The letter by ILO Director General Guy Ryder and UNDG Chair Helen Clark has sent a unified and unmistakable message of support for continuing the work of extending social protection floors across the globe (see:
Their call to UN agencies is only a first step.
We are going to need everybody’s efforts—not only the UN. The need is enormous: millions suffer hunger, don’t have access to health or to an adequate pension, millions of children cannot study because of their low family income, millions are unable to find a decent job and are denied a life of dignity. Many are also experiencing lower living standards because of austerity measures. Is this the 21st century we want to live in?
We now have an opportunity—and the responsibility—to advance a cause that emerged from a pressing global need. This important mission needs your contribution.
Many of you, friends in civil society, in academia and elsewhere, possess an invaluable wealth of knowledge and experience that will be indispensable to the initiative’s success. And we are asking for your continued cooperation and support in maintaining and realizing our shared ambition.
We hope you will continue to play an even bigger role, particularly in the formation of the national social protection floor teams where the UN has called for more engagement with development partners. Check for the ILO Social Security Specialist covering your country:
But there are also ways we can kick-off this renewed collaboration right now:
- Can you become an advocate of social protection floors? Please help us disseminate the message through your networks. Advocacy materials can be found here: http://www.social-protection.org
- Do you have new evidence or data on social protection programs? Help us grow the knowledge base by sending new publications or other evidence from you or your organization’s work to email@example.com
- Start costing the social protection floor to make the case in a country. The costing tool developed by the ILO and UNICEF allows virtually anybody with some quantitative skills to do a basic estimation of old-age pensions, child benefits, disability benefits, orphan benefits, education stipends, birth lump-sum benefits, youth labour market programmes, and employment programmes.
- Can you translate documents? We are looking for experienced volunteers to translate critical documents into national languages. Send us your cv to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Can you offer short-term professional services? Apply to our consultants’ roster or become one of our interns. Send us your cv to email@example.com or apply online http://www.social-protection.org
- Sign the petition! Support the adoption by every country of a nationally-defined social protection floor.
Of course, there will be more ways for us to connect moving forward—any suggestions welcome. But these are a good start.
Let’s work together to create meaningful change in the lives of people everywhere.
Director Social Protection Department
International Labour Organization
4 Route des Morillons
CH-1211 Geneva 22 Switzerland