“While the need for social protection is widely recognized, the fundamental human right to social security remains unfulfilled for a vast majority of the world’s population, including in the Arab States. There is a growing recognition that in order to foster broad-based and sustainable economic and social development the yields of economic growth need to be distributed in a more effective and equitable manner, and that more effective protection from poverty is indispensable. The promotion of social protection stands at the core of this recognition: interventions must be developed to contribute to the enhancement of income security, education and health outcomes.”
International Labor Organization
As part of its mission to address the challenges faced by the Arab World and support marginalized individuals and communities in acquiring and enjoying their social, political and economic rights, ARDD works to strengthen the interaction among right holders, experts and duty bearers, and hold duty bearers to a higher degree of accountability when it comes to social protection issues. The goal is to ensure that individuals and communities in Jordan and the MENA region will have access to social protection as a fundamental right, through enhanced transparency and accountability.
Although most countries in the region have established social security programs and institutions over the last decades, effective social security coverage remains elusive; most social insurance schemes cover only public and private sector workers with regular contracts, while other categories, such as groups most affected by crises, including people with disabilities, children, workers in the informal sector, day laborers, migrant workers, the elderly, refugees and vulnerable host communities are excluded from coverage.
The global consensus on the Social Protection Floor [ILO Social Protection Floors Recommendation, 2012, (No. 202)], along with international and regional rights instruments, provides moral guidance and legitimacy with regards to national demands coming from individuals and communities. It is the role of civil society organizations such as ARDD to demand the establishment and/or the safeguarding of these rights.
To this end, ARDD is engaged in actively monitoring and holding accountable relevant stakeholders in the provision of social protection. As part of its work, ARDD:
Ø Enables public dialogue in relevant social protection issues
Ø Builds partnerships with specialized institutions and works within alliances, such as ARDD’s partnership and work with Development Pathways within the Inclusive Social Security Policy Forum for the Middle East and North Africa (ISSPF MENA)
Ø Researches and monitors national and regional developments in social policy
Ø Provides free legal aid services to ensure individual rights
Ø Undertakes strategic litigation to hold stakeholders accountable
ARDD recommends the following:
ü Concerted efforts of the official and private national stakeholders and civil society, in addition to the international bodies supporting the Jordan Compact, to ensure that the needs of individuals and societies are met and to ensure an inclusive social security mechanism. Social assistance and relief by civil society organizations cannot by themselves help individuals and communities in Jordan meet their needs.
ü The government of Jordan and the Jordan Compact should invest in building a comprehensive and inclusive social security system that is carefully designed to include all individuals and communities in Jordan. The Jordan Compact can contribute to building strong and sustainable social protection systems in Jordan.
ü Increasing the investment in social security systems in Jordan to support equitable economic growth.
ü Working together to rebuild trust between the government and individuals.
ü Duty bearers in Jordan need to provide regular, predictable, and reliable income security throughout individuals’ lifecycle in view of the high levels of unemployment, the increase of informal work, and rising poverty.
Predictable and reliable basic income security will ensure that:
o Children have a strong start in life, which is essential to ensuring that they reach their full potential to contribute to society and the economy.
o Persons with disabilities can be a full part of society and live with the dignity to which they are entitled.
All this is required, considering that a society that cannot provide for all its members, cannot thrive.