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Social protection

ILO reaches ratification target for landmark social security Convention

Paraguay has become the 60th country to ratify the flagship ILO social security Convention, No.102, reaching a target set in 2012 by the ILO’s Governing Body.

News | 08 November 2021
© Vitor Marinho
GENEVA (ILO News) – With Paraguay's ratification on 25 October, 2021, 60 countries have now ratified the ILO Social Security (Minimum Standards) Convention, 1952 (No. 102), considered to be the foundation of all ILO social security Conventions.

Convention No. 102 is the only international instrument based on basic social security principles that establishes globally agreed minimum standards for all nine branches of social security: medical care, sickness benefit, unemployment benefit, old-age benefit, employment injury benefit, family benefit, maternity benefit, invalidity benefit and survivors' benefit.

It is considered an important tool in extending social security coverage and provides ratifying countries with an incentive for doing so by offering flexibility in its application, depending on their socio-economic level.

“This ratification is most timely as it occurs during a devastating pandemic that highlighted the reality that 50 per cent of the world population are still deprived of their human right to social security. It recognizes the instrumental role of ILO social security standards in building universal social protection systems that ensure that everyone has access to comprehensive, adequate and sustainable protection over the life cycle,” said ILO Director-General, Guy Ryder.

In 2012, the newly adopted Social Protection Floors Recommendation (No.202) recognized the pivotal role of the Social Security (Minimum Standards) Convention, 1952 (No. 102) and called on ILO Member States to ratify it as soon as possible. Consequently, the ILO’s Governing Body agreed to set a target to increase ratifications of Convention No. 102 from 47 to 60.

For the last decade the ILO has proactively supported a significant number of national processes to encourage countries to ratify the Convention. As a result 13 nations have ratified the text in the last 10 years: Argentina (2016), Benin (2019), Cabo Verde (2020), Chad (2015), Dominican Republic (2016), Honduras (2012), Jordan (2014), Morocco (2019), Paraguay (2021), Russian Federation (2019), Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (2015), Togo (2013) and Ukraine (2016).

In June 2021, the International Labour Conference held its second recurrent discussion on social protection which highlighted the need to build universal social protection systems anchored in ILO standards. It also reaffirmed the ILO’s mandate and leadership in social protection in the multilateral system and called on the ILO to accelerate ongoing efforts to promote the Convention through a new ratification campaign.