Key elements of the right to social security
- Availability: The right to social security requires, for its implementation, that a system, whether composed of a single scheme or variety of schemes, is available and in place to ensure that benefits are provided for the relevant social risks and contingencies.
- Adequacy: Benefits, whether in cash or in kind, must be adequate in amount and duration in order that everyone may realize his or her rights to family protection and assistance, an adequate standard of living and adequate access to health care.
- Affordability: If a social security scheme requires contributions, those contributions should be stipulated in advance. The direct and indirect costs and charges associated with making contributions must be affordable for all, and must not compromise the realization of other Covenant rights.
- Accessibility: All persons should be covered by the social security system, especially individuals belonging to the most disadvantaged and marginalized groups, without discrimination on any of the grounds prohibited. Social security services must be affordable, and should have physical access.
For more about key concepts on the right to social security, see:
Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, General Comment No. 19
The impact of austerity measures on ESCR, E/2013/82; 2013
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