Employment and Social Protection

The ILO articulates the need to recognize employment and social protection as mutually reinforcing in shaping people’s lives and a country’s advancement. Both set the foundation for the concept and ambition of realizing decent work in the world community. Employment is necessary to decent work and is possible within an economy that generates opportunities for investment, entrepreneurship, skills development, job creation and sustainable livelihoods. However, employment in itself does not provide for a secure and holistic life, while addressing social injustices. Personal development and indeed secure employment with sustained growth requires availability and affordable access to essential social services in areas of health, water and sanitation, education, food security, housing, and others defined according to national priorities. Historically social security has been paired only with formal employment. The ILO seeks to correct this historical bias.

Social protection is not and must not be confined to the organised sector alone, but rather recognised as a basic right of all persons, for a life of dignity and worth. However, some of the greatest injustices and socio-economic depredations are indeed seen in the informal economy- often a more pronounced segment of a developing country. An integrated approach would facilitate upward socio-economic mobility and increase employability thereby activating the chain to sustainable employment, higher levels of income and higher levels of protection. The process is thus reiterative but requires practical engagement which can be realized at the level of policy making. To further this integrated perspective the ILO relies on the process of national dialogue based on the ethic of shared responsibility. This involves consultation between line ministries, ministries of finance and planning, employers’ and workers’ organizations, non-governmental agencies and development partners in addressing economic and social challenges. The ILO emphasizes the need to implement comprehensive, coherent and coordinated social protection and employment policies to guarantee services and social transfers across the life cycle, paying particular attention to vulnerable groups.

The following publications provide a comprehensive overview of ILO’s analytical works in Cambodia.


Social Protection