Social Justice

Social Justice with focus on Inequalities – Social Protection Floors for all, including Health

Social justice encompasses our Human Rights, including the right we all have to the fair division of resources, and to opportunities and participation: social security is a right enshrined in the Universal Declaration, governed by standards developed by the International Labour Organisation (ILO). This includes Recommendation 202 on social protection floors, which are a proven mechanism for poverty alleviation and prevention and are therefore encapsulated in Target 3 of the first Sustainable Development Goal, to End poverty in all its forms everywhere. 

The current global situation of extreme social, financial and environmental inequalities; where 1 in 8 billion are food insecure, where poverty is widespread and affects people disproportionately depending on where they live, their gender, ethnicity, and more, is one where social justice is severely lacking. This limits people’s opportunities to live and pursue creative, productive lives, and to be resilient in the face of personal or familial illness, disability, and wider disasters and crises.

Strong, equitable health systems are key to social protection: we saw how the COVID-19 pandemic affected socially excluded groups disproportionately across all countries, and our work on vaccine justice exposed the deep-rooted regional inequalities in access to essential life-saving vaccination and treatment.

DEMANDS FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE

  • the call for a Global Fund for Social Protection, based on principles of solidarity, realising human rights, and accountability between citizen and state
  • Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in every country, covering every person across the life course
  • the speedier implementation of SDG 1 target 3: the Social Protection Floor – health services for all, and basic income security in childhood, maternity, old age and at times of disability

GCAP Africa Urges Action on Debt Relief and Social Protection at ARFSD Side Event

GCAP Africa and representatives from African civil society organisations (CSOs) gathered online on 18 April 2024, during the 10th African Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (ARFSD) to address pressing issues related to debt and social protection in Africa.

The virtual event, co-organized by African CSOs and GCAP, brought together stakeholders from various African nations to discuss the continent’s progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the state of social protection amidst ongoing challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

Download the outcome document here.

Key Concerns:

Despite acknowledging the collective efforts of African nations towards improving living standards and advancing the SDGs, participants expressed deep concern over the region’s high levels of debt and inadequate social protection coverage. With an estimated 1.2 billion Africans lacking any form of social protection, particularly in rural areas, vulnerable populations are increasingly exposed to economic, health, and climatic shocks, exacerbating existing inequalities.

Impact of COVID-19:

The COVID-19 pandemic has further exacerbated these challenges, pushing millions of people below the poverty line and eroding previous gains in social protection coverage. Only two African countries, Niger and Sao Tome & Principe, have ratified the 2022 AU Protocol on the Rights of Citizens to Social Protection and Social Security, highlighting the urgent need for broader adoption and implementation of social protection policies.

Call to Action:

In response to these pressing issues, participants issued a joint call to action addressed to African governments, the African Union, the United Nations, and development partners. Key recommendations include:

  • Reforming the global financial architecture to address unsustainable public debt levels.
  • Developing a debt work-out mechanism under the auspices of the UN.
  • Addressing root causes of the debt crisis embedded in global financial structures.
  • Implementing structural solutions to debt challenges.
  • Reexamining credit terms and renegotiating existing loans based on fairer mechanisms.
  • Expediting the establishment of regional financial institutions to support sustainable development.
  • Ratifying the 2022 AU Protocol on Social Protection and Social Security.
  • Developing sustainable revenue streams to finance universal social protection schemes.
  • Designing adaptive social protection frameworks to respond effectively to crises.
  • Prioritizing citizen engagement and participation in social protection programs.

GCAP Takes the Lead: Organising Key Events at WSF 2024 and APFSD to Address Global Challenges

 Dear colleagues,

As we navigate through the intricate challenges facing our world today, the Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP) stands at the forefront of addressing the pressing issues that affect humanity and the planet. We delve into significant events that demand our collective attention and action.

World Social Forum (WSF):

The people of the planet are currently facing an unprecedented environmental crisis coupled with rising inequality, widespread food insecurities, war and majoritarian violence, as well as escalating tensions between major powers. In fact, humanity is on the brink of multi-faceted calamities that pose a grave threat to its very survival.

In this context, the 16th edition of World Social Forum (WSF) is taking place from 15 – 19th February 2024 in Kathmandu, where more than 1,000 civil society organisations and several individuals will gather to discuss issues affecting the humanity and the planet. NGO Federation of Nepal (GCAP Nepal) is playing a key role as part of the Nepal Organising Committee of the WSF 2024 to organise the forum.

GCAP is co-organising 3 events with NGO Federation of Nepal (GCAP Nepal), and 3 events with Action Aid Asia. If you are attending the WSF, you are requested to join the events.

Asia Pacific Forum for Sustainable Development (APFSD):

Moving forward, the 11th APFSD, themed « Reinforcing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and eradicating poverty in times of multiple crises: The effective delivery of sustainable, resilient and innovative solutions in Asia and the Pacific, » will be organised from 20-23 February. This significant gathering will take place at the United Nations Conference Centre in Bangkok, Thailand.

You are invited to participate in two official Side Events in APFSD organised by GCAP and members/alliance partners during APFSD.

Virtual side event:

The virtual side-event will be organised on the topic, “Advocating Universal Social Protection (USP) Floors for Asian Countries,” on February 21, 2024 (Wednesday), from 16.30 – 17.45 Bangkok time (GMT+7). Check your country time here.

Link to register: https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYvcO-gqjIrGNZXd7-g4s6DIQWJmLAdbc6g

In-Person Side Event:

The in-person side-event will be organised on the topic, “Shaping Asia CSOs’ position for the Summit of the Future (SoTF) 2024,” on February 21, 2024 (Wednesday), from 11.30 am – 12.45 pm Bangkok time (GMT+7). Check your country time here.

It will be held in Room A, United Nations Conference Centre (UNCC), United Nations Building, Bangkok.

To register for this side event, please use this link: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeuMDjJMg516-ps-qIdEZ0c5GgUCML8Dpe6RzQc28CLuhPzFw/viewform

To attend the in-person side event, all registrants must also register on Indico to attend the APFSD by February 6 using the link: https://indico.un.org/event/1007683/

Please register using the option “Registration for Others” and choose your side event.  Those who do not register on Indico will not be able to access the United Nations Conference Center.

In solidarity,

 

Ingo Ritz

Director, GCAP

Declaration of the GCAP Global Assembly 2023

–Call for Global Justice to Achieve the SDGs

The GCAP Global Assembly 2023 meeting in New York on 20 and 21 September 2023 calls urgent attention to the multiple crises we face as humanity and priority actions needed as a result. These challenges have brought us perilously close to a critical threshold, where ongoing and deepening conflicts in all regions and multiple attacks on human rights defenders threaten our common future and violate fundamental rights of all. Many of the planetary boundaries have been breached, jeopardizing the continuity of life as we know it. This is a consequence of the irreversible impacts of climate change, accelerated biodiversity loss, rising global temperatures and unprecedented monsoon floods as well as environmental pollution.

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated existing economic, social and environmental inequalities highlighting the persistent failures to learn from our mistakes. This is evident in our continued adherence to a development model that disregards human rights obligations of governments and relies on exploitation of people and nature. In the name of economic recovery, unjust policies are being promoted, leading to austerity measures, xenophobia, setbacks in social progress, heightened conflicts, land dispossession from communities and the exacerbation of socio-environmental conflicts for the imposition of megaprojects, monocultures and carbon markets. We denounce complicity between states and transnational corporations which promote fallacious and bogus solutions to the climate emergency.

Download the GCAP Global Assembly 2023 here.

Read the Declaration here. 

Campaign for Social Security

Photo Credit: https://kathmandupost.com/

 

The Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP) along with 70 other civil society organisations launched a campaign for universal social security at the Annual meetings of the IMF and World Bank in October 2023 in Marrakesh.

The 71 organisations like Amnesty International, Oxfam International, the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and the Global Coalition for Social Protection Floors signed a document that calls for transformative change to rectify inequalities and the erosion of public services, emphasising the importance of universal and adequate social security systems that leave no one behind. By signing this document, GCAP and its fellow organisations send a resounding message of solidarity, underscoring their unwavering commitment to building a fairer and more sustainable world where social security is accessible to all, regardless of their circumstances.

Click here to read the document.

Click here to download the PDFs in English, French and Spanish