REPORT during the AEPF-8 and side events in Brussels, October 2010

By Network for Transformative Social Protection
31 October 2010

One of the major AEPF campaigns that had space at the AEPF-8 for exchanges among Asian and European civil society groups and with ASEM and European decision-makers on realities, analyses, and proposals is the campaign to Reclaim People’s Dignity or campaign for transformative social protection.

BACKGROUND

Among international agencies, donors, governments and civil society organizations, there has been growing recognition that reducing poverty and promoting social and economic development should be achieved through social protection.

Social protection refers to a broad package of measures to prevent and reduce poverty, vulnerability and inequality. At present, only 20% of the world’s population has adequate social security coverage, and more than half lack the coverage. Moreover, globalisation, and the recent global financial crisis have also fostered a race to the bottom of existing social protection coverage systems, e.g. among governments seeking foreign direct investments. Companies around the world try to cut costs and circumvent their social protection obligations by using all kinds of atypical forms of employment, e.g. short-term employment. This puts millions of workers in a precarious and insecure work situation that could push 200 million people worldwide into poverty and extreme poverty. The protection, establishment, expansion and universalization of social protection systems around the world has become an urgent need. Moreover, social protection can also help to achieve Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) targets.

Speakers: PART 1 Georgis Altinzis (ITUC), Sri Wulandari (AMRC);

PART 2: Dwight Justice (ITUC), Bismo Sanyoto (World Solidarity), Anannya Bhattacharjee (Asia Floor Wage Alliance), Cristine Ebro (Network on Transformative Social Protection)

Moderator: Gareth Richards (Journalist)

Georgis Altinzis - ITUC

MANILA, Philippines—The modern-day idea of transformative social protection sprang from the squalor of mid-nineteenth century Europe when standards for water supply, sewerage, and housing (elements to a decent life) were left to market forces, which kept them so degradingly, dangerously, and deadly low that reforms particularly on health became necessary.

COMMUNIQUE
By Network for Transformative Social Protection
14 October 2009

Even before the global economic meltdown and the recent natural disasters that deepened the crisis in many countries in Asia, the poor have already been reeling in poverty. These crises impacted heavily on the lives and livelihood of people—depriving millions of their basic human rights to guaranteed jobs and livelihood, adequate food, and essential services like healthcare, housing, education, safe water, and electricity. Hungry, homeless and without access to services, the poor are usually at the receiving end of state or non-state effort, if any, to get them out of misery; they are often seen as part of the problem but ironically, the decision-making and implementation of the solution do not involve them.

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