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Social protection is a human right

12 December 2013
Participants to Public Service Trade Union Action Planning Meeting on Social Protection for Migrant Workers
Social security systems are invaluable mechanisms to provide income security, reduce poverty and inequality and promote social inclusion and dignity. The territoriality nature of social security systems, designed within national boundaries and the various requirements associated with entitlements, e.g. nationality and minimum qualifying period of contributions, create particular hurdles for migrant workers seeking to avail of their rights. Weak coordination between national systems poses a challenge, as workers move across borders and enter into different national systems.

Migrant workers can end up supporting the welfare system for permanent residents and citizens, while experiencing loss of wages and denial of entitled accrued benefits upon returning to their country of origin. Moreover, the increasingly dynamic nature of the global labour markets and the shift toward temporary modes of migration require that national social protection systems take steps to ensure that migrant workers are not stripped of their right to social protection.

Set against this backdrop, Public Services International (PSI), in collaboration with the International Labour Organization Decent Work Across Borders Project (ILO DWAB): a Pilot Project for Migrant Health Professionals and Skilled Workers, funded by the European Union, organised a “Public Service Trade Union Action Planning Meeting on Social Protection for Migrant Workers,” 28-30 November 2013, Berlin, Germany. The meeting was sponsored by the ILO DWAB Project and hosted in Berlin by PSI affiliate, Ver.di.

The meeting concluded with a joint statement and action plan that participants will carry-out in the next three years.

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