Children’s Right to Social Protection in the Middle East and North Africa – An analysis of legal frameworks from a child-rights perspective

While increased attention is being paid to the role of social protection in improving human development indicators, especially among children, it is important to remember that the access to social protection is not just a matter of policies but one of rights, as enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child and several other international human rights instruments. A human rights-based approach to social protection considers that programmes are anchored in a system of rights, clearly establishing citizens’ entitlements and corresponding obligations for the State. 

In recent years, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has seen a number of social protection reforms, often including the removal of universal subsidies and the introduction or scaling-up of targeted cash transfer programmes. In light of this new landscape of social provisioning and the political changes in the region since the 2011 events, this webinar presents the findings of a recent study conducted by the International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth (IPC-IG), in partnership with UNICEF’s Middle East and North Africa Regional Office (MENARO), which analyses the existing legal frameworks promoting children’s right to social protection in the MENA region. In addition, the extent to which the region’s legal frameworks comply with a human rights-based approach to social protection will be discussed. The audience will also be able to learn more from an in-depth case study on Iraq’s Social Protection Law No. 11 of 2014 – one of the most comprehensive laws of its kind in the region – which will be presented by a senior officer from the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs in Iraq, Mr. Jamal Bilal. This webinar is the third of a series on social protection in MENA, organised by IPC-IG and UNICEF MENARO. 

Panellists:

Anna Carolina Machado, Researcher, The International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth (IPC-IG)

Charlotte Bilo, Researcher, The International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth (IPC-IG)

Jamal Abdulrasul Gha’eb*, Director General, Information Technology Center of the Iraqi Social Welfare Authority.

 *Mr. Gha’eb presentation will be delivered in Arabic (consecutive translation to English will be provided)

Moderator:

Sarah Hague, Chief of Social Policy, UNICEF Lebanon