The Rights Based Social Protection Africa-wide program of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Zambia office, supports Civil Society Organizations (CSO’s) at the continental level to lobby for Rights-Based Social Protection Policies. A network approach connects the continental advocacy level with policies in national contexts where policy decisions are progressively influenced in collaboration with respective governments. This workshop is the third in a series of similar workshops on the continent. The first national workshop was held in Kenya in November 2021 while the second one was held in Ghana in May 2022. This workshop held in Lusaka, Zambia, was meant not only sensitize participants on the contents of the AU Social Agenda 2063 and the Protocol, but also enhance knowledge and better understating of how best to engage with government through policy advocacy. It is expected that stakeholders will work with respective governments towards the ratification of the protocol from an informed perspective. This, would then bring to effect, legalization of the protocol into law thereby improving the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of Social Protection Programs by Government, CSO’s, Trade Unions, Informal Workers and other entities around the continent.
Social Protection is a Human Right.This is stipulated in the Universal Declaration on Human Rights. Specifically, Article 22 of the Declaration on Human Rights, states that, “everyone, as a member of society, has a right to social protection and is entitled to the realization, through national effort and international cooperation in accordance with the organization and resources of each state, of the economic, social and cultural rights for his dignity and free development’’.
The meeting was graced by the official opening of the Honorable Minister of Community Development and Social Services of the Republic of Zambia, Hon. Doreen Sefuke Mwamba Mp. Other stakeholders present at the meeting included; government officials of AU Member States,the Senior Social Welfare Officer from the African Union Commission (AUC), officials from Africa Platform for Social Protection (APSP), Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO)and the African Regional Organisation of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC-AFRICA),representatives from CSO’s and colleagues from other FES offices in sub-Saharan Africa.