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— AFRICA —CONGO-BRAZZAVILLE: Feneco/UNTC started on February 25, in Gombe, a workshop on the drafting of a trade union guide for teachers in the DRC. This workshop, which is organized in partnership with the National Union of Secondary Schools Teachers from France (SNES/FSU), has brought together about twenty trade unionists as well as members of the national secretariats of Feneco/UNTC and delegates from several regions. - NIGER : Negotiations are going on between Areva and the Government concerning a new 10-year agreement for the mining of uranium. - SENEGAL : The association of the former employees of the National Fund for the Promotion of the Youth (Fnpj), the National Agency for Youth Employment (Anej), the Agency for the Employment of the Youth in the Suburbs (Ajeb) and the National Agency for street vendors (Anama) denounced at a meeting held on February 25 the poor handling of their records and demanded that the government should start negotiating with them in order to reinstate them. -TUNISIA: The administrative staff of the Ministry of Health organised a sit-in on February 24 outside the Ministry protesting against their "exclusion" from a proposed Article (Article 2) of the public service General Framework Agreement and the non-implementation of some agreements reached between the unions and the Government. — WORLD NEWS — - CANADA : FTQ (Fédération des travailleurs et travailleuses du Québec) welcomes an initiative of the Minister of International Relations who is also in charge of Francophonie and international trade (MRIFCE), Jean-François Lisée, who announced that a plan of action would be adopted for the establishment of the Agency for International Solidarity of Quebec (AQSI). This announcement follows the report of a committee comprising MRIFCE and the Association for international cooperation of Quebec (AQOCI).

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Declaration on the Right to Universal Social Protection on the occasion of International Women’s Day, 8th March 2012 By StreetNet International, ITUC- Africa, Public Services International and Trade Union Centres of Togo

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The participants at the conference heard with interest about the report entitled “Pay Gap between men and women unchanged” and the plans for the ILO conference in 2012 and 2013 to discuss the possibility of establishing an international standard in the form of a Recommendation on a universal social protection floor.

The participants recognised that social security is a human right, enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. However, in West and Central Africa, it is still far from being a reality. Both formal and informal economy workers lack social security, including access to basic services, and are vulnerable in sickness, accidents and old age. Informal economy workers face these difficulties most acutely. Child labour is largely found in the informal economy and rural areas and is a consequence of poverty and income insecurity.

The universal social protection floor refers to a minimum set of protections for all persons at different stages of their life cycle. It will particularly support the poorest and most vulnerable, the great majority of whom are women in the informal economy. It includes the following:

 Universal guarantee of access to basic health services, including maternity protection, funded by taxes and insurance systems;

 Guaranteed income security for all children through a system of family and child benefits;

 Social assistance for the unemployed, the working poor and disabled workers;

 A system of basic pensions for people in old age;

While recognising differences in approach from one country to another, and the different levels of commitment to social security protection on the part of the respective governments, the participants agreed to:

 Support initiatives to discuss how to improve and extend social security protection in their respective countries, with particular attention to the needs of women in the informal economy;

 Distribute this declaration to their respective membership ;

 Send this declaration to the trade union centres in their respective countries, requesting that they support the proposed recommendation on the universal social protection floor at the forthcoming ILO conference; and that they take into account the needs of women in the informal economy in their proposals to the conference;

 Request the trade union centres to include women from representative organizations of informal economy workers in their delegations to the 2012 ILO conference.

StreetNet International

International Trade Union Confederation –Africa (ITUC-Africa) Public Services International (PSI –Africa)

CGCT –General Confederation of Professionals of Togo

CNTT-National Confederation of Workers of Togo

CSTT –Trade Union Confederation of Workers of Togo

GSA – Group of Autonomous Trade Unions

UGSL –General Union of Free Trade Unions

UNSIT –National Union of Independent Trade Unions of Togo

StreetNet International Affiliates SYVEBU-Burundi

SYNAVAMAB-Benin

UNSYNVEPID-Benin

LFDC- DRC

StreetNet Ghana Alliance-Ghana

CNTG-Guinee

UGSEIN –Niger

FENASEIN-Niger

FAINATRASIT –Togo

SYVEMACOT- Togo

CNTS -Senegal

SUDEMS-Senegal

Other Informal Economy Organisations: NAPETUL- Liberia

FIWON-Nigeria

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ITUC-Africa / CSI-Afrique, Route internationale d’Atakpamé, Centre FOPADESC Agoè-Zongo Téléphone: +228 22 25 07 10 Fax: +228 22 25 61 13 Email : info ituc-africa.org