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Building Back Better: Strengthening Social Protection in the EU

The COVID-19 pandemic poses an unprecedented challenge to societies worldwide and its consequent economic and social impact has triggered an unparalleled crisis, with a disproportionate impact on the most marginalized. Recovery efforts can help to steer the world onto a safer, healthier, more sustainable and inclusive path, including through stronger social protection measures based on human rights.

On 20 Jun 2020

Join us on 23 June 2020 (from 10:00 to 11:30 Brussels time) for a joint webinar of the UN Human Rights Regional Office for Europe and the International Labour Organization - EU and Benelux countries on “Building back better: strengthening social protection in the EU.”

With international human rights and labour standards as a starting point, international experts will explore promising practices and challenges for social protection systems in the EU, and how to ensure the meaningful participation of rights-holders in the development and implementation of EU recovery plans in the wake of COVID-19.

Guest speakers include experts from the United Nations, the European Commission, EU social partners, national human rights institutions and civil society. The webinar will be interactive and provide opportunities for participants to ask questions and contribute to the discussion.

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Contact person: Dima Yared, UN Human Rights Office,


Building Back Better: Strengthening Social Protection in the EU

23 June 2020, 10:00 – 11:30

10:00 – 10:05 Welcome by Birgit Van Hout, UN Human Rights Regional Representative for Europe


UN experts and EU officials will review gaps in social protection and the role of the EU and its member States in building back better. How can a human rights approach to social protection ensure that no one is left behind, against the background of the EU’s COVID-19 recovery proposals, the recent Council Recommendation on access to Social Protection and the ongoing consultation on the Action Plan on the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights?

10:05 - 10:35 Moderator: Dima Yared, UN Human Rights Regional Office for Europe<7p>

An exchange of views on social protection among:

  • Leo Williams, Director, European Anti-Poverty Network
  • Debbie Kohner, Secretary-General, European Network of National Human Rights Institutions
  • Liina Carr, Confederal Secretary, European Trade Union Confederation
  • Rebekah Smith, Deputy Director for Social Affairs, Business Europe
  • 11.15 – 11.30 Q&A, followed by Closing Remarks by Shahra Razavi, Director, Social Protection Department, International Labour Organization.