is the North–South organisation of the socialist movement in Flanders. Our
partners in the South are organisations of individuals who fight for their
rights, for decent labour and their right to health. We support them in their
struggle, together with our socialist rank and file in Flanders. Because the
social struggle is a worldwide struggle!
is the North–South organisation of the socialist movement in Flanders.
International solidarity is more than an empty slogan for us. It is a condition
for achieving a
For us, this is equivalent to a fair distribution of resources. Between the poor
and rich countries, but also within each country. It means an economy that
adjusts to people’s needs. Not the other way around. It means respect for
universal human rights. Also for the rights of women, and for labour rights.
But all this is not self-evident. That is why the member organisations and
social movements are so important. They represent their group interests; they
make their voices heard in decision-making processes. This way, they gain power,
countervailing power, to enforce their interests and be heard. That is why we support
organisations and movements in the South, helping them to grow.
globalised world is entitled to having a global countervailing power. We
cooperate in this by bringing together organisations and movements in the North
and in the South.
work in two areas with our partners: the right to decent work and the
right to health.
The right to decent work
Large groups of individuals in the South never have a chance to access a decent
job. Often these jobs are unavailable or the available jobs are not decent work.
Albeit that local free trade areas attract investors and employment,
employment alone is not enough. Decent work is the key. With fulltime jobs,
and formal labour rights. With a possibility of holding social consultations,
and with a social safety net catching the ill, the elderly or the unemployed.
Things that are not even evident in the richer countries. Threats of moving
enterprises to low-income countries, demands for more flexibility: everyday fare
under the pretext of the competitive struggle with the South.
Nonetheless, more decent jobs in the South do not automatically mean fewer jobs
in the North. On the contrary, if workers in the South are treated and paid
correctly, companies in the North will have fewer incentives for moving to the
South. We must give the South a chance not only to economic development but also
to social development. That is why we support the union struggle in the
Health is both a condition for and the result of a good life. Still, in many
countries healthcare continues to be a privilege of the wealthy. Basic
healthcare services are difficult to access, and often lack the required medical
personnel or medication.
Many people consider health is something simply happening to you. You are
healthy. Or you are not. But health is something that can be provided. Diseases
can be prevented, controlled or treated. The same goes for accidents and
disabilities. Health is a right you can claim. Our partners advocate for
people’s participation in state and social health policies. We also support the
solidarity-based systems people set up, such as mutual funds or pharmacies
providing affordable medication.
What we do
The right to health and to decent labour are two pillars for a worthy existence,
regardless of whether you live in Belgium or Bolivia. This is what the social
struggle we fight together with our partners is all about, in the entire
In the South
In the South, we contribute to strengthening organisations such as
unions, peasant organisations, cooperatives, women’s movements etc.
Organisations representing people from poorer population segments. They advocate
for their political, social and economic rights, and influence policies. Through
partnerships with like-minded organisations from the socialist movement in
Flanders, we help to build an international countervailing power.
work with the
socialist union movement (ABVV), the socialist mutual healthcare funds, the
socialist party sp.a and many other organisations, so as to put international
solidarity higher up in the agenda, both among the members and within the
organisations. We do this by means of our yearly
campaign, our publications and our educational materials. Based on partnerships
with like-minded organisations from the South, we help to build an
international countervailing power. Join in!
is situated on a crossroads between the socialist movement and the North-South
movement. We try to establish links between both movements to accomplish our
mission. In the international field, we can count on Solidar in this
endeavour. Solidar groups many socialist and social democrat NGOs working in the
field of social services, international cooperation, humanitarian relief and
education. Just like FOS in Flanders, on the European level
Solidar has links with unions, parties and welfare organisations.
Together with the mutual funds, academicians, research centres and other NGOs,
we are part of MASMUT,
a platform of Belgian stakeholders that focus on strengthening the relevance and
effectiveness of micro health insurance and mutual funds in the South.
International solidarity is not a new concept for the socialist movement in
Belgium. Between the two world wars, for example, it organised many activities
of solidarity with the victims of Mussolini in Italy and for the Republican
Spain. Later, these activities acquired a more structural character. In December
1947, Entraide Socialiste was set up. In the beginning, this new organisation
mainly focused on receiving political refugees. As from the sixties, Entraide
also received students from developing countries. The United Nations proclaimed
the sixties to be the development decennium. A reason for Entraide to adopt
another two activities: emergency relief and structural development cooperation.
The successor of Entraide, Socialist Solidarity, continued to receive political
refugees in the seventies (especially from Chile), helped African students and
trainees, and set up a Fund for Development Cooperation (FOS, in Flemish) to
provide social and economic support to initiatives in the South. The FOS of
those times helped different organisations, social movements and also
governments of recent independent states or new regimes with a wide range of
activities. One of the central underlying motivations was the tradition of the
struggle for emancipation of European workers and the propertyless.
1986, the FOS as we know it today was set up. The unitary organisation was then
split up into Solidarité Socialiste-FCD / Socialistische Solidariteit - FOS and
the currently existing VZW (non-profit organisation) was created.
landen ondertekenden een akkoord om tegen 2015 de
armoede in de wereld te halveren.
Voer samen met de Vlaamse Noord-Zuidbeweging actie
om de politici aan hun belofte te herinneren
lat hoger te leggen.
Armoede moet de wereld uit!