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FOS is the solidarity organisation of the socialist movement in Flanders (Dutch-speaking part of Belgium), dedicated to a worldwide struggle for the right to decent work and social protection as well as the right to quality and affordable health care for all.

Together with our socialist constituency in Belgium, we on an everyday basis commit ourselves to strengthening organisations and movements that unite people in precarious conditions in claiming their rights.

Solidarity approach

Solidarity is key to the creation of a just world. Solidarity cannot limit itself to country borders but has to be organised worldwide. A linkage of struggles, networking and solidarity-building is a powerful tool for marginalised communities seeking to achieve economic and social justice including equitable distribution of resources. A people centred economy is one that equally distributes resources in order to meet everyone’s needs, not the needs of a single group. To reach this goal we push for respect of universal human rights. Centre stage to these rights are decent work, social protection and the rights of women.

Global counter power

An economically just globalised world needs to be complemented with a worldwide counter power. That is why FOS strengthens member organisations and social movements, reconnecting them the socialist movement in Flanders. Social struggle is a worldwide struggle.

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History

International solidarity has and has always been centre stage to the socialist movement in Belgium.

Between the two world wars, the movement organised many solidarity acts with Mussolini’s victims of in Italy and of the republican Spain. These initiatives led to the creation of Entraide Socaliste in 1947. This entity organised mainly the asylum for political refugees. From the 1960s on, the organisation received students from developing countries. Two additional tasks were added: emergency relief and structural development cooperation.

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The Entraide was later succeeded by the Socialist Solidarity in the 70s which continued facilitating the reception of political refugees, African students and interns. This work gave birth to the Fund for Development Cooperation; which gives social and economic support to development initiatives in the South. The Fund aided different organisations, social movements and governments of recently independent countries with a wide array of support. The aid was coupled with the tradition of emancipatory struggle of European labourers and dispossessed people.

In 1986 FOS was created in its current form. The organisation was split in the French-speaking Solidarité Socialiste – FDC and the Dutch-speaking FOS – Socialistische Solidariteit.

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