The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) Zambia has been contributing towards the growth and development of social protection systems in Zambia and the SADC region. To achieve this FES has been working with partners to dialogue and promote participation in strengthening the policy and legal framework to ensure social protection is institutionalised, comprehensive, inclusive and legally anchored on the United Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and the horizontal level of the Social Protection Floors of the ILO Recommendation 202.
The Human Rights Based Social Protection means making Social Protection a Right and a Development Issue and not a Gift or Charity. FES believe non-state actors have the responsibility to advocate for the realization of a human rights-based approach to social protection and engage policy and law makers to ensure institutionalized, inclusive and comprehensive adequate social protection is realized. The work of the FES from 2020-2022 has been to strengthen the basic political consensus on the fundamental right to social security and social protection as a contribution to social justice and to anchor it institutionally and legally.
The Social Protection and Social Justice Conference gave government and non-state actors an opportunity to review the social protection approaches of government, who is currently reviewing the policy framework, as well as in the process of enacting the social protection bill and just started implementing the 8th National Development Plan. FES Zambia believes that social protection programmes remain insufficiently focused on achieving social justice outcomes, both in terms of their objectives and in their implementation. The social protection for social justice conference was themed Human Rights Based Social Protection Key to National Development. Both political will and economic growth are essential for expanding social protection coverage. However political will is liable to shift. Zambia, therefore, needs to have legal frameworks that support social protection irrespective of political will.
The conference was graced by the presence of key stakeholders which included the Ministry of Labor and Social Security, Ministry of Finance and National Development, the Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU), The Mine workers Union (MUZ), Zambia Institute for Policy Analysis and Research (ZIPRA), Civil Society for Poverty Reduction (CSPR), Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR), Policy Monitoring and Research Centre (PMRC), National Health Insurance Management Authority (NHIMA), National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA), the Southern African Social Protection Experts Network (SASPEN) and others.