Statement on Social Protection Floors: an essential element of the right to social security and of the sustainable development goals

Year: 2015
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The Committee on Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights issued this statement to underline the importance of social protection floors as a means to realize the right to social security.

Extracts from the text:

“The Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (Committee), in some of its Concluding Observations to States parties on the realization of the right to social security, has recommended the establishment of a SPF, guaranteeing legal entitlements to individuals, as an initial element to be progressively developed into a universal and comprehensive social security system in full compliance with the requirements of Article 9 of the Covenant. In the Letter from its Chairperson, in May 2012, the Committee has also called the attention of States Parties to the fact that any proposed policy change or adjustment to deal with the negative impact of the austerity measures on the enjoyment of Covenant rights ‘must identify the minimum core content of rights or a social protection floor, as developed by the International Labour Organization, and ensure the protection of this core content at all times’.” (para. 2)
“Furthermore, among the targets proposed for the realization of Goal 1 of the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), is the implementation of nationally appropriate social protection systems and measures for all, including floors.” (para. 3)
“While drawing the attention to the concept of SPF as a core obligation without which economic and social rights, including the right to social security, are deprived of any meaningful content, the Committee reminds States parties to the Covenant of their obligation of progressive realisation of the right to social security as indicated in GC 19. This is further reflected in the strategies included in ILO Recommendation 202 for the extension of social security that should progressively ensure higher levels of protection to as many people as possible. In fact, when used as a floor and not a ceiling and provided they are established and implemented according to human rights standards and principles, SPF have great potential in facilitating the enjoyment of several economic and social rights.” (para 10)

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Social Protection and Human Rights