Social protection
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Social protection

Access to adequate social protection is recognized by International labour standards and the UN as a basic right . It is also widely considered to be instrumental in promoting human welfare and social consensus on a broad scale, and to be conducive to and indispensable for fair growth, social stability and economic performance, contributing to competitiveness

Today, only 20 per cent of the world’s population has adequate social security coverage, and more than half lack any coverage at all. They face dangers in the workplace and poor or non-existent pension and health insurance coverage. The situation reflects levels of economic development, with fewer than 10 per cent of workers in least-developed countries covered by social security. In middle-income countries, coverage ranges from 20 to 60 per cent, while in most industrial nations, it is close to 100 per cent.

Social Protection is one of the four strategic objectives of the Decent Work agenda that define the core work of the ILO. Since its creation in 1919, ILO has actively promoted policies and provided its Member States with tools and assistance aimed at improving and expanding the coverage of social protection to all groups in society and to improving working conditions and safety at work.

The ILO has set out three main objectives reflecting the three major dimensions of social protection:
 
  1. Extending the coverage and effectiveness of social security schemes
  2. Promoting labour protection , which comprises decent conditions of work, including wages, working time and occupational safety and health, essential components of decent work
  3. Working through dedicated programmes and activities to protect such vulnerable groups as migrant workers and their families; and workers in the informal economy. Moreover, the world of work's full potential will be used to respond to the AIDS pandemic, focusing on enhancing tripartite constituents' capacity

The Social Protection Floor Initiative

Recognizing the importance of ensuring social protection for all, the United Nations System Chief Executives Board for Coordination (UNCEB) adopted, in April 2009, the Social Protection Floor Initiative, as one of the nine UN joint initiatives to cope with the effects of the economic crisis. This initiative is co-led by the International Labour Office and the World Health Organization and involves a group of 17 collaborating agencies, including United Nations agencies and international financial institutions.

The Social Protection Floor approach promotes access to essential social security transfers and social services in the areas of health, water and sanitation, education, food, housing, life and asset-savings information. It 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 the vulnerable groups.

Latest

  1. ILO and World Bank Group to enhance access to index insurance in rural areas in Africa and Asia

    24 July 2014

    The International Labour Office’s Microinsurance Innovation Facility (the Facility) and World Bank Group Global Index Insurance Facility (GIIF) launch a dynamic partnership to better manage knowledge on agriculture index insurance.

  2. © TANG CHHIN SOTHY / AFP 2014
    Pills and condoms aren’t enough to beat AIDS

    18 July 2014

    The fight against HIV/AIDS has entered a new phase, according to Senior ILOAIDS Specialist Afsar Syed Mohammad, who underlines the critical importance of removing barriers to treatment while protecting the rights of people living with HIV.

  3. © Thony Beliraire / AFP 2014
    No health workers, no health protection

    09 July 2014

    The global shortage of health workers is hampering efforts to deliver essential quality health care to all in need and achieve universal health protection.

  4. © ILO Photo/K. Cassidy 2014
    ILO and UNESCO reconfirm commitment to joint work in new agreement

    08 July 2014

    Text covers training youth for employment, women's employment and equal rights, child labour, human rights, social protection floors, poverty eradication and South-South and triangular cooperation.

  5. Focus on social protection a paradigm shift in HIV/AIDS response

    01 July 2014

    A new ILO study shows social protection is essential for people living with HIV to keep their jobs and follow their treatment. Representatives of international and civil society organizations came together at the ILO's headquarters in Geneva for the launch of the report: "ACCESS to and EFFECTS of social protection on workers living with HIV and their households: An analytical report".

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