HomeArticlesSocial protection is a human right but how many benefit?
Social protection is a human right but how many benefit?
August 23, 2019
Social protection is a human right and key to achieving sustainable development. The ILO’s World Social
Protection Report 2017-19 provides recent data on
social protection systems, from child and family benefits, to benefits in case of unemployment, sickness, employment injury, maternity, disability and old-age pensions. These new global, regional
and national estimates allow the monitoring of progress towards achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, in particular, SDG 1.3. It reflects the joint commitment of countries to implement nationally appropriate
social protection systems for all, including floors. Today, less than half
of the global population is effectively covered by at least
one social protection benefit. But if we consider all
the areas of social protection, as much as 71 per cent of
the global population is not adequately protected at all. Worldwide, only one in five
unemployed workers receives unemployment benefits. Only 35 per cent of children worldwide enjoy effective access to social protection and almost 1.3 billion are not covered at all. Only 41 per cent of mothers
with new-borns receive a maternity benefit. And 68 per cent of older women
and men receive a pension. However, an important
proportion of older persons, particularly in low-income countries, is still left unprotected. In many parts of the world, the right to health is not yet a reality, especially in rural areas where 56 per cent of the population
lacks health coverage, as compared to 22 per cent in urban areas. More efforts are needed to extend
coverage in many countries. In particular, it is important that austerity
or fiscal reforms not undermine long-term development efforts. A significant number of developing countries have successfully achieved universal
social protection schemes in recent years – other countries can follow. Achieving universal social protection is possible. It is up to us to make it reality.