ILO achieves ratification target of landmark social security convention

© 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 the foundation of all ILO conventions on social security.

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

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

“This ratification is timely as it comes during a devastating pandemic that has brought to light the fact that 50% of the world’s population are still deprived of their basic right to social security. It recognizes the key role of ILO social security standards in building universal social protection systems that ensure that everyone has access to comprehensive, adequate and sustainable protection throughout their lives,” said the Director General of the ILO, Guy Ryder.

In 2012, the recently adopted Social Protection Floors Recommendation (No. 202) recognized the central role of the Social Security (Minimum Standards) Convention, 1952 (No. 102) and called on member states of the ILO to ratify it as soon as possible. Therefore, the ILO Governing Body agreed to set a target to increase the number of ratifications of Convention No. 102 from 47 to 60.

Over the past decade, the ILO has actively supported a significant number of national processes to encourage countries to ratify the Convention. Thus 13 nations have ratified the text over the past 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 Labor Conference held its second recurrent discussion on social protection which highlighted the need for universal social protection systems anchored in ILO standards. It also reaffirms the mandate and leadership of the ILO on social protection in the multilateral system and calls on the ILO to accelerate ongoing efforts to promote the Convention through a new ratification campaign.

Joel C. Hicks