International Association of Economic and Social Councils and Similar Institutions

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Topic: The role of AICESIS in promoting the SDG8 and SSE

Rapporteur : Ms. Natalya Pochinok, Chair of the Commission of the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation on Commission on Social Policy, Labor Relations, and Support of Veterans

Decent work underpins the development process. Recognizing this, the international community has made decent work a global goal by including it in the Sustainable Development Goals along with the inclusive growth.

In the context of the informalization of the economy or the avoidance of state regulation, the growing environmental costs of industrialization, the deterioration of food security, and recurring financial crises, a development policy is needed that goes beyond the growth policy, which includes elements of social protection and protection environment but does not eliminate the structural prerequisites for unsustainable and unstable development. Therefore, the need for inclusive growth is pressing.Inclusive growth and decent work for all women and men represent the social dimension of SDG 8. According to the ILO, decent work is both a major outcome and a driver of a human-centered agenda for inclusive growth, which is about ensuring that each member of society can participate in the creation of economic value and enjoy the benefits of growth. Within societies, progress in that dimension is measured in terms of equality, fairness, and justice.In this regard, the implementation of the ideas and principles of the social and solidarity economy (SSE) occurs more often and, indeed, can be deemed as an alternative to the processes of neoliberal globalization and a possible path to a sustainable type of society.

Today SSE actors are in the pole position for pursuing the goal of inclusive growth and decent work, as entities that not only have economic objectives as their raison d'être but also social and even environmental objectives. It is about placing people and their work at the center of the economic system, providing markets with an instrumental role in the well-being of all people.

The AICESIS is a leading platform uniting economic and social councils and similar institutions (ESC-SIs) with a great capacity to strengthen the effectiveness of SSE actors and social dialogue. Involved in the ILO and ECOSOC activities, the AICESIS has become a liaison point for many SSE actors fostering the very development of the SSE and promoting the ideals of civil solidarity and social integration.

A favorable climate for the SSE can be created through tripartite participation and in consultation with other relevant social and solidarity economy organizations and enterprises (SSEOEs) as it places the actors involved on an equal footing in decision-making, with the chances of subsequent dissent being mitigated beforehand.

ESC-SIs, tripartite in nature, today can be viewed as mechanisms of participatory democracy, providing a national platform for social partners to convey the opinions of their members. As a result, policymakers are exposed to the concerns of the two sides of the industry. On the international level, it is the AICESIS where national tripartite bodies can deliberate issues of the SSE and break new ground for getting closer to achieving the SDG8.

What can be done and what is being done in order to expand SSE and promote decent work?

Legal recognition is one of the central drivers to expand SSE, and Bolivia, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Colombia, Costa Rica, Djibouti, Ecuador, France, Greece, Honduras, Luxembourg, Mexico, Portugal, Romania, Senegal, Slovakia, Spain, Tunisia, Uruguay, and Venezuela have already created national legislation on the SSE. Brazil, the Dominican Republic, South Korea, and South Africa are among the countries presently developing national SSE policies. SSE legislation has been adopted at the subnational level in a number of countries, including Argentina (Entre Rios, Mendoza, and Rio Negro), Belgium (Brussels and Wallonia), Brazil (Minas Gerais, among others), Canada (Quebec), and Italy (Emilia Romagna, among others). Governmental SSE authorities have been formed by law in various countries, including Chile, Mali, and Nicaragua.

A number of AICESIS member countries have adopted legal documents at the national and local levels recognizing SSEOEs and promoting its core principles. It is also stimulated by the ideas of civil solidarity, equality, and mutual assistance shared by the AICESIS member countries.

The establishment of SSE organizations in Burkina Faso, amounting to legal entities in 17 sectors of agriculture, livestock, and handicrafts, has allowed to safeguard the rights of individual producers, devise labeling standards for products at the marketplaces, add value to the manufactured goods, and to secure better competitive conditions.

In Serbia, legal regulations at the national and local levels are structured in such a way that they, directly and indirectly, affect reaching the goals of decent work and inclusive growth.

One of the most recent legal instruments adopted to achieve the goals of decent work and SSE is the Law on Social Entrepreneurship, which emphasizes, among other things, that the regulation of social entrepreneurship should not be limited to the labor integration of socially disadvantaged groups or the devising incentives for the growth of social entrepreneurship. On the contrary, it should comprise a legal basis for the SSE development as a common interest of the society.

An effective system for promoting the SSE goals has also been implemented in Algeria, whose development model is generally socially oriented.

Algeria, which initially sought to mitigate the effects of the structural adjustment program of the 1990s, has created a whole network of multiple diverse SSEOEs, now reaching more than 20 thousand in total. It includes associations of all kinds, cooperatives, and social organizations of supplementary health insurance, whose common objective is the eradication of poverty and the promotion of decent work principles.

In particular, the Algerian institutional framework comprises several mechanisms enabling the more effective promotion of inclusive growth and decent work ideas. For example, one among them is a youth employment support program (PAJE) run by the Ministry of Labor and Social Security. The application of the SSE principles lies at the heart of the program's implementation plan.

Algeria also relies on various tools to promote the SSE in rural areas: e.g., community projects for integrated rural development (PPDRI) and a national program for agriculture development (PNDA) are being carried out successfully, promoting civil solidarity in the process.

Among the instruments to promote SSE in Algeria is the religious social institution of solidarity, the Zakat fund, established in 2004. The fund provides interest-free financing for investments via microcredits, encouraging the population's involvement in entrepreneurial activities and job creation.

Legal recognition without institutional mechanisms for participation, however, tends to exclude social enterprises from the process of agenda-setting and the elaboration of integrated development plans, which, consequently, undermines the potential of SSE to contribute not only to SDG 8 but to a broader range of the SDGs.

The contribution to attaining the SDGs is successful and sustainable when SSE's economic activities are conducted in conjunction with a diverse variety of SDG stakeholders at all levels of governance. The laws and policies are largely the results of a dialogue with a co-construction vision and in this context, ESC-SIs united by the AICESIS may take the lead in transmitting the ideas of SSE actors and becoming a liaison point with national or local authorities for many of them fostering the very development of the SSE and promoting the ideals of civil solidarity and social integration.

The SSE goes beyond traditional economic divisions. It encompasses both market and non-market producers, as well as formal and informal economy units, and can scale up even in the absence of legal recognition of SSE or within a weak legal framework for the SSE.

Today the SSE is rapidly scaling up in all parts of the world, even where the SSE legislation is not present or only on its way. The following are some notable examples: SSEOEs in Porto Alegre, Brazil, providing food to a Brazilian public university as part of the Food Acquisition Program; the Association for Sarva Seva Farms (ASSEFA) in India joins forces with national and state governments, as well as international organizations, to address poverty reduction and food security; fast expansion of SSE in Daegu, South Korea thanks to the collaboration with the government; cooperatives in Emilia-Romagna, Italy, that formed partnerships with other cooperative and capitalist companies; and community cooperatives in Emilia-Romagna, Italy, that preserve, regenerate, and manage community assets and provide public services through a variety of partnerships with local institutions.

In establishing and implementing partnerships, the diversity of involved actors should be a crucial principle. Incoherent policies and disagreements between political parties may hamper SSEOEs whose production and sales are entirely or primarily influenced by local government procurement.

Dairy cooperatives in Turkey's Izmir Metropolitan Municipality, for example, were confronted with similar issues and were forced to discontinue supplying milk to public schools. Therefore, it is of particular importance for SSEOEs to be politically autonomous.

Conclusions. The advancement of the SSE to promote decent work and long-term inclusive growth requires new kinds of collaboration among governments, employers, laborers, and society at large. Respecting SSE values and principles implies prioritizing employees' rights, as well as the needs, ambitions, and rights of all people, in policies and practices at the enterprise level. Tripartite collaboration could be one of the answers with both the SSE core principles being promoted and implemented and the social and the ESC-SIs making a greater contribution to achieving the SDGs and SDG 8 in particular. And in this situation, the AICESIS needs to reaffirm its role as the leader in promoting dialogue among economic and social partners worldwide.

High Level Segment (HLS) 2022 of the Economic and ...
110th Session of the International Labour










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