The initiative to draft a Global Charter for Social Protection Rights emerged at the AEPF (Asia-Europe People’s Forum) at Ulaan Baator, Mongolia, in July 2016.
The aim is to use these texts – a full text and its synthesis – for a campaign to strengthen the already existing initiatives of the ILO’s Social Protection Floor and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
One may wonder, why a new text and why a new initiative?
First, we already have indeed an International Covenant on economic and social rights, and there are several regional treaties or conventions. However, we do not have a specific text about rights to a universal, transformative social protection.
We welcome and support the ILO Recommendation on Social Protection Floors, as well as the Sustainable Development Goals, although we think these initiatives wil be difficult to implement within the current policy frameworks. We fully support the Global Coalition on Social Protection Rights.
Our main objective therefore is to promote a different philosophy on social protection, one that goes beyond the traditional rights, that encompasses environmental needs and bridges the unacceptable gap between production and reproduction. In our perspective, social protection is a commons, emerging from the democratic and participatory actions of citizens with demands for public authorities. Social protection is not a correction mechanism for the economic system, but should be transformative, that is, contribute to a better productive system and to the sustainability of life. We see social protection as a collective and democratic endeavour for achieving a life in dignity for all.
This is not a text with demands, but with principles. Demands can differ from country to country, depending on the priorities of local groups. We hope these principles can serve as a reference for all movements concerned about social justice.
The core persons having worked at this initiative are:
Maris dela Cruz, Manila, Network for Transformative Social Protection
Armando De Negri, Sao Paulo, World Social Forum on Health and Social Security
Koen De Tavernier, Brussels, social potection expert
Tina Ebro, Manila, Asia Europe People’s Forum
Chandan Kumar, New Delhi, Action Aid India
Meena Menon, New Delhi, researcher
Francine Mestrum, Brussels, Global Social Justice