Pursuant to Human Rights Council resolution 42/13 on the right to social security, the Human Rights Council is holding an intersessional panel discussion to identify challenges and best practices in the realization of the right to social security. It will provide an opportunity for an inclusive and interactive debate among States, United Nations agencies, funds and programmes, treaty bodies, special procedures and regional human rights mechanisms, as well as civil society, non-governmental organizations.
The panel discussion will examine how the normative content of the right to social security and the corresponding human rights obligations of States can guide policy making at the national and international level in advancing the enjoyment of this right. This is vital. Despite progress in the extension of social protection in many parts of the world, the human right to social security is not yet a reality for the majority of the world’s population. The COVID-19 crisis has made realizing this right even more urgent by exposing the weaknesses of a social and economic system that has neglected to invest sufficiently in fundamental public services such as social protection and health care, unveiling gaps in coverage, inadequacy of social protection benefits and exacerbating deep-seated inequalities.
1 November 2021, 10 – 12 and 14.30 – 16.30 Geneva time, Room XIX of Palais des Nations, Geneva, and virtually on Zoom. The Zoom link will be sent to participants on Thursday 28 October 2021
The panel will be chaired by H.E. Ms. Keva L. Bain, Vice-President of the Human Rights Council
Opening: Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
Session I: 10:00 to 11.00 CEST: The human right to social security and the changing world of work
Ms. Shahra Razavi, Director of the Social Protection Department, ILO Ms. Sharan Burrow, General Secretary, International Trade Union Confederation
Mr Mohamed Ezzeddine Abdel Moneim, Chair of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
Session II: 11.00 to 12.00 CEST: Promoting substantive equality and non-discrimination in the enjoyment of the right to social security
Hon. Utoni Nujoma, Minister of Labour, Namibia Mr. Alradi Abdalla,
Disability-Inclusive Social Protection, International Disability Alliance Ms. María Rodríguez Alcázar, Board Member, Youth Forum Ms. Michele Levoy, Director, Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants
Session III: 14.30-15.30 CEST: Fiscal space for social protection and States’ human rights obligations
Ms. Isabel Ortiz, Director of the Global Social Justice Program at Joseph Stiglitz's Initiative for Policy Dialogue, Columbia University, Ms. Kate Donald, Director of Program, Center for Economic and Social Rights
Session IV: 15.30 to 16.30 CEST: The right to social security at the heart of the new social contract
Ms. Rachel Moussie, Deputy Director of the Social Protection Program, Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing Mr. Gerard Quinn, Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities Ms. Isiuwa Iyahen, Programme Specialist - Economic Empowerment and Statistics, UN WOMEN
List of speakers
The online system of registration for participation in this intersessional panel discussion is available in Indico, and all participants are requested to register at
NGO participation: Please note that only non-governmental organizations in consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) can participate in this panel discussion.
States can register to speak through
"https://spreg.ohchr.org/" with the same login details used during the 48th session of the Council.
Non-governmental organizations can register to speak (video statements only) through
The online registration for the lists of speakers will open on
Tuesday, 26 October at 9 a.m. and will closed on
Friday, 29 October at 4 p.m.
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