IMPROVING THE NATIONAL
A long-standing unjust social protection system in the Occupied Palestinian Territory was suddenly challenged by Sameer and his friends
For many years people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), home to 4.8 million Palestinians, have suffered from poor social protection laws. While public sector workers have received some, but very inadequate social protection, most private sector workers have not been covered in the event of old age, disability, death, work-related injuries or maternity leave.
The unjust social protection system was, among other things, manifested through missing rights to state pension. In 2016 the highest retirement wage after 30 years of serving in the private sector was less than the minimum wage – meaning that the monthly payment was well below the poverty line.
Sameer, a former participant at ActionAid Global Platform Palestine, and some of his friends decided to take matters into their own hands and do a national campaign to improve the conditions of the National Security Insurance.
Sameer was able to bring skills obtained at two Global Platform trainings into play. A Governance training had given him insight into the functions and procedures of a governmental system and skills to do advocacy work within this system, while a social media training had provided him with the tools to effectively use social media channels and formats to mobilise people and motivate them to join the cause.
Through creative use of social media, Sameer and his friends were able to reach people they otherwise would not have been able to reach due to local restrictions on different movements.
- The campaigners ended up outlining 13 concrete proposals for changes to make the current insurance better and more beneficial to the people. The campaign received great support from communities all over the OPT, and people went to the streets to make their voices heard. In the end, after close collaboration with different organisations and community groups, the campaigners met with the relevant government people who agreed to accept 12 out of the 13 proposed changes.
- After this very successful campaign Sameer is now working on a new initiative called ‘Yes We Can’. This initiative aims to empower young people by introducing them to different life skills.