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Bachelet: the right to social security is “a matter of paramount importance” |

Michelle Bachelet participated for the first time in intersessional panel discussion on the right to social security, organized Human Rights Council.

The aim was to identify challenges and best practices through discussion, among others, among Member States, UN agencies, treaty bodies and civil society.

This is the right time for Ms. Bachelet to discuss social welfare and social protection issues. In 2020 alone, 255 million jobs were lost due to the pandemic.

“Gaps in social protection coverage and inadequate social protection benefits contributed to inequalities that exacerbated and exacerbated the impact COVID-19”Said the High Commissioner.

Good examples

Social security facilitates access to health care, protects people from poverty, and guarantees basic economic and social rights, including the rights to food, water, housing, health and education.

The High Commissioner believes that Member States “clearly realized” the importance of safety nets last year as they responded to the pandemic with unprecedented protections to mitigate its social, economic and health impacts.

At the height of the crisis, from Malawi to Peru, the Philippines, Finland and the United States, governments rapidly expanded their social assistance programs.

They introduced new remittances to many people not normally involved, including informal workers, most of whom are women and freelancers working in the growing app-based gig economy.

In Argentina and Bolivia, for example, resources have been used to develop more progressive tax systems, creating wider fiscal space for social protection.

“But many of these measures were temporary,” Ms Bachelet warned.“And much more needs to be done in every region to make the right to social security a reality for all.”

Now, she said, Member States must move from temporary and ad hoc measures in the early months of the pandemic to longer-term measures.

Lack of coverage

According to the International Labor Organization (The ILO) World Social Protection Report, more than half of the world’s population is currently not covered by social protection.

Only 26% of children worldwide receive social protection benefits, and less than half of women with newborns worldwide receive cash support for pregnancy and childbirth. Only about 30% of people with severe disabilities receive disability benefits.

The ongoing transition to a green economy and the introduction of new technologies are also changing working conditions, especially for those who are most disadvantaged.

“Social security is an important tool that helps workers navigate these changes and provides invaluable resilience to the economy as a whole,” said Ms Bachelet.

In the opinion of the High Commissioner, this type of protection is not only a “fundamental human right”, but it is also “necessary for the enjoyment of many other rights and necessary for a dignified life”.

Work in progress

Renewal of solidarity is the cornerstone of the Secretary-General’s activities.General agendawhich aims to tackle inequality and indicates how the world can better recover from the pandemic.

For Ms. Bachelet, in this context, international cooperation with less developed countries is “important and beneficial to all”.

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) works to promote social protection systems around the world, prioritize health budgets, and increase the participation of health workers and communities in social protection programs.

“Social safety nets are not a depletion of resources: they are an invaluable investment in a healthy society,” concluded the High Commissioner.


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