Rights Based Social Protection in Africa

"Social protection is about providing for those in society unable to provide for themselves, the poor, the incapacitated, the unemployed, those not supposed to work such as children and women during maternity. Social protection thus deals with life’s contingencies and provides a floor or safety net to keep people from falling into poverty." (FES Zambia, 2013)

"The notion of social security covers all measures providing benefits, whether in cash or in kind, to secure protection, inter alia, from:

  • lack of work-related income (or insufficient income) caused by sickness, disability, maternity, employment injury, unemployment, old age, or death of a family member;
  • lack of access or unaffordable access to health care;
  • insufficient family support, particularly for children and adult dependants;
  • general poverty and social exclusion." (ILO, Glossary)
Picture: Strategic Objective

With the Africa wide programme stakeholders are supported to put social security on a legal basis. Social security has a significant development importance, promotes social justice and is a prerequisite for democratic participation and poverty reduction. The activities include government consultations, focused publications, network-based knowledge management and active networking of the stakeholders.

The project seeks to foster inter-African knowledge sharing of social security by promotion of networking, e.g. through international conferences or the building of multilingual internet-based communication platforms. The development and expansion of networks in Sub Saharan Africa creates democratic awareness and transparency in the political debate. Additionally, FES aims to emphasize gender equality and comprehensive social security coverage in political discourses.

The project promotes the expansion of social security systems in Sub Saharan Africa through rights based and legally enforceable national policies in correlation to AU and UN instruments. Moreover, civil society and trade union actors are supported in order to represent rights based social security as a contribution to social justice. Furthermore, FES aims to strengthen cooperation with the AU Commission (AUC), the Africa Platform for Social Protection (APSP) and ITUC-Africa in activities of social security.

FES Zambia also advocates social security for informal workers, e.g. by fostering the debate of relevant issues nationally and regionally, proposing reforms and establishing and supporting member-based organizations for informal workers.

Zambia Office 

5583 Great East Road
P.O. Box 30554

+260 211 295615/6
+260 211 293557



  • Monday, 11.03.19 to Friday, 22.03.19 - New York | Event

    63rd United Nations Commission on the Status of Women

    Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) and its partners that include the Ministry of Gender and the Ministry of Labour and Social Services the African...

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  • Thursday, 28.02.19 | Event

    Lusaka social protection colloquium

    The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Zambia (FES) and the Southern African Social Protection Experts Network (SASPEN) will be organizing the 1st Quarter 2019...

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  • Wednesday, 20.02.19 - Lusaka | Event

    MISA State of the Media Launch

    The Media Institute of Southern Africa, Zambia Chapter (MiSA Zambia) in cooperation with the the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Zambia (FES) will be...

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  • Thursday, 01.11.18 - Addis Ababa, Ethiopia | Event

    AU Validation Workshop on the ACHPR & the Draft African Social Agenda 2063

    FES Zambia has for some time now, been collaborating with the African Union Commission through the Rights Based Social Protection – Sub Sahara Africa...

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  • Thursday, 01.11.18 - Lusaka | Event

    ZCTU Consultative Workshop on the Amendment of the National Constitution

    The Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) was formed in 1966 under the Trade Union and Trade Dispute Ordinance. From the time of formation, ZCTU has...

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