Engage

There are no best solutions or “one-size-fits-all” formulas for strengthening social protection. This module enables you to identify social protection coverage gaps within a national context and receive appropriate good practices as a basis for moving toward broader and more robust coverage.

Your set of good practices will be generated within the social protection floor (SPF) framework which corresponds to a set of essential social services and income security measures that all persons everywhere should enjoy to ensure the realisation of the rights embodied in human right treaties. The essential social services and income security along the life course, or components, of the SPF framework ensure that all in need have access to social services in the area of “Health”; and income security for “Children,” “Working-age,” and “Older persons.” Familiarise yourself with the components of the social protection floor below and then select your region on the map to begin the module.

Social Protection Floor Components

Nearly one-third of the world’s population has no access to any health care facilities or services at all. For many more, unexpected and reoccurring health care expenses can cause financial catastrophe for their household, creating stress on families and communities. It is, thus, important that States provide protection from the risks associated with injury and health problems through the creation of an effective social protection floor. In doing so States must ensure that all residents have the necessary financial protection in order to be able to afford and have access to a nationally defined set of essential health care services, whereby the State accepts the general responsibility for ensuring the adequacy of the pluralistic financing and delivery systems.

The Convention on the Rights of the Child (1990) requires States to provide effective access to sufficient nutrition and compulsory primary education for all boys and girls. However in 2014 60.94 million children of primary school age were out of school and as of 2013, 117.01 million children under the age of five were moderately to severely underweight. It is, thus, important that States actively invest social protection schemes that protect children from the devastating risks associated with intergenerational poverty. In doing so, States must ensure that all children have social and income security, at least at the nationally defined poverty level, through family or child benefits aimed at facilitating access to nutrition, education and care.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) declares that “everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.” Yet, it is estimated that only about 20% of the world’s working-age population, and their families, have effective access to comprehensive social protection. It is essential that States provide protection from the risks associated with economics shocks and ensure that all working-age residents have access to a basic basket of food and other essential goods and services. In doing so, States must ensure that all those in active age groups who are unable to earn sufficient income in the labour market should enjoy a minimum level of income security through social assistance or other social transfer schemes (such as transfer income schemes for women during the last weeks of pregnancy and the first weeks after delivery), combined with employment guarantees of other labour market policies.

In low income countries less than 20% of older persons receive pension benefits, thus leaving populations above the age of 65 specifically vulnerable to the consequences of poverty. As such, it is essential for the State to provide income security for older persons to a minimum that ensures access to a basic basket of food and other essential goods and services, realised through transfers in cash and in kind. In doing so, States must ensure that all residents in old age or with disabilities have income security, at least at the nationally defined poverty level, through pensions for old age and disability.

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