What is the Human Right to Social Security?
The right to social security ensures that everyone, regardless of age or ability to work, is guaranteed the means necessary to procure basic needs and services. Several key human rights principles are fundamental to guaranteeing the right to social security:
Comprehensiveness: Social security implicitly covers all the risks involved in the loss of means of subsistence for reasons beyond a person’s control.
Flexibility: The retirement age should be flexible, depending on the occupations performed and the working ability of elderly persons, with due regard to demographic, economic, and social factors.
Non-discrimination: Social security must be provided without discrimination (in intent or effect) based on health status, race, ethnicity, age, sex, sexuality, disability, language, religion, national origin, income, or social status.
The Right to Social Security is protected by:
- Article 22 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
- Articles 9 of the International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights
- Articles 26 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child
- Article 5 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
- Articles 11 & 14 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women
- Article 16 of the American Declaration on the Rights and Duties of Man
In addition, there are United Nations committees (“treaty bodies”) made up of experts that oversee the implementation of particular human rights treaties. These committees oversee the treaties by, among other things, receiving government reports on the implementation of the treaties, making comments to the government reports, and issuing general comments about the treaties or specific rights contained therein.
To learn more about the human right to social security, click here.
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