Less than a quarter of Indians under social protection: ILO report

Only 24.4% of Indians, even less than Bangladesh (28.4%), enjoy any form of social protection, according to a latest report on social protection by the International Labor Organization (ILO), published Friday.

The report entitled “World Social Protection Report 2020-22: Regional Companion Report for Asia and the Pacific” is a complement to the ILO’s “World Social Protection Report 2021-22”, which provides a regional overview of social protection in Asia and the Pacific. Pacific region.

The report notes that Mongolia, New Zealand, Singapore and Australia have a social safety net of 100%, while in Myanmar and Cambodia the number is below 10%.

The report notes that due to the relatively low investment in social protection, the amounts transferred for non-contributory benefits are generally too low to provide adequate protection. “With contributory schemes generally limited to those working in the formal sector and non-contributory schemes still primarily targeted at the poorest, India’s social security benefits are less than 5% of GDP per capita ($2,277 ),” the report said.

However, the report appreciates 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 National Insurance Guarantee Scheme. Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment (MGNREGA), which provides a degree of protection for workers in the informal sector for up to 100 days.

The report notes that three out of four workers in the Asia-Pacific region are not protected in the event of illness or injury sustained at work. “Countries with low GDP per capita tend to have low levels of workers’ compensation coverage, for example Afghanistan, India, Nepal and Pakistan cover less than 5% of their workers,” says The report.

According to the report, in 2020, only 46.9% of the world’s population was effectively covered by at least one social protection benefit, while the remaining 53.1%, or 4.1 billion people, were completely unprotected. Highlighting the inherent gender inequality in social protection coverage, the report notes that women’s coverage lags behind men’s by 8 percentage points.

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.

Joel C. Hicks