1963-2018 - 55 years of Research for Social Change

  • 0
  • 0

Back | Programme Area: Social Policy and Development

Overcoming Exclusion and Promoting Rights: Challenges and Opportunities in Social Protection

Date: 16 Sep 2015

  • Time: 13.00 - 15.00
  • Location: Room VIII, Palais des Nations, 1211 Geneva 10 Switzerland
  • Counterpart(s): Government of Chile, Government of Finland, Government of Portugal, International Labour Organization, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
  • Project Title: Linking Social Protection and Human Rights

30th Session of the Human Rights Council

Organized by UNRISD, the ILO and the OHCHR on behalf of the partners of Social Protection and Human Rights, an online resource platform, this is the first of a series of activities taking place over two days to officially launch the platform. For more information about day two, click here.

This panel discussion, an official side event of the 30th Session of the Human Rights Council, will examine challenges and opportunities in overcoming discrimination and implementing rights-based social protection systems. The discussion will focus specifically on different social groups which, for various reasons, suffer from discrimination, are exposed to higher levels of risk, are excluded from full participation in society and are unable to fully enjoy their rights, including the right to social protection.

United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD)
International Labour Organization (ILO)
Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)

State Support
The side event is sponsored by Chile, Finland and Portugal.

There will be brief presentations by panellists, which will then form the basis for subsequent debates and questions from the floor.

The event will bring together the experiences of various national governments, donor agencies, international agencies and non-governmental organizations.

Opening Remarks
Katja Hujo, Senior Research Coordinator, UNRISD
P.N. Bartolo, Ambassador of Portugal

Moderator: Isabel Ortiz, Director, Social Protection Department, ILO

Christian CourtisHuman Rights Officer, Human Rights and Social and Economic Issues Section, OHCHR
Maya TakagiSenior Social Protection Officer, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Andrés ScagliolaDirector of Public Policy, Social Development Department of the City of Montevideo
Valeria EsquivelResearch Coordinator, Gender Programme, UNRISD
Facundo Chavez PenillasHuman Rights and Disability Advisor, OHCHR
Mawutor AbloDirector, Social Protection, Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Government of Ghana
Christina BehrendtSenior Social Protection Policy Specialist, Social Protection Department, ILO
Priti DarookaFounder, Programme on Women’s Economic, Social and Cultural Rights


The Social Protection and Human Rights platform was developed by UNRISD in collaboration with the former Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Magdalena Sepúlveda, to bridge the gap between the human rights and social protection disciplines and capitalize on the parallel developments in the public discussion.

ILO’s Social Protection Department joined in 2014, allowing the platform to migrate from the UNRISD website to a standalone one. Subsequently, six more partners have joined the initiative. In addition to UNRISD and ILO, the platform partners are:
  • Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC)
  • Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
  • Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA)
  • Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP)
  • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
  • United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women)

While the fields of social protection and human rights are being driven closer together thanks to increasing awareness of inequality and vulnerability, there are still gaps in designing and implementing effective programmes that provide comprehensive coverage. Although social protection is an internationally recognized right, implementing a rights-based approach to social protection involves a range of overlapping and interdependent rights, which means that assumptions about approaches in both the human rights and social protection fields need to be challenged.

The Social Protection and Human Rights platform was designed to provide policy makers and practitioners with the tools to challenge these assumptions and bridge the gaps: a clear explanation of fundamental principles and relevant instruments, examples of jurisprudence, and an inclusive space for engagement around experiences, best practices and innovative solutions. This is a unique combination of resources that won’t be found elsewhere.

If you would like to attend and do not have a UN badge, please e-mail sp_hr[at]unrisd.org to register.

Remote access to this event

We will be tweeting key messages live from this side event and welcome your comments and questions, which, time permitting, we may be able to put directly to the speakers. 

Photo credit: "School for acrobats" by Julien Hameis (CC BY 2.0 via Flickr)