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Social Protection

Global Business Network meets to promote social protection floors

ILO Director-General highlights the role of business in further developing social protection floors and achieving sustainable development goals on social protection.

Press release | Geneva | 25 October 2016
GENEVA (ILO News) – “Social protection ultimately remains the responsibility of the State, but enterprises can play and – I hope – will play a significant role in promoting and realizing social protection floors,” ILO Director-General Guy Ryder told a high-level meeting here.

Members of the Global Business Network for Social Protection Floors met in Geneva for the second time to share progress on their work plan, identify activities for 2017 and further engage members in these activities.

The pioneering Network provides a knowledge sharing platform for enterprises that are developing social protection programmes within their companies and also for enterprises willing to support the development of national social protection floors.

To boost international efforts to develop social protection systems, the ILO has launched a Global Flagship Programme on Building Social Protection Floors for All, which brings together employers, workers, local and national government, UN agencies and the private sector for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on social protection.

The Global Business Network contributes to the Programme which is set to pursue ambitious projects with scale and impact. For its first five years (2016-2020), the Global Programme will focus efforts on 21 selected countries.

“We believe that the Global Programme will enable millions of people to have better access to social protection in the next five years”, Ryder said.

ILO calculations show that the costs of basic social protection are affordable in most developing countries, although external support might be required to help strengthen national capacities and ensure the sustainability of social protection systems. However, basic social protection is not yet a reality, and the vast majority of the world’s population – 73 per cent – still lack access to adequate social protection.

In 2012, the International Labour Conference adopted the Social Protection Floors Recommendation, which, for the first time, acknowledged the importance of social protection as part of a fair and sustainable economic development. This Recommendation calls basic social protection guarantees for all as an investment in a country’s human capital.

This basic social protection comprises access to essential health care and basic income security for children, persons in active age and older persons, with the specific levels defined nationally.