Background Information

Civil Society Call for a Global Fund for Social Protection

The Civil Society Call for a Global Fund for Social Protection is available in Arabic, English, French and Spanish.

The Press Release “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”; is here, (pdf version).

Why a Call for a Global Fund for Social Protection?

In view of the global harm from the COVID-19 pandemic, with food insecurity, poverty and loss of livelihoods rising globally, it is essential that national social protection floors are made available to all people – through nation and international solidarity. While recognising that the foremost responsibility for social protection lies at country level, the pandemic puts a spotlight on the need for international solidarity. What is needed is the creation of a solidarity based Global Fund for Social Protection to support countries design, implement and, in specific cases, finance national floors of social protection. It is the adequate multilateral initiative needed to respond to Covid-19 and to build a better future.

What do we want you to do?

We invite you to endorse the Call, to express your support for the creation of a Global Fund for Social Protection.

The list of signatories is here.

How can you endorse the Civil Call for a Global Fund for Social Protection?

You can endorse the Call on by ensuring that the director, president, secretary general, or equivalent of your organisation sends an email confirming your organisation’s support for the Global Fund for Social Protection to Ana Zeballos at anaclau AT, who collects the signatures on behalf of the Global Coalition for Social Protection Floors (GCSPF). Only signatures by the organisations top leadership will be listed.

The updated list of signatories is here.

Who is invited to sign?

For now, global civil society platforms and organisations, faith based organisations, worker organisations as well as their national members are invited to sign. At a later stage we may also approach individual advocates for social protection.

What do we hope to achieve?

We want to make sure that in this crisis we lay the foundations for an instrument of global solidarity that is long overdue. The Global Fund for Social Protection should become a key element of the Covid-19 response and of the efforts to build a better future, in which the universal right to social protection is a reality for all. We support this endeavour by showing the breadth of support for such a fund among civil society actors from all around the globe.

When shall the call be published?

The call was publicly launched on 21 September 2020. We ask you to share the call with your membership network as well as, civil society allies supporting this cause and invite them to sign. We ask all of you to contribute to the promotion and advocacy activities, e.g. by offering to write an op-ed, blog or similar piece for your constituency, region etc.

Information on the launching can be found here.

We also encourage you to call for a Global Fund for Social Protection in related policy spaces. You could also -for example- reference the GCSPF concept note on the Fund or the related ITUC campaign brief.

If you have suggestions and want to be part of these activities, please also contact Ana. You will be informed about the activities organized around the call, if you sign it.

How can you get involved?

You can also get active in the work around the fund as part of working group on the fund in the GCSPF, which plans activities, and develops further the existing (concept note on the Fund).

Updated version of the Call for a Global Fund for Social Protection?

In July 2022 an updated version of the Call was published. The revision was made in light of new political developments through 2022, for example, a Global Fund for Social Protection was included in the Our Common Agenda report by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

Global Financing Mechanism for Social Protection Floors – Background Information

  • The “Global Solidarity Funding For Social Protection” report explores the feasibility of the extension of universal social protection. This report highlights the implicit financial challenges and the opportunity of a Global Solidarity Fund For Social Protection.
    To support the global debate on the Global Fund and the implementation of Social Protection Floors, the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) commissioned this study, its objective is to explore the feasibility and necessity of a global financing mechanism for social protection, focusing on Nepal and Uganda.
    The study eventually determined (i) the cost of co-financing the closure of national gaps in social protection floors, including access to essential health care; (ii) the redistributive impact of such policies in terms of poverty reduction and the reduction of inequality; (iii) the effects of a global funding mechanism support on the achievability of the social protection-related SDG targets in the sample countries; and (iv) the effects of the fund support on countries’ social protection systems resilience in times of crisis.
    This report is a collaboration between the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, Maastricht University and the United Nations University-MERIT. The report was launched on November 2022 and information about the launching is here.
  • USP2030: Principles for Financing Universal Social Protection. On October 2022 the Financing Working Group of the Global Partnership on Universal Social Protection (USP 2030) realeased a joint statement on key principles for financing social protection.
    Universal social protection is an essential means to prevent and reduce poverty and inequality and is at core of the social contract that connects the state with the society, contributing to more inclusive, equitable, stable, and peaceful societies. With the ongoing economic effects of COVID-19, the unfolding cost of living crisis, and the ever-growing impacts of climate breakdown the need for social protection has never been greater. And yet large and entrenched coverage gaps remain, with a lack of available and accessible financing a major bottleneck in achieving universal social protection. In light of this challenge the USP2030 working group on financing has jointly agreed the following key principles to guide the international and national financing of social protection Read more
  • The HLPF virtual side event: How to achieve the SDGs despite the worsening hunger and poverty crisis? took place on Wednesday, 6 July, during the High-level Political Forum (HLPF) 2022. The video is here. Gunnel Axelsson Nycander participated on behalf of the Global Coalition for Social Protection Floors (GCSPF). Download her presentation. More information here.
  • The Social Protection Podcast “A Global Fund for Social Protection” contributes to the ongoing debates around universal approaches to social protection: financing.
    The guests in this episode are Charles Lwanga-Ntale (Independent Consultant); Helmut Schwarzer (Head of Public Finance, Actuarial and Statistics Unit of the Social Protection Department at the International Labour Organization) and Marcus Manuel (Independent Consultant). The guests contribute to the discussions around what shape should such a fund take? What are the lessons available to date? How to address the coverage gaps in social protection given differences in fiscal space? And finally, how did the COVID-19 pandemic influence those trends in social protection financing?
    The podcast Ep. 14 “A Global Fund for Social Protection” was released on May 2022.
  • The report “Expanding social protection and closing financing gaps” contributes to the ongoing debates on the establishment of universal social protection through an analysis of eight specific country cases (Bangladesh, Gabon, Honduras, Mongolia, Senegal and Somalia) where trade unions are actively campaigning for extending social protection as part of national development strategies.
    The cases showcase the potential for mobilising greater domestic resources for social protection as well as the importance of greater international financial support towards social protection, including strengthening the share of development assistance towards social protection to at least 7% of existing ODA allocations in the short term, as well as the potential for a Global Social Protection Fund in mobilizing and coordinating international financing to make social protection a reality for all.
    The report is available in English, French and Spanish. This study was prepared by the ITUC, with financial support from WSM and it was released on May 2022.
  • The policy brief Social Protection and Gender Equality introduces social protection, describes why it is important for women and girls, refers to the Global Fund for Social Protection and summarises evidence of the impact of social protection on gender equlity. The policy brief by Act Church of Sweden and The Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation was released on May 2022.
  • The Civil Society 7 communiqué that calls for progressive and sustainable outcomes at G7 Summit Progress towards an equitable world – must be more than a promise! was released on May 2022.
    This C7 Communiqué reflects the policy positions and priorities of Civil7 2022 along the Working Groups and in the section entitled “Actively promote transformative development finance” calls for setting up a Global Fund on Social Protection (p.12).
  • Labour and Social Justice. A GLOBAL FUND FOR SOCIAL PROTECTION Views from Selected Low-income Countries.; by Charles Lwanga-Ntale, FES Geneva in cooperation with the Global Coalition for Social Protection Floors (GCSPF) and Brot für die Welt, April 2022.
  • Labour and Social Justice. Governance principles for a Global Fund for Social Protection; by Markus Kaltenborn and Laura Kreft, FES Geneva in cooperation with the Global Coalition for Social Protection Floors (GCSPF) and Brot für die Welt, March 2022.
  • Policy Brief “A Global Fund for Social Protection to promote policy and fiscal space to make the right to social protection a reality for all” PDF version available here
    Prepared by the Global Coalition for Social Protection Floors’ working group on a global financing mechanism for social protection, whose members represent Act Church of Sweden; Action Against Hunger – France; the Africa Platform for Social Protection; Bread for the World – Germany; Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Geneva Office; HelpAge International; the International Trade Union Confederation; Oxfam International; Save the Children; Social Justice in Global Development; We Social Movements; Markus Kaltenborn, Professor of Public Law and director of the Institute of Development Research and Development Politics at Ruhr University Bochum and Michael Cichon, former director of the ILO’s Social Security Department and honorary professor of social protection at the Graduate School of Governance of Maastricht University/United Nations University in the Netherlands, September 2021.
  • On September 2021 the virtual side event “Decade of Action to achieve Universal Social Protection by 2030” (Theme Austerity & Social Protection) co-hosted by the Global Coalition for Social Protection Floors (GCSPF) and the Africa Platform for Social Protection (APSP) was held during the Global People’s Assembly on 22 September, 2021. The video is available here and the invitation here.
  • On September 2021 the UN Secretary-General released his report “Our Common Agenda” that builds on 12 commitment areas identified by Member States in the UN75 Declaration in 2020. Four tracks fed into Our Common Agenda: the Next Generation Fellows youth track, thought leaders, UN Member States, and civil society.
    Paragraph 28 of the Report refers to social protection and the establishment of a Global Fund for Social Protection.
  • On August 2021 the Global Coalition for Social Protection Floors sent a letter to Mathias Cormann, Secretary General of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). See the letter here, pdf version here.

  • On July 2021 Human Rights Watch & Empowerment Initiatives (JEI) released the Report “Nigeria: Covid-19 Impact Worsens Hunger in Lagos” that documents how a five-week lockdown, rising food prices, and a prolonged economic downturn have had a devastating impact on informal workers, slum dwellers, and other urban poor families in Lagos. The absence of a functioning social security system meant that government assistance, including cash transfers and food handouts, reached only a fraction of people going hungry. The report also shows the need for increased international support for expanding the right to social security, including a reference to the Global Fund for Social Protection, to support expanded social security in the wake of the pandemic. The Global Fund could present an alternative to loans that may impose austerity measures that could harm human rights and increase poverty and inequality in the coming years.

  • The virtual side event “Decade of Action to achieve Universal Social Protection by 2030” took place on 12 July 2021 at the High-level Political Forum 2021.
    The side event was co-organized by the Permanent Mission of Argentina to the United Nations; Ministry of National Development Planning, Indonesia; Global Partnership for Universal Social Protection – USP2030; Global Coalition for Social Protection Floors; Global Call to Action Against Poverty; International Labour Organization; The World Bank; International Network for Social Protection Rights (INSP!R West-Africa); United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD); Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung; Protestant Agency for Diakonie und Development; Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd; Centro de Implementación de Políticas Públicas para la Equidad y el Crecimiento (CIPPEC). The video is here.

UN HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL 47th SESSION (HRC) (21 June to 9 July 2021)

  • Johanna Wagman participated on behalf of the Global Coalition in the webinar event “Ahead of the G20 Foreign and Development” Joint Ministerial Session, “Policy Dialogue on G20 response to adequately tackle the impact of COVID-19 on hunger and food insecurity”. Her notes are here. The agenda of the webinar is here. The event was organised by Civil 20 (C20) and Oxfam and it was held on 15th of June 2021. Further information here.


  • International solidarity to eradicate poverty: supporting the initiative of a Global Fund for Social Protection

    The GCSPF took the floor at the International Labor Conference (ILC) to call for the creation of a solidarity based Global Fund for Social Protection; to pool funds while supporting countries design and implement national social protection floors. A Global Fund is the adequate multilateral initiative needed to respond to the consequences of Covid-19 and to build a better future.
    As an institution of global governance, the Fund would help pull together efforts and decrease the fragmentation of aid, leading to a consolidation of existing financing mechanisms and enabling domestic financing over the long term. The statement “International solidarity to eradicate poverty: supporting the initiative of a Global Fund for Social Protection” was submitted under Recurrent Item Discussion on Social Security, on 4 June, 2021. The pdf version is available here. Read more

  • ILO conference adopts strong pandemic call to action

    The ILO annual ILC has concluded with the adoption of a strong and coherent response to the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
    A key opportunity to press forward this agenda will be through the convening of a major international policy forum, with other multilateral institutions.
    The demand for universal social protection was reinforced in the resolution on social security. Important elements in that resolution include: the leading role of the ILO in the international system concerning social protection; social protection as a critical factor for recovery and resilience against future crises; the need for greater international solidarity in funding social protection and the engagement of the ILO in initiating and establishing a Global Social Protection Fund; and coverage of all workers in the formal and informal sectors, and increased action to formalise informal work. Read more

  • The time has come for universal social protection

    Olivier De Schutter, UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights
    On Saturday, June 19th, the ILC, the highest body within the ILO, voted to call on the ILO to develop concrete proposals for establishing a Global Fund for Social Protection. It’s a historic breakthrough for 55 per cent of the world’s population – 4 billion people – who are still deprived of any form of social protection. Read more

  • The virtual ASEAN Regional Forum on Social Protection that Empowers Women organized by OXFAM was held on 29 – 30 June 2021. The forum brought together social protection experts, national and international organizations, civil society organizations, UN agencies, ASEAN Committee on Women, ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Social Welfare and Development empowerment and advancement. Aura Sevilla (WIEGO), Florencia Caro Sachetti (CIPPEC, Argentina), Evelyn Astor (ITUC), María Victoria Raquiza (Social Watch Philippines, Philippines) members of the Global Coalition participated on the Forum and spoke about the Global Fund. Further information can be found here. The videos are here.

  • The virtual side event “Building Roofs and Raising Floors Through Inclusive Digital Technologies and A Global Fund for Social Protection”, co-organized by the Global Coalition for Social Protection Floors (GCSPF) and Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP) brought together speakers from the Governments of Finland and Belgium, the United Nations, civil society, academia, and lived experience.
    Speakers explored the diverse and interconnecting perspectives on social protection and homelessness, and discussed why the Global Fund for Social Protection is necessary to ensure that all have the right to social protection. Speakers specifically considered how digital technology can extend social protection floors to those who are living without roofs. The event was held in the framework of the CSocD59 on 12 February 2021. The video is here.

    Further information at UNDESA: Inclusive Digital Technologies and a Global Fund for Social Protection

  • In advance of the G20 Employment Working Group meeting on 15-17 February 2021, the GCSPF calls on the G20 to launch an initiative to establish a Global Fund for Social Protection. Read the advocacy letter or download a pdf version.

  • The blog “What’s next for Social Protection: A Global Fund for Social Protection” by Nicola Wiebe was published as part of the activities to promote and disseminate the results and key discussions of the global e-Conference ‘Turning the COVID-19 crisis into an opportunity: What’s next for social protection?’.

    The article, that was published on December 2020, summarises the key messages from the e-Conference’s Side Event on A Global Fund for Social Protection. The session was moderated by Alison Tate, Director of Economic and Social Policy of International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), and joined by speakers Valérie Schmitt, Deputy Director of International Labour Organization (ILO) Social Protection Department; Gabriel Fernández, Social Protection Specialist of Africa Platform for Social Protection (APSP); Markus Kaltenborn, Professor of Law of Ruhr University Bochum; Sulistri Afrileston, Deputy President of the Confederation of Indonesia Prosperous Trade Union KSBSI, member of ITUC;  Michael Cichon, Professor emeritus of Social Protection of Maastricht Graduate School of Governance at the United Nations University in Maastricht (UNU MERIT); Marcus Manuel, Senior Research Associate of Overseas Development Institute (ODI). The full session is available here and the blog is here.

  • Nicola Wiebe spoke on behalf of the GCSPF at the Civil Society Meeting “Financing for Development in the Era of COVID-19 and Beyond” held by the UN Secretary General and Deputy Secretary General with civil society on 2 November 2020. She spoke about the rationale and need for the Global Fund for Social Protection, details of the civil society call for this were shared and responded to in the meeting and the GCSPF SPF film was shown in the course of the meeting. The video of the intervention on Social Protection is here and the PDF version is available here.

    The High-level Meeting provided the opportunity to comment on the menu of options, strategize on how to strengthen the role of the United Nations in economic governance and explore how to keep the momentum for FfD in the coming period. The video of the event is hereFurther information here.

  • Universal social protection floors are a joint responsibility. (Joint Op-Ed By Michelle Bachelet, Olivier De Schutter and Guy Ryder published on October 2020)
    Building back better from the pandemic so that we have greater resilience against future crises’ requires international solidarity and better social protection for all, that covers the poorest and most marginalized as well as those who currently have resources to pay.
    Social protection floors for all are affordable. The financing gap for all developing countries – the difference between what these countries already invest in social protection and what a full social protection floor (including health) would cost – is about $1,191 billion in the current year, including the impact of COVID-19. But the gap for the low-income countries is only some $78 billion, a negligible amount compared to the GDP of the industrialized countries. Yet the total official development assistance for social protection amounts to only 0.0047 per cent of the gross national income of donor countries.

  • On September 2020, Olivier De Schutter, Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, organized jointly with the French government a High-Level Expert Meeting on this topic, which brought together 12 governments, 18 international agencies, social partners, civil society, and academic experts. The questions listed here are informed by the views expressed during that meeting.

  • Poverty monitoring in the context of Covid-19. Webinar. 15 June 2020.
    Chair: Andrew Shepherd, Principal Research Fellow, Equity and Social Policy, and Director, Chronic Poverty Advisory Network, ODI
    Keynote: Olivier De Schutter, UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights
    Sonalde Desai, Professor and Director, NCAER-National Data Innovation Centre and Professor of Sociology at the University of Maryland
    Michael Rogan, Interim Director, Urban Policies Programme, WIEGO and Associate Professor of Economics and Economic History, Rhodes University, South Africa

  • Global Social Protection Fund. Letter to Senator the Hon. Marise Payne, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Australia. 4 June 2020. By Australian Council of Trade Unions, Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA, Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network, Oxfam Australia, Jubilee Australia, ActionAid Australia, Aid/Watch, Uniting Church in Australia – Synod of Victoria and Tasmania.

  • We urgently need major cooperation on global security in the COVID-19 era. Robert Muggah (Founder, SecDev Group and Igarapé Institute), David Steven (Senior Fellow and Senior Advisor, Center on International Cooperation), Liv Tørres (Director, Pathfinders for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies, hosted by the Center on International Cooperation at New York University). World Economic Forum. 23 April 2020.

  • International Financing for Social Protection Systems
    The technical session “Exploring the feasibility of International Financing for Social Protection Systems” took place during the Global Social Protection Week organized by the International Labour Organization (ILO) which was held from 25th to 28th November 2019 in Geneva, Switzerland. Michael Cichon and Markus Kaltenborn were in the panel on 28 November 2019. This session brought together leading thinkers from governments, research institutions, the civil society and the private sector in order to discuss the feasibility of international financing for social protection floors. Different proposals for global solidarity mechanisms have been put forward in the past decade. Furthermore, different tax proposals have been discussed (and partly been implemented), including recent discussions on international taxation in the G7. The audio is here and the concept note is here​.