An International Seminar on the theme "Using social security to empower people and enhance their responsibility" was organized by the ISSA in Paris on 11 and 12 September 2012, at the invitation of the French National Family Allowances Fund (Caisse nationale des allocations familiales CNAF).
The International Seminar provided participants with a platform to discuss proactive approaches to social security based on the empowerment of individuals and the enhancement of their capacities when faced with risks.
The proactive and preventive approach to social security is based on a notion of social protection that seeks to enhance the individual's capacities. It offers individuals the opportunity to make their own choices and manage the social risks they face appropriately and autonomously. This latter point reflects a key element in this proactive and preventive approach; it assumes greater investment in individuals, together with certain expectations regarding their behaviour, choices and responsibilities.
The objective of this Seminar was to explore opportunities to use social security to strengthen individuals' capacities to manage the social risks they face and make appropriate decisions, while developing their sense of responsibility. This involved raising awareness of the need for social security and the social capital it provides a potential that must be preserved for future, as well as current, generations. To address this issue, the Seminar focussed on three main topics: (Un)conditional cash transfers; Social investment policies; and Raising awareness:Towards self-responsibility.