Social and Solidarity Economy as a Tool for Social Justice

Policy brief Issue n°4

ESCWA United Nations, 2014

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Summary :

As social justice becomes central to development, mainstreaming the ideals of human rights, equality, participation and fair and sustainable growth is vital. Although traditional aid-for-growth development models have been relatively successful over the past couple of decades, they have failed to prevent recurrent economic, social and environmental crises.

As poverty, socioeconomic problems and climate change persist, the quest for more socially just development has led specialists to acknowledge the need for all-encompassing tools that tackle economic, social and environmental issues. A social and solidarity economy (SSE) is an important means of ensuring that the principles of social justice are maintained and that development takes into account the welfare of those most afflicted.

The concept started gaining ground in the 1990s and has been growing in popularity as a creative alternative to traditional aid-forgrowth development.

The present policy brief aims to help build the capacity of member States of the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) to adopt social policies and institutional mechanisms for equitable and inclusive socioeconomic development. It defines the concept of SSE; displays the links between SSE and social justice; and provides international and regional examples of SSE as a social justice tool.

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