ILO World Report on Social Protection

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In the newsThe International Labor Organization (ILO) has released a report titled “World Social Protection Report 2020-22: Regional Companion Report for Asia and the Pacific” which accompanies the “World Social Protection Report 2021- 22” of the ILO recently.

Main highlights of the report-

  • The report gives a regional overview of social protection in the Asia and Pacific region.
  • According to the report, oOnly 24.4% of Indians, even less than Bangladesh (28.4%), benefit from any form of social protection.
  • The report notes that Mongolia, New Zealand, Singapore and Australia have a 100% social safety net, while in Burma and Cambodia, the number stands less than 10 percent.
  • With contributory schemes generally limited to those working in the formal sector and non-contributory schemes still primarily targeted at the poorest, IIndian social security benefits are less than 5% of GDP per capita ($2,277).
  • However, the report appreciated India’s higher coverage rate achieved through a combination of contributory and non-contributory schemes through its gradual extension of coverage by combining different levels of social protection such as the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGA), which offers some degree of protection to workers in the informal sector for up to 100 days .
  • The report notes three out of four workers in the Asia-Pacific region are not protected in the event of illness or injury at work.
  • Countries with low GDP per capita tend to have low levels of work injury coverage for example, Afghanistan, India, Nepal and Pakistan cover less than 5 per cent of their workers.
  • According to the report, in 2020, only 46.9% of the world’s population was effectively covered by at least one social protection benefitwhile the remaining 53.1%, or 4.1 billion people, were left totally unprotected.
  • Highlight the inherent gender inequality in social protection coveragethe report notes coverage for women lags substantially 8 percentage points behind that for men.
  • The report further notes that the vast majority of the world’s working-age population, 69.4%, or 4 billion people, is only partially protected or not protected at all.

To note:

  • Social protection systems help individuals and families, especially the poor and vulnerable, cope with crises and shocks, find jobs, improve productivity, invest in the health and education of their children and protect the aging population.
  • Social protection programs are central to building human capital for the world’s most vulnerable.
  • They enable people to be healthy, to continue their education and to seek opportunities to lift themselves and their families out of poverty.
  • Midday Meal Program (MDM), Public Distribution System (PDS), Integrated Child Development Program (ICDS), National Health Policy 2017; Social Security Code 2020, MGNREGA and National Social Assistance Program (NSAP) are among the social protection schemes in India.
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Source: Trade standard

Joel C. Hicks