May 6, 2016 10:32 am
Last Sunday, on 1st May, millions of people around the world took part in celebrations, rallies and protests on the International Workers’ Day – also known as Labour Day in some countries.
The 1st May, in fact, is not only a joyful day of celebration: chosen to commemorate the Haymarket affair in Chicago in 1886, where a peaceful rally turned into a massacre, it often represents an opportunity to think about controversial current issues and try to make a change.
The current situation of economic instability in many European countries has brought about several work-related issues such as a rise in unemployment, black labour, exploitation, and a general feeling of insecurity that has especially affected the working class and the job-seekers.
One of the countries that has recently seen thousands of people participating in protest movements was France, where demonstrations and sit-ins started about a month ago with young protesters from the French movement “Nuit debout” gathering to criticise Hollande’s recent proposal for changes to labour laws. Unfortunately, as it often happens, this also caused clashes with the police, culminating in violent riots on the 1st May.
In the light of these events, this week’s IATE term is “social protection“, which has also been discussed in the EP over the last two weeks in relation to a resolution, voted on the 28th April, to recognise and protect the rights of domestic workers and carers in the EU.
The term refers to a range of policies specifically designed to reduce poverty and enhance people’s safety and stability, by diminishing risk factors such as unemployment, inequality, or discrimination.
The path towards a “fair” and poverty-free society may be still long and tortuous, but good progress has been made, and it seems that a concern for people’s wellbeing is now strong in the European institutions.
- Governance and Social Development Resource Centre (GSDRC). What is social protection? Available at: http://www.gsdrc.org/topic-guides/social-protection/what-is-social-protection/ [Accessed 3 May 16]
- European Commission. Social protection. Available at: http://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?langId=en&catId=1063 [Accessed 3 May 16]
- European Commission. Europe 2020. Available at: http://ec.europa.eu/europe2020/index_en.htm [Accessed 3 May 16]
- EUR-Lex. Reinforcing the Open Method of Coordination for social protection and social inclusion. Available at: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=URISERV:em0011 [Accessed 3 May 16]
Written by Silvia Morani
Communication Trainee at TermCoord
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