HRC 55: SRI Statement to the panel discussion on challenges and good practices to realize the right to social security and to provide quality public services

Published on March 08, 2024

President, this panel comes at a critical juncture for the premier multilateral body responsible for promoting and protecting human rights. UNDP has documented that “twenty-five developing economies, the highest number since 2000, spent over 20 percent of their government revenues in 2022 on total external debt servicing.” Furthermore, “Currently, half of developing countries devote more than 1.5% of its GDP and 6.9% of its government revenues for interest payments, a sharp increase over the last decade.” “The average low-income country spends about 2.3 times more on interest payments than on social assistance.”  Despite this evidence, states are quibbling over words, creating hierarchies of rights, and questioning the idea of gender instead of questioning the way international financial architecture profits off the labour of women and girls.  We ask the panellists and States here: how can the right to social security be implemented when so much revenue has to go on debt servicing including to private credit creditors?

Lastly, as we celebrate International Women’s Day, we reaffirm that Palestinian liberation is a feminist cause.  How can this multilateral body discuss the social security of Palestinian people whose genocide continues unabated and where states would rather devote resources to send arms to further this mass atrocity, diverting from essential social protection measures?