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Invitation - 8th World Social Forum on Health and Social Security


Invitation to the organisation and participation of

8th World Social Forum on Health and Social Security


Democracy, Peace and Development:

The Roles of Social and Environmental Justice


Campus of the National University of Colombia – Bogotá

26 to 28 June 2019



The World Social Forum on Health and Social Security was created in the context of the movement around the World Social Forum since 2002. It was a thematic forum, initially focussed on health. Since 2011 however it fully integrates the topics of social security and broader social protection, including the right to civil and political security, as well as social and economic security. A dialogue was developed on a broad range of rights, such as the right to work, the right to a decent job and wage, to housing, water, public security, a healthy environment, pensions, health, education, justice, food and nutrition… in other words the whole interdependent range of rights articulated within the global and collective right to development.

The shaping of the conceptual floor of our work relates sustainable and multidimensional development with social and environmental justice through production and the distribution of wealth, stopping the appropriation of productivity by financial capital, debt and wage constraints. Social protection with a redistribution of the accumulated wealth should be financed with progressive taxes, the cancellation of debts and citizens’ audits. Within this triangle one can define an integrated vision of the complex processes to be considered and transformed, in order to develop an alternative hegemony to the current dominant financial and speculative capital and to rapid destruction of the environment and the labour force. Inequalities continue to grow while social protection is failing. The redistribution of wealth with public and universal social protection systems is the main reference for the struggles for equality that are historically promoted by the WSFHSS.

This is the reason why we organized in Brasilia, Brazil, in December 2010, the First World Conference on the Development of Universal Social Security Systems.

The objective of the Conference was to give visibility to the option of universal systems as a sustainable alternative for responding to the needs derived from human and social rights, opposed to the hegemonic models of fragmentation and breakdown of health insurance and private pensions. At the end of the Conference, it was decided to promote a Second World Conference as well as regional conferences in order to examine development strategies for universal systems in the context of each country and region. Transition processes towards universality of rights in post-colonial societies, economically fragile countries with structural inequalities and low-intensity democracies, are necessarily very complex contexts to understand and to transform.

From the lessons we learned in the First World Conference we decided to work on three strategic lines:

  1. Examine the transition towards universal systems of social protection in countries with emerging economies. This research was implemented in cooperation with UNRISD – UN Research Institute on Social Development – in Brazil, Ecuador, Venezuela, South Africa, Thailand, Indonesia, India, China and Russia. It includes an important conceptual and methodological contribution for research on the complexities of transitions towards universalism.
  2. Develop agreements for the promotion of regional conferences and the Second World Conference in 2013. Unfortunately, it was not possible yet to develop this initiative, but a process is ongoing to organize conferences or world/regional social forums on health and social security (the VIII World Forum in Colombia, preparatory national forums at other South American countries including Brazil, the Mediterranean Region) in 2019.
  3. Meet the lack of knowledge, training and political education concerning universal social protection in the process of shaping radical democratic societies, aspiring to be radically equalitarian.

The experience in Latin America and Northern Africa, more particularly the space created in Colombia, Paraguay and Morocco, allowed to develop a dialogue between political and social actors that work in different sectors for the rights and needs of citizens, though mostly in separate ways and branches of social protection. The proposal of the created universal rights police laboratories is to give training for action, developing contents and strategies for a process that is adequate in terms of time and space in a given historical period.  


In March 2018 we organized the 7th World Social Forum on Health and Social Security in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil. We discussed our critical appropriation of the Sustainable Development Goals for 2030 and how to work with the complex system of rights in the context of the collective right to development. We critically looked at the narratives on poverty and the targeted social policies, fragmented insurances, financialisation of all social policies within an economic system that concentrates wealth, enhances the precariousness of labour and destroys natural resources.

In order to deepen these debates and develop the necessary struggles, we think it is necessary to give a new dynamic to the World Social Forum on Health and Social Security with the organisation of the 8th WSFHSS from 26 to 28 June 2019 at the Campus of the Colombia National University - UNAC in the City of Bogotá, Colombia, and the First Regional Forum of the Mediterranean in Morocco September 2019, with social movements of Northern Africa and Southern Europe.  Preparatory national events are taking place in Peru, Paraguay, Ecuador, Colombia and Brazil, as well as in Africa and Asia.

In this context, we want to give a new dynamic to the multilingual electronic platform of the WSFHSS, in order to support the network of laboratories on universal public policies and the observatory of social conflicts around social protections. We also want to give support to initiatives for national and regional laboratories in order to give more effectiveness to our allies who want to take the opportunities of the conflicts around the hegemonic legitimation and want to develop alternative hegemonies.


The VIII World Social Forum on Health and Social Security

The central topic of the 8th Forum will be DEMOCRACY, PEACE AND THE RIGHT TO DEVELOPMENT: THE ROLES OF SOCIAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE. In this context the discussion on universal social protection will take a strategic dimension of resistance to the loss of acquired rights. It also will look at the challenge of the transition towards an economic system that is able to sustain a project of universalisation, equality and comprehensiveness of human, social and environmental rights.

The methodology of the 8th Forum will imply, for the first day, a conceptual questioning of the topics in our central theme. It will allow to identify the topics that need to be examined in a dynamic of the laboratories on public policies the following days. In the Closing Plenary these different topics will be articulated in a comprehensive and strategic research and training agenda for political actions to be developed in 2019-2020.

In this same perspective, we will organize the First Regional Forum of the Mediterranean, looking for regional dialogues on democracy, the right to development, social and environmental justice. Social protection will be valorised as a way of guaranteeing human and social rights and as protection of environmental rights.

Because you work on topics that are linked to the central themes of the 8th WSFHSS and the preparatory regional and national forums, you are invited to co-organize these events and take part in the Organisational Committee that will develop the programme, spread the information and mobilize for the events, as well as help to search for material and human resources to make it possible.

We also want to invite your organisation to confirm its commitment to the 8th WSFHSS by being part of the WSFHSS International Council.

In order to make these commitments real, we kindly invite you to contact Nancy Molina – njmolinaa@unal.edu.co, member of the VIII WSFHSS Organizing committee in Colombia, or Armando de Negri Filho, armandodenegri@yahoo.com Coordinator of the Executive Committee of WSFHSS, placed in Brazil.

Thanks for your attention.

The objective of this 8th WSFHSS is to reflect on a general political framework with the necessary dimensions in order to gear actions towards transformative policies with solidarity, taking into account:

  1. The elements in order to define a general political framework: the need to intensify democracy so that it contributes to social transformation, to the emancipatory imperative of all policies, the elimination of unjust inequalities, the common framework for a diversity of policies, internationally and nationally, the role of the State and of society (commons), the importance of all human, economic, social and environmental rights, the reciprocity between different policies, war and peace with the resolution of all old conflicts (land, food, capital, labour, justice, production and redistribution of wealth, tackling the roots of inequality).


The right to development can be the structural framework for human, social and environmental rights at the individual and collective levels, whereby development is defined as the use of wealth produced by nations and societies with solidarity and equality.


  1. The economic dimension and its social and environmental impact
  1. What kind of industrialisation?
  2. The contribution of feminism to the critical thinking on the economy and the construction of alternatives
  3. The contribution of trade unionism, the new economic order, social protection and the construction of alternatives
  4. The future of work and the alternatives in a context of new labour markets, new technologies, precariousness and social protection.
  5. The political economy of wealth and poverty


  1. The ecological dimension
  1. The contribution of environmentalism to the critical thinking on the new economic order and the construction of alternatives
  2. The role of (de)growth and sustainability
  3. Environmental and social justice in the context of the rights of nature
  4. The common goods of humankind – Biological diversity and the patent system


  1. The social dimension
    1. Culture and development
    2. Modernity and ‘Buen Vivir’
    3. Migration and forced displacements



  1. Sustainable development with social and environmental justice and radical democracy
    1. A new (global) social contract for peace
    2. The protection of emancipatory democratic processes – cyber-politics and ideological domination
    3. The role of governments, parliaments and judges in the struggle for development with social and environmental justice
    4. The role of social movements in the struggle for social and environmental justice
    5. The role of regional integration processes and the configuration of new economic and social blocs – the rights of people in the center of regional (political) integration
    6. New alliances and coalitions in favour of the right to development
    7. The local urban and rural space, the role of cities, citizens and their governments for shaping democracy and development
    8. Mapping the political opportunities: Alternative projects for power and hegemonic alternatives


  1. What social policies do we need then?
    1. Social policies at the service of humankind, democracy with social and environmental justice and inclusive and sustainable development
    2. For an alternative narrative to poverty as the center of social policies. Declaration on the illegality of poverty as strategy for the universalisation of social protection.
    3. Universal social policies, progressive taxes, fiscal space and the (re)distribution of wealth.
    4. Equity, health and social protection.
    5. Transnational political initiatives towards universal social protection: Social Charter for the Americas, Global Charter for Social Protection Rights, New Deal – UNCTAD, Social Protection Floors – ILO, Sustainable Development Goals – UN.

On the agenda making of the 8th WSFHSS

We propose that between December 2018 and March 2019 we try to collectively build the agenda and the programme for the 8th WSFHSS, starting from this initial document. All interested collectives and actors can participate and join the virtual meetings planned for the 4th Tuesday of January, February and March 2019 (22 Jan, 26 Feb, 26 March) at 10 am Colombia time.

We invite all to organise preparatory activities in order to mobilize and develop the topics of the Forum.

On the Platform www.fsms.org.br we will make space, as from January 2019, for exchanges and permanent education concerning topics of the Forum. All contributions are welcome.




Armando De Negri Filho – for the Executive Committee of WSFHSS armandodenegri@yahoo.com

Nancy J. Molina A. – for the National Organizing Committee in Colombia njmolinaa@unal.edu.co

Mario Hernández – for the National Organizing Committee in Colombia  mehernandeza@unal.edu.co

Francine Mestrum – for the Executive Committee Europe mestrum@skynet.be

Vittorio Agnoletto – for the Executive Committee Europe vittorio@vittorioagnoletto.it

Aziz Rhali – for the Executive Committee Mediterranean rhaliaziz@gmail.com

Maris Dela Cruz – for the Executive Committee Asia sirmallet@gmail.com

Kassia Fernández, Platform WSFHSS www.fsms.org.br