidence of civil society in favor of social protection in South America, it was proposed a cycle of conferences with the participation of various organizations of civil society (e.g. feminists, trade unions, ecumenical, etc.) and experts in the field. Within the framework of the general issues of social security, with new proposals, such as minimum social protection, and from a consistent perspective of ensuring the sustainability of life, it is arises an innovative approach. For that it is necessary an official care policy which contemplate supports and complements care work and defends the recognition of the "right to care", gender equality and human development. Likewise, ways of financing social protection are explored, including the creation of a global fund.

The third videoconference “What the pandemic left us: necessary transformations” was held on Thursday, October 13, 2022.

Speakers: Roberto Bissio (Uruguay), Dr. Lucía Pérez (Mexico) and Dr. Valeria Esquivel (Argentina). Moderator: Mag Soledad Salvador (Uruguay).

The flyer is available here and here.

To receive more information visit here.

These activities are organized by Ciedur, Red de Género y Comercio, Social Watch and Global Coalition for Social Protection Floors.

CICLO DE CONFERENCIAS
FORTALECER LOS CUIDADOS Y LA SEGURIDAD SOCIAL
APORTES A LA DISCUSIÓN SOBRE PROTECCIÓN SOCIAL EN AMÉRICA DEL SUR

English version available below.

Con el objetivo de fortalecer la incidencia política de la sociedad civil en favor de la protección social en América del Sur realizaremos un ciclo de conferencias con la participación de organizaciones diversas de la sociedad civil (e.g. feministas, sindical, ecuménicas, etc.) y expertas y expertos en la materia. En el marco de los temas generales de la seguridad social, de las nuevas propuestas, como los mínimos de protección social, y desde una perspectiva consistente en asegurar la sostenibilidad de la vida se plantea un abordaje innovador a la temática.

La videoconferencia “Lo que la pandemia nos dejó: transformaciones necesarias” se realizará el jueves 13 de octubre de 2022 a las 14 horas de Argentina / Brasil / Uruguay / GMT-3. Consulte la hora local aquí.

Participarán Roberto Bissio (Uruguay), Dra. Lucía Pérez (México) y Dra. Valeria Esquivel (Argentina). La moderación estará a cargo de MA.(Econ) Soledad Salvador (Uruguay). Las actividades se realizará en español.

El enlace para inscribirse es: https://bit.ly/PandemiaTransformaciones

Descargue el folleto en pdf y también aquí.

Para recibir más información visite aquí y/o envíe un mail a: info@socialprotectionfloorscoalition.org.

Las actividades son organizadas por Ciedur, Red de Género y Comercio, Social Watch y Global Coalition for Social Protection Floors.

CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE DISCUSSION ON SOCIAL PROTECTION IN SOUTH AMERICA

With the aim of strengthening the political incidence of civil society in favor of social protection in South America, it is proposed a cycle of conferences with the participation of various organizations of civil society (e.g. feminists, trade unions, ecumenical, etc.) and experts in the field. Within the framework of the general issues of social security, with new proposals, such as minimum social protection, and from a consistent perspective of ensuring the sustainability of life, it is arises an innovative approach. For that it is necessary an official care policy which contemplate supports and complements care work and defends the recognition of the "right to care", gender equality and human development. Likewise, ways of financing social protection are explored, including the creation of a global fund.

The videoconference “What the pandemic left us: necessary transformations” will be held on Thursday, October 13, 2022 at 2:00 p.m. of Argentina / Brazil / Uruguay / GMT-3, you can confirm your local time here.

Speakers: Roberto Bissio (Uruguay), PhD Lucía Pérez (Mexico) and PhD Valeria Esquivel (Argentina). Moderation will be in charge of BA (Econ) Soledad Salvador (Uruguay). The activities will be carried out in Spanish.

The link to register is: https://bit.ly/PandemiaTransformaciones

The flyer is available here and here.

To receive more information visit here and/or send an email to: info@socialprotectionfloorscoalition.org

These activities are organized by Ciedur, Red de Género y Comercio, Social Watch and the Global Coalition for Social Protection Floors.

The Global People’s Assembly is a self organised space during the United Nations General Assembly high level with the aim of bringing the voices of the people to the forefront, at a time where decision makers engage in high level debate without people’s involvement. The 2022 Global People’s Assembly took place online from Tuesday 20th September – Thursday 22nd September 2022.

A Declaration developed with inputs from over 30 national and regional people’s assemblies, was adopted at the three–day Global People’s Assembly on Tuesday 22 of September, organised by Global call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP) and allies, during the 77th session of the UN General Assembly. “The time to act is now,” the group calls for a shared political and economic power equally between the global north and global south, for global democracy and a robust civic space. Read the Declaration.

The recordings of the sessions are also available.

The Global Coalition for Social Protection Floors is co-organizer of the Global People’s Assembly and several members participated in the sessions.

Isabel Ortiz (Global Social Justice Switzerland) participated in the opening session.

Sylvia Beales Gelber (APSP and member of the coalition core group) participated in the African Assembly and spoke on the right to universal social protection in Africa and the call for the global fund. Her presentation is here.

Florian Juergens-Grant (WIEGO) participated on behalf of the GCSPF at the session Leave No Woman Behind on 21st September. His presentation is here.

Civil Society Call for a Global Fund for Social Protection

Over 200 civil society organizations and trade unions unite to call for a Global Fund for Social Protection to protect the most vulnerable during COVID-19 and beyond.

Read the Call

SP&PFM Programme

The programme Improving Synergies Between Social Protection and Public Finance Management provides medium-term support to multiple countries aiming to strengthen their social protection systems at a national level and ensure sustainable financing. The programme aims to support countries in their efforts towards achieving universal social protection coverage.

This initiative is implemented jointly by the ILO, Unicef, and the GCSPF.

Read more

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