The Economic, Social and cultural Council (ECOSOCC) has called on the countries in the African Union to devise strategies aimed at enhancing the social protection rights in social and cultural spheres.
ECOSOCC Civil Society Group Expert Tando Sonwevu says this is because despite social protection being a human right, issues of social and cultural rights have not been given adequate attention compared to human rights.
Speaking to ZANIS in Lusaka today on the sidelines of the ongoing-meeting of the 41st ordinary session of the Executive Council of the African Union, Ms. Sonwevu said there is need for proactive efforts to put in place a continent framework that will uphold the rights of social protection.
She explained that as the region is working towards achieving the vision of the AU agenda 2063, countries should consider revising various instruments that hinder the effective implementation of most social and cultural documents.
She noted that matters of social protection should not be the preserve of the formal sector, but that it should be compressive to include the people in the informal industry.
Ms. Sonwevu noted that this is why regional groupings like the AU should encourage public and private partnership in the promotion of human rights like rights on social protection.
She further noted that the implementation of social protection should not be done in sailos in order to allow active stakeholder participation.
And Africa Platform on Social Protection Executive Director Nhongo Tavengwa said social protection is a human right that should be respected and maintained all the time.
Dr. Tavengwa expressed delight that most African countries have recorded progress in upholding the right to social protection among citizens.
He explained that a number of countries in the African region have enshrined social protection in their national constitution.
He said this is a progressive step towards universal coverage of social protection programmes and projects.
Dr. Tavengwa has since advised countries to develop home grown social protection programmes that will ensure sustainability and ownership.
He said doing so will help governments to fund their own programmes that can benefit all the vulnerable groups in society.
Meanwhile, African Union Commission (AUC) Senior Protection Officer Lefhoko Kesamang disclosed that the Commission has recorded progress in ensuring that access to social protection is increased and made comprehensive.
Mr. Kesamang said to this effect various protocols have been devised to support access to social protection programmes among women and children on the continent.