27 July 2011


Social security is a basic human right enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966), and in other major United Nations human rights instruments.

Knowing that more than 1.4 billion people still struggle to live on less than $1.25 a day, it is obvious that much more must be done to eradicate the scourge of extreme poverty.

In 2009 the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) launched the Social Protection Floor Initiative as a joint UN effort to build a global coalition committed to supporting countries in building national social protection floors for their citizens.

A Social Protection Floor is the first level of a comprehensive national social protection system that helps to realize human rights for all through guaranteeing:
- Universal access to essential services (such as health, education, housing, water and sanitation and other services as nationally defined);
- Social Transfers in cash or kind to guarantee income security, food security, adequate nutrition and access to essential services.

The results of ILO research shows that a social protection floor can be afforded by virtually all countries and that it would constitute an effective tool in the fight against poverty and in reaching the Millennium Development Goals.

Visit the Global Extension of Social Security (GESS) website to sign a petition to show your support for the Social Protection Floor Initiative.

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