SADC Programme Social Compact and Social Justice

Social Justice is a comprehensive, universal and normative standard for an inclusive, equitable and integrative society. To approach Social Justice, inequalities in the distribution of income, assets, opportunities for work and remunerated employment, access to knowledge, health services, social security and the provision of a safe environment as well as opportunities for civic and political participation have to be overcome. Therefore, equality of rights and opportunities and equity of living conditions for all individuals and households have to be provided. This should be a universal principle where the same standard applies to everyone. Social Protection, in this context, facilitates a multitude of factors that contribute to Social Justice.

"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

The Regional Programme aims to enhance social systems in the SADC Region through the promotion of minimum standards of social security under consideration of gender and the informal character of most labor conditions.

The work of FES will include the extension of the Social Protection Floor of the ILO Recommendation 202 in the region, as well as the formation of a basic consent in society about the basic right of social security. We believe that tax financed basic social security does not hinder economic activity. On the contrary, it mobilizes work productivity and is thus, also affordable for income poor countries. Social security has a significant meaning to development and should be a basic element of a democratic economic and social order and also become a subject of general political debate.

This is to be accomplished by interconnecting experts from the region (South-South learning) and working together with civil society, international partners, consultancy services for the governments and political partners in the SADC region. Furthermore, the programme supports the Southern African Social Protection Experts Network, which provides a platform for specialists, scientists and civil society actors in order to discuss subjects concerning Social Protection. 


Some of the yearly activities of the Regional Programme include:

  • Capacity Building of SASPEN structures namely; Steering Committee, Advisory Council, website management and support to secretariat, being hosted by FES Lusaka, Zambia
  • Country Workshops
  • SASPEN Annual Conference
  • Social Protection Colloquium in Zambia
  • Social Protection Launch in Zambia
  • Support to CSO’s on Social Protection in region

Zambia Office 

5583 Great East Road
P.O. Box 30554

+260 211 295615/6
+260 211 293557



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    ZCTU Workshop on the New Employment Code Act

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