About the Social Protection Department


The International Labour Organization (ILO) is the leading agency in promoting social justice and internationally recognized human and labour rights. Since its creation in 1919, the ILO has actively promoted policies and provided assistance to countries guarantee adequate levels of social protection to all members of society, essentially helping lifting people out of poverty, reducing vulnerabilities and inequality.

ILO’s core guiding principles have been agreed upon by the representatives from government, workers and employers of 187 ILO member States through the adoption of international labour standards (e.g.: Social Security (Minimum Standards) Convention, 1952 (No. 102) and the Social Protection Floors Recommendation, 2012 (No. 202).

In 2019 alone, the ILO supported 57 countries in the development or reform of national social protection systems, in particular addressing vulnerabilities related to: children, climate change and disasters, domestic workers, health care for the poor and women, maternity and paternity, migrant workers, older persons, persons with disabilities, refugee crisis, self-employed, informal and rural workers, and unemployed persons.

With a core team of 130 international and national experts operating across all regions, the ILO supported 22 member States in 2018-19 in developing new social protection strategies and policies, resulting in the extension of social protection coverage and enhancement of benefits, 27 member States in improving the governance of their social protection schemes and 24 member States in enhancing their institutional capacity and their knowledge base to better design, manage and monitor social protection systems.

In total 11,534,200 persons have been impacted through ILO led interventions globally.