Social Protection Floor Campaign
To sign the petition go to: http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/signature-campaign-social-protection-floor.html
SIGN-ON LETTER IN SUPPORT OF SOCIAL PROTECTION FLOOR FOR ALL
We, as members of civil society, strongly support the Social Protection Floor Initiative – a joint UN effort coordinated by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) and supported by numerous UN agencies, international NGOs, development banks and other development partners.
About 75 percent of people in the world are still not covered by adequate social security. This lack of protection is a social liability that undermines social cohesion and economic performance and creates political and institutional instability. In a world of growing inequality this floor is a necessary tool for eradicating poverty. It helps governments to build more inclusive national development plans which put people at the center.
The concept of a social protection floor is very clear. No one should live below a certain income level and everyone should be able to access at least basic health services, primary education, housing, water, sanitation and other essential services. The two necessary elements are social transfers, whether in cash or kind, to guarantee income security, food security and adequate nutrition and universal access to essential services.
The Social Protection Floor (SPF) is a policy which must be tailored to the needs of each country and builds on that country’s existing social protection mechanisms. It aims to make it possible for every citizen to enjoy the human rights expressed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (par 22) “Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security”. So it is universal!
When people stand on a solid floor, they are able to live with dignity and invest in their skills and development to move to higher levels of wellbeing.
Experience shows that a Social Protection Floor can be afforded by all countries if integrated incrementally. A number of low and middle-income countries have already successfully taken measures to build their national Social Protection Floor or have introduced some elements of it. The results show us that the impact of the SPF on poverty, vulnerability and inequality can be dramatic[i]. It is affordable!
Building a policy for a Social Protection Floor into the national plan for development is the responsibility of governments. However, it will become a reality only with the active engagement of civil society at all levels – local, national, regional and international. So we call on all - civil society, development partners, UN agencies and individual citizens – to take an active part in promoting this strategy to eradicate poverty and ensure the human rights of all citizens.
[i] Among many examples of SPF success stories are: the extension of health services coverage in Rwanda, Ghana and Thailand; the introduction of cash benefits such as social pensions and child benefits in Namibia, Bolivia and South Africa; the introduction of public works programmes to guarantee benefits for the unemployed and underemployed in India; comprehensive sets of social protection benefits introduced in Brazil, Mexico, Chile and Argentina.
COVER NOTE FOR SIGN-ON LETTER CAMPAIGN ON SOCIAL PROTECTION FLOOR
In the accompanying letter you will find our description of what a Social Protection Floor means.
Knowing that more than 1.4 billion people still struggle to live on less than $1.25 a day (World Bank), it is obvious that much more must be done to eradicate the scourge of extreme poverty.
The International Labour Organization (ILO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) coordinate the Social Protection Floor Initiative (SPF-I) as a joint UN effort to build a global coalition committed to supporting countries in building national social protection floors for their citizens.
A Social Protection Floor (SPF) is the first level of a comprehensive national social protection system that helps to realize human rights for all through guaranteeing:
Countries will develop nationally defined strategies for the progressive realization and sustainability of their floor as well as higher levels of social protection in line with their needs, preferences and financial capacities.
Building on existing social protection mechanisms these strategies may include a mix of contributory and non-contributory, targeted and universal, public and private instruments depending on the social economic and political context.
In summary, the SPF is:
How can you be involved?
This signature campaign can be used as a tool for lobbying at national and global levels.
The most important purpose of the campaign is to convince national government that the Social Protection Floor is needed and wanted by its citizens and must be included in national development policies.
We see this initiative as a wonderful opportunity to work together to roll back poverty, to put social protection at the heart of the international development agenda and to strengthen the chance for every person to live with dignity.
For further information see http://www.socialfloor.org