On April 13th 2024, Ripess (the intercontinental network of continental networks committed to the promotion of Social Solidarity Economy) and the GPR2C (Global Platform for the Righto to the City answered to the Call for inputs for an expert workshop and a comprehensive thematic study on the human rights dimension of care and support, organized by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), pursuant resolution 54/6, adopted by the Human Rights Council on 11 October 2023.

It is a two-day expert workshop to address the human rights of women, persons with disabilities, children and older persons as caregivers, as well as receivers of care and support, and for their self-care from a gender equality and human rights perspective, with the objective of evaluating experiences, good practices and main challenges regarding the effective recognition of the rights of caregivers and those receiving care and support”. Based on the workshop, OHCHR will also prepare “a comprehensive thematic study on the human rights dimension of care and support, summarizing and compiling international standards and good practices and main challenges at the national level in care and support systems, and including recommendations on promoting and ensuring the human rights of caregivers and care and support recipients”. The report will be submitted to the Human Rights Council at its fiftyeighth session in 2025.

The contributions of Ripess and the PGDC provide comprehensive responses to questions about care recognition, policies and concrete measures, challenges, and data.

Here’s a summary:



At a global level, thanks to the historic mobilization of feminists worldwide, the recognition of the relevance of care and support, both as work and as a right, in terms of wages, benefits, general working conditions, and safety, is growing.

The Goal 5.4 of the 2030 Agenda, which seeks to “recognize and value unpaid care and domestic work through the provision of public services, infrastructure and social protection policies and the promotion of shared responsibility within the household and the family as nationally appropriate”.

 At the national level, there are advances in recognition and the provision of instruments to support caregivers, particularly women, through social protection mechanisms.

The national constitutions of Bolivia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, and Venezuela acknowledge unpaid domestic work, while countries such as Argentina and Spain have approved particular dispositions to ensure access to retirement benefits. Uruguay established the Integrated National Care System and its operational instances.

Argentina’s request in January 2023 to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights for an Advisory Opinion on the content and scope of care as a human right, and its interrelation with other rights, is an important example of the growing demand to recognize both the right to care and the rights of caregivers, as well as the right to self-care.

Policies and Concrete Measures

Implementing “care systems” that encompass a broader and more comprehensive view of care as a right.

ECLAC and UN Women identify five principles that should guide the construction of such systems: care as a right, universality, social and gender co-responsibility, promotion of autonomy and solidarity in financing.

Addressing structural inequalities (gender, race, migratory status, and others) in how care work is perceived, structured, distributed, supported, and compensated through different sectoral policies (economic, labor conditions, territorial dynamics, education, etc.).

Addressing the intersection between care and territorial dynamics, ensuring the availability and access to care-related services throughout the territory, prioritizing historically marginalized areas, subverting “center vs. periphery” dynamics, and addressing the “private vs. public” dimension.

Promoting economic alternatives proposed by the social and solidarity economy or through direct support to community care networks, through direct resource transfers or co-management of public-community spaces, promoting participation that takes into account general interests and power balance.

The “care blocks” of Bogotá (Colombia) are a paradigmatic example of the crossing between spatial and care policies, advancing the territorialization of the city district’s care system, incorporating services and initiatives from multiple government areas, based on the commitment to advance gender and territorial justice.

Challenges of Care Systems

One of the main challenges is overcoming the false division between the economy considered productive (productive work) and all those essential tasks to sustain life and the functioning of the economic system (reproductive work), which eliminates care from the collective, social, and political imaginary.

It is necessary to adapt care and support systems to community and territorial contexts, considering both local demands and needs and existing informal and/or fragmented care infrastructures.

Moreover, it is crucial to consider the increasingly frequent adverse impacts of climate change on the lives of the most marginalized populations and how it can deteriorate the well-being of those who need and provide care.


It is essential to disaggregate data and cross different social and environmental categories (gender, race, territorial) to understand the multiple unequal realities of people who need and provide care.

In Brazil, domestic paid work is the main caring occupational category, where 93% of its workforce are women, and among them, 61% are black women (National Secretariat for Care and Family, 2023). Without considering the interactions between gender and race it is not possible to fully address the caring context in this country.