Journal article Open Access

Challenges and Prospects for Improving the Constitutional Right to an Adequate Standard of Living in the Context of International Experience

S. Barehamian, V. Kozlova, V. Orlova

The article deals with guarantees of ensuring the right to an adequate standard of living in Ukraine in the context of international experience. In order to overcome the negative trends and formulate a purposeful state policy on raising the standard of living of the population and reducing poverty in the country, there is a need to rethink the constitutional right to an adequate standard of living and determine ways of enhancing the legal framework in this direction.

The author develops proposals to improve the right to an adequate standard of living in Ukraine. It is proposed to measure and compare the subsistence level with the average wage, and not with the lower limit of financial solvency of the population. Herewith it is necessary to thoroughly review the list of goods and services, on the basis of which the amount of the subsistence level is determined, in particular, by increasing the share of expenditures on non-food goods and services, to include in its structure modern communication services (Internet, mobile communication, medical care, dental care services, education). Besides, it is necessary to alter the reviewing period of the composition of the set of goods and services from once per five years to once per two years, to amend accordingly to item 1 of Article 3 of the Law of Ukraine “On the subsistence minimum”.
The way out of the current social protection system crisis envisages the search for new ways of legal protection of socio-economic rights. Each country is seeking out its own model of ensuring an adequate standard of living for its citizens. This is of paramount importance in the face of man-made unemployment which is impending for Ukraine.
An alternative to the typical state social policy measures is the so-called social concept of guaranteed (basic) income, which is gaining traction nowadays, despite its controversial character. The essence of unconditional (guaranteed) basic income is defined as a guarantee of the right to an adequate standard of living. Lots of studies are dedicated to the system of unconditional (guaranteed) basic income providing a large scientific basis. The experience of the countries shows that not every country enjoys effective realization of the concept of unconditional (guaranteed) basic income.
It is elaborated that in the Ukrainian realities a new system of securing the right to an adequate standard of living should be sought, the Ukrainian experience and national components and features should be taken into account. When considering the introduction of unconditional (guaranteed) basic income in Ukraine, it should be borne in mind that, first and foremost, it is necessary to achieve a decent level of social security, in contrast to the one we have now.

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