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Workshops 5-6 September 2023

The first project workshop brings together grassroots groups, non-governmental, intergovernmental and international organisations, researchers, and other relevant stakeholders to define the field of transnational social security law. More specifically, the workshop explores the limits of existing normative frameworks for international social protection, the grassroots demands for change, the content and aims of a transnational social security law framework, the institutional arrangements necessary for its implementation, the risks and benefits of digitalisation and the global redistributive mechanisms needed to realise social security for All. The workshop also examines attitudes and concerns towards the adoption of a binding framework for transnational social security law and the extent to which such framework has already been prefigured by grassroots groups performing innovative policies and practices on a small scale. The discussions will help to understand the extent to which this framework can be realised in the future and develop a purposive critique of the present.

The workshop is organised in four sessions. The introduction explains the project background and defines the context of the discussion by revisiting some proposals that place social security at the centre of legal reform: the policy brief resulted from the Feminist Recovery Plan project; WIEGO’s Joint Position Paper on Extending Social Protection to Informal Workers; and AWID’s ‘Building Feminist Economies’ and Feminist Bailout Manifesto. The first session on ‘institutional arrangements’ provides an overview of existing normative frameworks and measures on international social protection standards and a discussion of how historical dynamics, the voices of people at the margins, and power asymmetries are not considered in these frameworks. The second session on ‘digitalisation’ examines the limits of digital technology to address inequalities, but also how technology is embedded in economic-legal power relations that can reproduce inequality and create new exploitations. The third session on ‘grassroots-inspired demands and practices’ aims to bring together different grassroots voices to learn from them and understand what the key priorities for a transnational framework for social security law should be. The fourth session on ‘economic governance and international taxation’ asks how we can enable the global redistribution of resources necessary to implement a binding framework for transnational social security law. Proposals for a just regulation of the global economy date back to the Non-Aligned Movement and the proposals part of the New International Economic Order, but those attempts are now circumscribed to soft law recommendations, human rights narratives and grassroots activism.

Workshops schedule

5 September 2023

9:00–9:15 | Introduction

  • Serena Natile, project coordinator, Warwick Law School

9:15–11:30 | Institutional arrangements

11:45–13:30 | Digitalisation

  • Vitor Ido, Programme Officer of the Health, Intellectual Property and Biodiversity Programme, South Centre 

  • Natasha Koshy, Senior Research Associate, IT for Change 

  • Tony Roberts, Institute of Development Studies, Digital Cluster

14:00–16:30 | Grassroots-inspired demands and practices

  • Hila Shamir, Tel Aviv University and PI TraffLab (ERC), on welfare boards and tripartitism ‘Transferability of Mathadi Boards’ Project’ 

  • Silvana Tapia Tapia, University of Birmingham and Universidad del Azuay, together with Heidy Mieles of the collective Mujeres de Frente (Quito) and Ana Morales from the collective Comité de Familiares por Justicia en Cárceles (Guayaquil)

  • Phelisa Nkomo, Oxfam South Africa

  • Johanna Del Pilar Cortes, Universidad del Rosario

6 September 2023

9:00–9:15 | Recap of previous discussions

9:15–11:30 | Economic Governance and International Taxation