Virtual Side Event: On the Road to 2025: A New Social Contract with Universal Social Protection and Full Employment and Decent Work for all

The side event will be in English. French and Spanish interpretation will be provided.

he Virtual Side Event: On the Road to 2025: A New Social Contract with Universal Social Protection and Full Employment and Decent Work for all will take place during the 61st Session of the Commission for Social Development CSocD61.

Social protection is a human right and an investment with high social and economic returns – yet more than half the world’s population do not have access to comprehensive social protection. Coverage remains particularly low for marginalized children, people with disabilities, older people, widows, women, people working in the informal economy, migrants, and the LGBTQI community. COVID-19 has highlighted inequalities and served as a stress test for access to social protection, basic human rights, income, health security, and such essential goods as housing and food. People living in poverty have been particularly vulnerable during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many countries have realized both the necessity and the long-term benefits of universal, comprehensive, and adequate social protection for all, based on sustainable and equitable financing, robust, adapted, and tripartite administration anchored in law. The necessity for guaranteeing, financing and delivering social protection to all, including the hardest to reach may require, notably in low-income countries, the technical and financial support of a Global Fund for Social Protection. To respond to the recovery of the COVID-19 pandemic, many countries have put in place some social protection responses to support workers, children, and families1. However, these are, for the most part, ad hoc measures of short duration, and need to be transformed into sustainable social protection.

Creating full and productive employment and decent work for all is integral to an ethical and moral vision. However, the informality of work appears to be growing worldwide and becoming the new normal, with over sixty percent of the global workforce supporting themselves in this way- hoping to meet their basic daily needs without health coverage, social insurance, or access to maternity or sick leave. In Africa, this figure can be as high as eighty percent. Further, these informal workers do not have voice and representation for their interests and are often prohibited from unionizing. While this has been the norm in emerging economies, today the trend is on the rise in more developed and globalized economies, in the form of deregulation, outsourcing, and flex and temp work. All of this erodes the dignity of the person and violates human rights and opportunities for decent work conditions. The globalized nature of finance, investment and business ventures is facilitating this erosion with exploitative practices against people and the planet itself.

It is more important than ever to make connections between social protection and the ongoing crisis, strengthen and scale up social protection systems and for that a renewed social contract is needed to ensure an inclusive and sustainable recovery for all. The Global Coalition of Social Protection Floors (GCSPF) invites you to a 105-minute side event with speakers from Governments, United Nations, and civil society. We will tackle the diverse and interconnecting perspectives on social protection and the urgency of a “renewed” social contract anchored in human rights for a new era and consider why the Global Fund for Social Protection is necessary to deliver to all the right to social protection. Insights and conclusions will be inputted into the ongoing work of the Commission for Social Development and the discussions about the Global Fund for Social Protection.