Social protection is essential to ensuring that the basic needs of all members of society are met, including by facilitating access to food, water, and shelter. When utilised properly, it can help protect people against poverty and exclusion, and help shield individuals in times of crisis, improve health and education, and overall further equality and economic growth. In practice, however, social protection policies and programmes consistently fail and often reinforce and exacerbate the marginalisation of those who rely on it. This takes place within a broader context of structural racism, sexism, ableism, classism, etc. and has a compound effect on multiple marginalised groups.
We believe that economic injustice is intertwined with social and racial injustice and that they need to be tackled in tandem to ensure that everyone can live a life of freedom and dignity.
To make sure our work meets the needs of activists and movements, we conducted a Europe-wide consultation in the first half of 2022 to identify priorities for developing litigation projects.
We explored priorities for social protection in Europe on 7-8 June, with 16 participants from grassroots movements and those directly working with communities. You can read about the gathering and the opportunities for action identified on our blog.
We approached all themes through an intersectional lens, centring how a person’s social or political identity and personal characteristics can combine to create different modes of discrimination, exclusion, and oppression. We considered issues across both digital and non-digital space.
The input from the roundtables was combined with input received through a survey conducted between October 2021 and May 2022, individual conversations, and desk research. The combined findings are available in our 2022 report Surfacing Systemic (In)justices: A Community View.
Based on the consultation process and the mapping of current litigation work in Europe, climate justice and social protection were identified as priority areas for organisations, movements, and collectives working on racial, social, and economic justice that are currently underserved by intersectional litigation. We are developing our first litigation projects on these themes, starting from the priorities and opportunities identified in the consultation.
Systemic Justice will continuously build on this consultation process to ensure our work aligns with communities’ priorities. We will also continue sharing our findings along the way: subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on social media to be updated about any new publications.