Consultative Meeting on Promoting the Ratification of the AU Protocol on Social Protection and Social Security.

UPDATE

Consultative Meeting on Promoting the Ratification of the AU Protocol on Social Protection and Social Security.
A group photo taken to commemorate the consultative meeting promoting the ratification of the AU Protocol on social protection and social security in Lusaka, Zambia.

 

The Africa Platform for Social Protection (APSP), took part in a high-level consultative meeting held in Lusaka, Zambia, on September 11, 2023, to promote the ratification of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Citizens to Social Protection and Social Security.

The meeting was organized by the Civil Society for Poverty Reduction (CSPR) in collaboration with the APSP and the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services. This brought about key stakeholders from the Social Protection sector, emphasizing the importance of collaboration and partnerships in Zambia’s Social Protection systems.

 

The Document’s Purpose and COVID-19’s Influence.

The Protocol, which was adopted by the 54 AU member states aims to legally ensure citizens’ rights to Social Protection and Social Security. This will help AU member states in shaping their Social Protection policies. The COVID-19 pandemic speeded up its adoption, making it crucial for Zambia to focus on its ratification at the national level and collaborating with the government, to support its domestication to create responsive Social Protection systems for all Zambians; with the acknowledgment that around 65% of vulnerable populations are already receiving social protection services.

 

 

Key Recommendations for Progress.

It was established that, for the AU Protocol on Social Protection and Social Security to make significant progress and for Zambia to be a role model for other AU member states, there was the need for:-

  1. Assessment of Progress: Relevant ministries in Zambia to assess the current status of the adopted AU Protocol and carefully review it to make informed decisions.
  2. Stakeholder Engagement: The Ministry to organize meetings with experts and officials to discuss practical steps regarding the document. A technical committee to be established to lead the ratification process, followed by a dialogue meeting with the government.
  3. Involvement of Civil Society: CSPR will lead efforts to identify and gather stakeholders with expertise in Social Protection. They will develop terms of reference for the document, with support from the Ministry of Justice and engage with other stakeholders and the Ministry of Labor and Social Security.
  4. Policy Alignment: The National Social Protection Policy to incorporate principles and measures from the document. Stakeholder consultations on Zambia’s draft Social Protection policy will be held to consider suggestions for inclusion in the final policy document.
  5. Active Participation: All stakeholders are encouraged to actively participate in the promotion of the signing and ratification of the protocol, despite minimal budget allocation. CSPR will continue to collaborate with the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services in discussions about the document.

 

The Path Forward Through Collaboration.

During the consultative meeting, the participants emphasized on the importance of ratifying the AU Protocol on Social Protection and Social Security by the government of Zambia.

The meeting pinpointed several specific actions that needed to be taken, which were stakeholder involvement, policy alignment, evaluation and promotion of active participation to drive the ratification process and establish efficient Social Protection systems for the benefit of the people of Zambia.

It was also agreed that accomplishing this objective necessitates the cooperation of the government, civil society and other stakeholders.

 

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