In this contribution, I will be looking at the social situation in the Mekong region in order to reflect on the social demands that might be put forward in the future. I will therefore analyse the international discourse on social policies and see to what extent this offers an adequate framework for social movements to work in. In the last section, I will propose some basic principles which can usefully be integrated into social demands and on which social movements will have to decide. As a conclusion, I want to state the huge transformative potential of universal social protection.

The social situation of the Mekong region

The Mekong countries constitute a very specific region: it is a poor region with relatively high poverty, it is a region with high growth rates, a region with relatively high inequalities in a surrounding where inequalities are growing, it is a region of geopolitical uncertainties, it is a region of hope, a region with a high potential. Clearly, it is a region of contradictions and divergences.

Let me explicit some of these claims.


A relatively poor region:

GNI/cap (US$)                   Growth rate of GDP in %              Growth GDP/cap

Cambodia           830                                         6,8                                                          5,5

Lao PDR                1130                                       7,8                                                          6,2

Thailand              4420                                       7,8(2010)                                             7,2(2010)

Vietnam              1260                                       5,9                                                          4,8

China                    4930                                       9,2                                                          8,2

Source: World Bank, and Asian Development Bank, Outlook 2012, Confronting Rising Inequality in Asia;  numbers for 2011 unless otherwise mentioned




A region with relatively high poverty:

International line 1.25$ - 2,00$                  National line     Change in poverty rate

Cambodia                           22,8 % – 60 %                                     20 %                       32,2 →22,8 (07-08)

Lao PRD                                33,9 % - 76,8 %                                  33 %                       44,0→33,9 (02-08)

Thailand                              0,4 % - 4 %                                           10 %                       0,4 →0,4 (08-09)

Vietnam                              17 % - 54 %                                          14 %                       21,4→16,9 (06-08)

World                                   22,4%-42,41%                                    -                              41,7→22,4 (90-08)

Source: World Bank and ILO, World Social Security Report, Geneva, 2010.


A region with relatively high inequality:

Income Gini Index          Wealth Gini       Quintiles ratio 20/20

Cambodia                                           41,7                        ?                                              7-63

Lao PDR                                                34,6                        ?                                              7-62

Thailand                                              42,7                        70,9                                        6,5-62

Vietnam                                              37,3                        68,0                                        6-61

World                                                   65.4                        ?                                              1-82

Source: World Bank, and Unicef, Global Inequality: beyond the bottom billion, Social and economic policy working paper, 2011.

But inequality in the region is not rising (yet?), while it is rising in the broader Asian region: the income Gini index in Asia has been rising from 39 up to 46 in the past twenty years[1].

Source: Asian Development Bank, op.cit., p. 39.

All in all, the Mekong countries are not really different from other countries in Asia and the rest of the world: extreme poverty is falling but remains relatively high, poverty is high, except in Thailand. How inequality is developing remains to be seen. The main difference with other  regions and continents is that poverty in South-East Asia is mainly a rural problem.

The labor share in total regional income and in manufacturing output is falling , countries have strong reserves so that they are in a good position to stand possible external shocks in the future. The external debt is low, there is a strong manufacturing industrial base (global value chains) though export-oriented, and despite its high growth rates, the region might be threatened by the recession in Europe.

When looking at social protection however, we see very low levels of coverage and expenditure.

The effective coverage for old age pensions in Asia is 30,9 %, but in Cambodia it is only 3,0 % (2005), Lao PDR 6,0 % in 2005, Thailand 20,3 % in 2007 and Vietnam 33,5 % in 2004).[2] Unemployed people receive no allowances, except in Thailand where 15 % of the unemployed receive something.


A region with low levels of social protection expenditures (% of GDP):

Excluding health care                    Health care                         Total

Asia                       3,65                                                        1,68                                        5,32

Cambodia           0,8 (2005)                                            1,55                                        2,35

Lao PDR                0,6 (2005)                                            0,74                                        1,34

Thailand              2,55 (2007)                                          2,19                                        4,74

Vietnam              3,4 (2004)                                            1,53                                        4,93

Source: ILO, op.cit., 2010.

Source: Asian Development Bank,op. cit., p. 79.

Some reflections on the global thinking on social policies

At the level of international discourses (United Nations, World Bank …) ‘development’ has been reduced to ‘poverty reduction’. This happened mainly in the 1990s, after one decade of ‘structural adjustment’ programmes which had disastrous social consequences. It was also made possible after two decades of ‘failed’ development (1960s and 1970s) and one ‘lost’ decade (1980s).

However, the ‘poverty reduction policies’ which came on the international agenda as from 1990 were not intended to strengthen social development. On the contrary, they were proposed as a kind of ‘human face’ of globalization and they were meant to substitute the social protection policies which existed[3].

This is an important element never to forget when drafting social demands for the future: for the World Bank, social protection (or social security) is not in the common interest and does not favour poor people. It is seen as a ‘vested interest’ for workers protected by social rights and defended by trade unions. Poverty reduction, on the contrary, targets the ‘truly poor’, ‘those who really need it’. It is in the common interest to help these poor people and therefore this is a task for public authorities.

Social protection or social security is seen as an insurance that should be left to the market. Even though the World Bank never mentions human rights, one might say that ‘poverty reduction’ responds to a civil right to life (art. 6 of ICCPR-International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights), whereas social protection responds to the social and economic right to ‘an adequate standard of living’ (art. 11 of the ICESCR- International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural rights).

This major paradigm shift in social thinking abandons the idea of ‘social development’, in the same way as the idea of ‘economic development’ had already been abandoned. Economic development is left to the market, social development is abandoned altogether[4].

This paradigm shift has consequences on many levels, most of all at the level of the objectives of social policies. They are no longer meant to protect people against markets and guarantee incomes, but they are meant to encourage people to participate in (labour) markets. One might see them as an attempt to start exploiting the last available ‘deposit’ of wealth: the labour force of poor people. Distributional policies being excluded, poor people have to produce themselves the growth that is needed to enhance wealth creation and procure them an income.

These poverty reduction policies were a huge success in donor countries, since they gave new legitimacy to development aid. In spite of the criticism on development cooperation that was made early on, governments and NGOs actively contributed to the promotion of these new policies. It has to be remembered that ‘poverty’ had till then been absent from development discourse. Whereas all social problems were known, their solution was said to be ‘development’ and not ‘poverty reduction’. The shift to poverty was part of a general  shift to individualization. No questions were put on the  conceptualization of poverty and on its underlying philosophy which implied a continuation of Washington consensus policies. In this sense, one might say that poverty reduction policies were not ‘the human face of globalization’, but the ‘masterpiece’ of neoliberal globalization policies which allowed for dismantling social protection and define poverty as a problem of (lots of) individual persons[5].

During two decades (1990s and 2000s) two parallel poverty reduction strategies were followed. The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) worked with their ‘Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers’ (PRSP) in the framework of their ‘Facility for Growth and Poverty Reduction’ (FGPR). The United Nations promoted the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) meant to reduce extreme poverty by half between 1990 and 2015. It took ten years before some first references to the MDGs were to be seen in the PRSPs.

Twenty years after the World Bank put poverty on the international political agenda, the limits – and the failure – of these policies became visible. Even if the World Bank as well as the UN are proud of the serious reduction of extreme poverty worldwide, many problems remain.

First of all, statistics are not only insufficient but are, in some aspects, unreliable. The ‘baseline’ of extreme poverty in 1981 has been ‘upgraded’ continuously. Where extreme poverty was estimated in 1980 at 800 million persons, in 2004, extreme poverty in 1981 was estimated at 1,470 billion people. Today, extreme poverty in 1980 is estimated at 1,912 billion people …[6]

Secondly, extreme poverty has mainly been reduced in  countries that did not have to follow the World Bank and IMF policies. China and India are the best examples, but also Thailand, which never had a PRSP. The other three countries of the Mekong region all had PRSPs to respect. Subsaharan African countries(SSA) have not seen their extreme poverty seriously reduced. In fact, between 1981 and 2005 the number of extremely poor people in SSA has doubled. As for Latin America, they have now all followed the Brazilian and Mexican models (re)introducing social protection policies with monetary transfers, beyond poverty reduction.

Finally, it is clear that poverty reduction policies are ‘end-of-the-pipe’ solutions which can help when all the rest has failed. They do not stop the impoverishment process. And as long as Washington consensus policies continue to dismantle public services, deregulate labour markets and destroy national industries, poverty will continue to rise beyond the capacity of public authorities to reduce it.

This too brief synthesis of the reasons of the failure of poverty reduction policies already point to the need for an alternative. This alternative will include – as in the past – economic and social development – and in fact poverty reduction can only succeed as the result of a development process, not if it is a substitute.

This means – in a nutshell, I will come back to it later – that social and economic development have to positively interact, that countries have to develop their national strategies in order to develop their productive capacities, that economies have to be modernised and diversified, made sustainable and be integrated in the world market where possible and feasible but be directed first of all to domestic and regional markets in order to reduce their vulnerability. Social development has to be universal and protect people against market shocks and guarantee incomes. Its objective should be the implementation of a human rights agenda, including collective and environmental rights. Economic and social development can never succeed without a strong and determinate national development strategy.

The social protection that is on offer

Several UN organisations have seen the need for an alternative to ‘poverty reduction’ since after the adoption of the MDGs. The UN Secretary-general already referred to the UN development agenda as it came out of the long series of UN conferences of the 1990s and going beyond the very limited MDGs[7]. UNDESA (UN Department for Economic and Social Affairs), UNRISD (UN Research Institute for Social Development), ILO (International Labour Organisation) all pointed to the need for social protection and slowly evolved to the demand of transformative and universal social protection[8]. A criticism of World Bank policies and statistics is to be found in different UN reports.

The World Bank itself sees the need for change. First, it introduced a concept of ‘social protection’ as soon as 2000[9]. It was not really fully developed, but it contained a new conception of social protection as ‘risk management’, for which families, markets and the State were to be responsible.  It is based on the neoliberal principle that risks cannot be avoided – they are like natural facts, ‘acts of God’ – but only mitigated and be ‘coped with’.[10] Secondly, it later accepted the monetary transfers that some countries had started to introduce and which had more success in reducing poverty than any other measure the Bank had imposed. And thirdly and finally, it slowly abandoned its focus on poverty reduction policies. In its most recent reports it does not talk of poverty anymore[11].

Recently, the ILO has adopted a recommendation for a ‘social protection floor’ to be coupled to its campaign for the extension of social security coverage[12].

The G20 leaders and the Ministers for labour and employment of ASEM countries have mentioned the need for social protection in their most recent declarations. The ‘leaders Declaration’ of the  G20 Mexico meeting in June 2012, has a specific chapter on ‘Employment and social protection’. G20  leaders  ‘recognize the importance of establishing nationally determined social protection floors’.[13] The ASEM ministers stated in 2010 the ‘growing consciousness of the benefits of social protection as a measure to protect people from becoming trapped in debilitating poverty, to empower them to seize opportunities, to help workers to adjust to changes and to deal with unemployment and thus support productivity[14] .

This looks as an important achievement and a way out of what can be called ‘debilitating’ poverty reduction policies. But we now have to analyze what this ‘social protection’ means. This analysis is based on two major questions: does the ‘new’ social protection go beyond poverty reduction and what are its objectives?

The documents we have and which can guide us to try and discover the basic philosophy of the new thinking are not that many: the ILO recommendation on the social protection floor and its preparatory documents, the ‘Bachelet report’ on the social protection floor, a European Commission report on social protection in development cooperation and the World Bank documents on social protection[15].

What do they tell us?

The idea of a ‘social protection floor’ was first launched at the beginning of the current economic and financial crisis, in a document of the UN System CEB (Chief Executive Board) for Coordination[16]. The proposal was meant ‘to protect people during the crisis and thereafter’. It consisted of a) services – geographical and financial access to essential public services (water and sanitation, health and education) and b) transfers: a basic set of essential social transfers in cash and in kind paid to the poor and vulnerable to provide a minimum income security and access to services, including health care.

The ILO recommendation mentions explicitly the types of benefits or guarantees which should be provided under national social protection floors: ‘a nationally defined set of goods and services, constituting essential health care, including maternity care […], basic income security for children […], for persons in active age who are unable to earn sufficient income, in particular in cases of sickness, unemployment, maternity and disability, and for older persons’[17].

The Bachelet report states that SPF is about the extension of social protection coverage. While it refers to the social security campaign of the ILO, SPF is about moving faster in poverty reduction and social exclusion and therefore it is related to the decent work agenda, which will make it possible to fight poverty, deprivation and inequality. SPF is not an alternative but a complement to social security.[18]

As for the European Commission, social protection is seen as a prelude for a paradigm shift, beyond safety nets and poverty reduction to a wider social development vision, though for the moment this is not on the agenda[19].

The World Bank mentions an exhaustive series of social protection measures, though most of them are to be delivered by markets or by families themselves. What States can possibly do concerns old age pensions, insurance against unemployment and illness, social assistance, workfare measures, social funds and allowances. However, these are not proposals or recommendations, but just a list of what is theoretically possible. It has to be read against the background of the unchanged World Bank discourse against State-promoted social protection.

As for the objective of social protection, all documents – except the World Bank - clearly refer in the very first place to social security as a human right. But they then immediately continue – in different degrees – to mention the economic advantages of social protection. It promotes growth and productivity, it is a countercyclical stabilizer in times of crisis, it provides human capital, it contributes to demographic change, it fosters macroeconomic stability, it promotes entrepreneurship and labour market participation, it helps stimulate aggregate demand, it does not produce significant distortion or disincentives.

References to the economic advantages of social protection are very numerous and they are in line with the new thinking on social protection in the European Union, the ‘cradle’ of social security systems. There, from the ‘income guarantee’ that was mentioned as the objective of social protection up till 1992[20], one passed to ‘making work pay’ in the Lisbon strategy of 2000. The meaning of this slogan is that the difference between wages and unemployment allowances or social assistance has to be large enough so as to encourage people to effectively look for a job. To-day, they call it ‘active inclusion’, assuming that social inclusion passes necessarily if not exclusively through the labour market and is based on the development of ‘human capital’.

This economic objective for social protection translates as well in proposals for a ‘social investment’ pact[21] which makes it difficult to promote social policies that do not directly favour labour market participation, such as pensions and certain educational and health policies.

This too brief overview[22] makes it clear that the ‘new’ social protection to-day is meant first of all to promote growth and productivity.

It is based on human rights and intends to go beyond poverty reduction. However, it is clear that initially, this will not be the case and it remains to be seen whether the intentions for the future will ever be implemented. If it is not, ‘social protection’ will only have been a new a new label put on ‘poverty reduction’.

Nevertheless, I think it is safe to say that the shift from ‘poverty reduction’ to ‘social protection’ is a step forward, especially since it is based on rights, it is meant as a permanent mechanism (contrary to temporary safety nets of the World Bank) and it fully integrates the monetary dimension. To-day, the importance of cash transfers is recognized, though this should be no substitute for public services. The ‘social protection floor’ initiative of the ILO, linked to its core labour standards and its decent work programme, is an excellent start for all countries who still do not have basic social protection.

Politically, it will be important for social movements to carefully watch the mechanisms that will be put into place to see whether they provide for a possibility to go beyond poverty reduction and an extension of coverage in the future. It is clear that much will depend on the ideology of the government as well as on the fiscal possibilities of countries. But a basic social protection system is perfectly feasible.  According to the ILO, a basic social pension in a number of selected countries of Africa and Asia, should not cost more than 1 to 1,5 % of GDP. Basic child benefits should not cost more than 2,5 to 3,5 %of GDP. Essential health is possible for 1,5 to 3 % of GDP.[23] More should be done to analyze budgets and look for domestic and international funds, to analyze military expenditures, look at capital flight, the possibilities of international taxation, etc.

Secondly, the economic dimension of social protection is difficult to refute, though it is also difficult to accept social protection that is limited to this dimension. In the past, in Western Europe as well as in Asia, social protection systems have been closely related to economic development[24] and recent changes might strengthen the developmental objective. It is a fact that within a Keynesian context, social and economic dimensions can mutually strengthen each other. The existing welfare states created after the Second World War in Western Europe at any rate did contribute to higher standards of living and did prevent poverty. They never became truly universal and they did not totally eradicate poverty, but they were by far the best social protection mechanism which ever existed.

However, when thinking of the future, it is not enough to look at the past and build from there. Economies and societies have changed in the past fifty years, everywhere, and new social protection systems should therefore take into account these changes and the necessities of the future.

Social demands

It should be clear that social demands are in the very first place rooted in the needs of people. If people are hungry, the demand will be for food and food production. If people have food but no doctors or schools, their demand will concern health care and education. It is difficult to judge these demands from the outside, because local situations will determine the demands.

An element to take into account when making social demands is the feasibility of them. Social movements have to decide whether they limit their demands to what they think is feasible for governments or whether they put forward their utopian vision for the future, knowing they may not get satisfaction immediately but setting the future agenda.

When deciding on what to demand, it is good to know that the framework in which demands are put forward are almost always already decided on by governments and international organisations. From the moment ‘poverty’ was put on the agenda, only demands to fight poverty were considered legitimate and one might say that the whole poverty discourse was precisely intended to frame ‘the order of discourse’[25], to decide on what can be said and cannot be said on poverty, on what is considered ‘truth’ and what is not ‘truth’ about poverty. This ‘order of discourse’ is extremely important for social movements and NGOs because it will give the framework for their demands and projects if they want them to be considered legitimate.

An analysis of the international and national discourses is therefore extremely useful to know what the given framework is and what can be expected. It is the elites who define what is legitimate and what they are ready to concede. They are the ones who shape the demands of the people and decide on how to interpret the demands. The only way they can be convinced to change course is a threat of disruption and of social disorder.

Social movements with social demands should know that the agenda to-day is ready to concede social protection that hardly goes beyond poverty reduction and has a purely economic objective. Even if the fight for social movements to achieve this will be hard, one can say in fact it has already been given.  This means the struggle that will have to be fought is for something that governments are ready to concede.

All demands going further will be rejected today but may help to set the agenda for to-morrow and may contribute to mobilizations for a better, for another world. The feasibility framework of to-day certainly does not exclude a utopian demand and actions for systemic change.

It is for social movements to decide on their strategy and to find out what has already been given and if and how far they want to go beyond this.

This being said, what follows is some guidance on what an international agenda for social movements can be, based on the experience of existing or dismantled welfare states and based on the necessities of today and of the near future. It should be clear that specific national and local needs will further shape this agenda.

When looking at western European welfare states and what they have in common[26] and is valuable to preserve, four dimensions can be mentioned:

- First, the idea of citizenship and equality of all human beings. This entails universal social protection based on rights aiming at giving full meaning to civil and political citizenship by making social inequalities politically irrelevant;

- Secondly, the idea of de-commodification, entailing the substraction of certain goods from the market. This is particularly important for public services like education, health care, water and sanitation, energy, public transport, etc.;

- Thirdly, the ‘organic solidarity’[27] which entails a solidarity[28] going beyond the local community and encompassing people one does not even know. It is in line with the idea of universality, meaning that all members of a society - locally, nationally, regionally, globally - are involved in the social protection system on the basis of balanced – not common - interests;

- Finally, the State will be responsible for guaranteeing people’s rights. This is linked to the ideas of citizenship, universalism and solidarity. Indeed, if not the whole of society – the upper classes – contributes to the solidarity effort, there is no need to involve the State. The working classes and the poor can also set up their own systems of solidarity by means of cooperatives or mutualities. Respecting the abovementioned principles however entails a redistribution mechanism. Therefore, it is very important to have a national development strategy in which social protection is integrated.

Apart from these ‘old’ principles, new needs should be taken into account for the future.

- Fighting absolute poverty does not allow for fighting inequality, though this need is now also recognized as being economically useful. Beyond the economic need, it is obvious that too high inequalities also lead to political and social instability and there are good reasons to say that inequality is a more urgent  problem to solve than poverty itself. Inequality is a major cause of poverty. That is why redistribution of incomes remains so very important and should remain on the agenda.

- Environmental rights also have to be on the agenda, since climate change will not be stopped and is also a prominent social problem. Climate justice should go hand in hand with social justice which means that rights such as the right to water, to land, to food and food sovereignty, etc. should be integrated in the broad framework that social protection should receive.

- Because of its close links to poverty and inequality, labour right should also be developed in the framework of social protection. It includes all rights included in the ICESCR, as well as measures to formalize the informal sector and eradicate precariousness.

Finally, I would like to point to three important points which should guide all future-oriented social protection projects.

The first point concerns the already mentioned objective of social protection. Social protection is closely linked to human rights, in their entirety and indivisibility. However, if we really want a broad social protection, offering economic and social security to people, it should also include collective rights and the new solidarity rights which already exist or are in the making, such as the right to development, the right to a clean environment, etc. Social protection should be able to protect individual and collective lives and should be conceptualized as a protection of human society and of social life[29]. It should go beyond the immediate material needs of people and protect individual and collective life in its immaterial dimensions.

Secondly, in order to do so, social protection should be transformative. It can indeed contribute not only to the emancipation of individuals and of society, but also to changes in the economic system (de-commodification), in the political system through participative governance, etc. Even if social protection by itself will not lead to systemic change, the transformative potential of social protection is important, though it is up to social movements to decide what they want to promote or not.

Finally, and most importantly, a transformative universal social protection can usefully be promoted in the framework of the Common Good of Humanity[30], in order to strengthen its transformative potential and contribute to coherent public policies. All people, at all times and wherever they live, independent of their political regime, need protection. Rightwing forces will prefer to offer the protection of police and of the military, the protection of closed borders and often of xenophobia. Leftwing forces will prefer to offer people social and economic security which can also be a major element to promote peace and stability. Therefore, a new coherent framework, as the one the ‘Common Good of Humanity’ is offering, with a new thinking on nature and its relationship to humankind, on economics, on democracy and on intercultural relationships can be most useful to develop a broad social protection system.



If one wants a transformative universal social protection, one will have to look at the development model which is in place, in the North as well as in the South. Development clearly cannot be limited to growth, it should be made sustainable and leave room for economic, social and environmental changes. This also means that measures may be taken to improve tax policies, to fight capital flight, to reduce military expenditure, etc.

Poverty is not the problem of poor people. It is a problem of a biased income distribution and it is a social relationship. That is why the whole of society should be involved in its eradication, and that is why we need strong States to guarantee everybody’s individual and collective human rights. Poverty cannot be eradicated in a  context which constantly creates more poverty. It is crucial to stop the impoverishment processes.


Social protection should not be totally subordinated to economic policies and be at the service of markets. In its ideal form, it should allow for fighting inequality and preventing poverty. Economic and social security are at the heart of democracy and give full meaning to citizenship, as status and as practice. Social protection can protect individual and collective rights, respond to material and immaterial needs and it can be a programme for preserving individual and social life. It can be part of a programme for the Common Good of Humanity and contribute to systemic change.

It is social movements themselves who have to decide if and how much further they want to go, and how transformative they want their social protection to be in order to achieve  programme for social justice. But they should know that even if social protection cannot on itself and by itself change the world, its transformative potential is important.


(Presentation at Mekong AEPF Sub-regional conference, Hanoi, 23-24 August 2012)


[1] Asian Development Bank, Outlook 2012, Confronting Rising Inequality in Asia, Mandaluyong City, Philippines, 2012, p. XIX.

[2] ILO, Social Security Report 2010, Geneva, 2010.

[3] For a detailed analysis, see Mestrum, F., Mondialisation et pauvreté. De l’utilité de la pauvreté dans le nouvel ordre mondial, Paris, L’Harmattan, 2002.

[4] To have an idea of what ‘social development’ means, see the UN Declaration on Social Progress and Development, 2542 (XXIV) of 11 December 1969, as well as the Report on the UN Summit on Social Development in Copenhagen, 1995: A/CONF.166/9 19 April 1995.

[5] See Mestrum, F. and özden, M., The Fight against Poverty and Human rights, CETIM, Geneva,

[6] Mestrum, F. and Özden, M., op.cit.

[7]…the MDGs do not in themselves represent a complete development agenda. They do not directly encompass some of the broader issues covered by the conferences of the 1990s …’, United Nations, General Assembly, In larger freedom: towards development, security and human rights for all, Report of the S-G, A/59/2005, 21 March 2005.

[8]Some examples: UNRISD, Combating Poverty and Inequality, Geneva, 2010; UNDESA, Re-thinking Poverty,; United Nations, World Economic and Social Survey 2010, New York, United Nations.

[9] World Bank, World Development Report 2000/2001. Attacking Poverty, Washington, The World Bank, 2000.

[10] Holzmann & Jörgensen, Gestion du risque social: cadre théorique de la protection sociale, document de travail 006 sur la protection sociale, World Bank, 2000.

[11] See World Development Report 2011 and 2012, as well as UNDP’s Human Development Report of 2011, not speaking of poverty anymore …

[13] G20 Leaders Declaration, Los Cabos, Mexico, 18-19 June 2012.

[14] Leiden Declaration of ASEM Ministers of Labour and Employment, 13-14/12/2010.

[15] ILO, Text of the Recommendation concerning national floors of social protection, Provisional Record, 14A; Social Protection Floor for a Fair and Inclusive Globalization, Report of the Advisory Group chaired by Michelle Bachelet, Geneva, 2011; European Commission, Social Protection for Inclusive Development, European Development Report 2010, Brussels 2011.

[16] UN System Chief Executive Board for Coordination, The Global Financial Crisis and its impact on the work of the UN system, New York, United Nations, 2009.

[17] ILO, Text of Recommendation, op. cit., § 5,9.

[18] Report of the Advisory Group, op. cit.,  XXII.

[19] European Commission, op. cit., p.26.

[20] See Council Recommendations 92/441/EEC and 92/442/EEC, 24 June and 27 July 1992.

[21] Vandenbroucke, F. et al., The EU Needs a Social Investment Pact, OSE, Opinion Paper no 5, May 2011.

[23] ILO, Can Low Income Countries Afford basic Social Security?, Social Security Policy Briefing Paper 3, Geneva, 2008.

[24] Huck-ju Kwon, Transforming the Developmental Welfare States in East Asia, UNRISD, Geneva, 2004.

[25] Foucault, M., L’ordre du discours, Paris, Gallimard, 1971; Fox Piven, F., Poor People’s Movements. Why they succeed, why they fail, New York, Pantheon Books, 1977.

[26]What they have in common is usually referred to as the ‘European social model’, though this has absolutely nothing to do with the European Union. It refers to the different models of social protection the different countries of Western Europe have, though some of their characteristics are common to all.

[27] Durkheim, E., De la division du travail social, 9ème éd., Paris, PUF, 1973 [1893].

[28] ‘Solidarity’ is incompatible with ‘charity’ or ‘philanthropy’. It refers to a notion of inter-dependence and ‘standing together’, based on balanced but not common interests.