Social security is a basic human right enshrined in major international instruments such as:
- The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by UN General Assembly resolution 217A (III) of 10 December 1948;
- The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, adopted by UN General Assembly resolution 2200A (XXI) of 16 December 1966; and
- The Declaration of Philadelphia, Annex to the Constitution of the International Labour Organization, adopted by the International Labour Conference, 10 May 1944
- the recognition by the international community that social security is an important tool to prevent and reduce poverty, inequality, social exclusion and social insecurity, to promote equal opportunity and gender and racial equality, and to support the transition from informal to formal employment;
- the consideration that social security is an investment in people that empowers them to adjust to changes in the economy and in the labour market, and that social security systems act as automatic social and economic stabilizers, help stimulate aggregate demand in times of crisis and beyond, and help support a transition to a more sustainable economy.