23.07.2016

Social protection for all people in Asia and Europe

The potential of Social Protection Floors to eradicate poverty and to balance economic and social uncertainties has been reaffirmed by its prominent role in the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. To lobby for these goals a Global Coalition for Social Protection Floors was created in summer 2012. Today it consists of more than 80 NGOs and Trade Unions from all parts of the world.

  • © FES Sunset CMTU dinner reception 4 July 2016

Dr. Stefan Chrobot, Resident Director, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Mongolia Office, delivering his opening remarks

(L-R) Adrienne Woltersdorf (FES Singapore), Phyo Sandar Soe (CTUM Myanmar), Ho Thi Kim Ngan (VGCL Vietnam), Tamar Surmava (GTUC Georgia), and Sergii Savchuk (ILO Ukraine)

Group discussions on social protection floors

The International Labour Organization (ILO) adopted the Social Protection Floors Recommendation (No. 202) in June 2012. All member states of ILO are encouraged to provide to their population – which means not only to their citizens – a universal minimum level of social benefits and services. These include among others: health care, education, care and nutrition for children and income security for those of working age, older people and those with disabilities.

During two days, between 5-6 of July 2016, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung co-organized with the Confederation of Mongolian Trade Unions (CMTU) an international conference on the topic of social protection, aiming to achieve better social security for all people in Asia and Europe. The event took place under the umbrella of the 11th Asia-Europe People’s Forum and was held back to back with the 10th Asia-Europe Labour Forum (AELF10). Both events aimed to make social development, solidarity and social justice central to the ASEM dialogue agenda.

One important moment during the event was the launch of the publication Social Protection Floor Index. The Index is an initiative by Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung and partners. It is a tool for comparison, awareness raising and initiating dialogue on the status quo of social protection – find out more about the Index.

Panel on national case studies (L-R) Adrienne Woltersdorf (FES Singapore), Phyo Sandar Soe (CTUM Myanmar), Ho Thi Kim Ngan (VGCL Vietnam), Tamar Surmava (GTUC Georgia), and Sergii Savchuk (ILO Ukraine)

Another important outcome of the event were the recommendations formulated by the participants in the conference that were incorporated in the final declaration of the 11th Asia Europe Peoples’ Forum and will be delivered to the heads of states at the ASEM Summit:

Social Protection is economically productive, meets internationally negotiated obligations and is essential to sustainable development. Adherence to Social Protection is strong evidence of belonging to the fellowship of nations and is a national social responsibility.

We urge Governments to meet their obligations and fulfill that responsibility.

We urge Governments to ensure, in total transparency, the full participation of civil society, workers and employers’ organizations in the process of extending inclusive, universal Social Protection.

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