Education and Solidarity Network


Education and Solidarity Network
April 15, 2015

In Belgium, the socialist mutual society Solidaris, an Education and Solidarity Network member, has launched an international campaign promoting social protection for all in partnership with CNCD – 11.11.11 member organisations (trade unions, mutual societies and NGOs). This two-year campaign will take place between 2015 and 2016. 

Although social protection is a right, three quarters of the world’s population are not covered by an appropriate social protection system. Falling ill without being able to buy medicines; working but remaining poor; being made unemployed without any further source of income; working a lifetime without receiving a pension … that is the reality for more than 5 billion people.

Social protection is a system within the reach of all countries. It provides the means of effectively combating social inequality and is a powerful lever for development. The “Social Protection for All” campaign has issued 4 political demands that must be met:  

1. Social protection is a human right. It must be enshrined in all countries’ laws.

While many countries have adopted international agreements on social protection, these principles are far from being fully applied in practice in all countries. Belgium must advocate genuine implementation of social protection for all anywhere it can. Universal social protection must also be clearly made a worldwide sustainable development and development cooperation goal.

2. Social protection can be financed even in the poorest countries.

Our government must do its utmost to ensure that governments throughout the world allocate sufficient funds to robust social protection systems. This means helping developing countries to collect tax more effectively, develop effective systems for social contributions and make a solemn commitment to fair taxation. Finally, governments must work toward introducing an international system for financing social protection.

3. Social organisations must be involved in political decisions regarding social protection.

Social movements such as trade unions and mutual societies are most aware of the problems faced by people who have no social protection. When governments fail in their duty, these movements take the initiative and develop forms of social protection themselves. Governments must therefore involve them in their social protection policies. Belgium must support these organisations by requesting their involvement in the creation of cooperative programmes with developing countries.

4. Europe and Belgium must also improve social security within their own jurisdiction

Belgian decision-makers must ensure that the policies they pursue improve social protection. They must actively advocate a European pact on upward harmonisation of social protection systems. Finally, they must ensure that international trade and investment agreements, tax treaties and conditions for international financial institutions neither weaken nor impede the development of social protection.


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