World Social Protection Report 2020–22


    In News

    • Recently, the International Labour Organization (ILO) released a report specific to Asia and the Pacific.

    Key Points

    • Content of Report: 
      • A global overview of progress made around the world over the past decade in extending social protection and building rights-based social protection systems, including floors, and covers the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. 
      • In doing so, the report provides an essential contribution to the monitoring framework of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
    • Global Perspective: 
      • The pandemic has exposed deep-seated inequalities and significant gaps in social protection coverage, comprehensiveness and adequacy across all countries. 
      • COVID-19 provoked an unparalleled social protection policy response.
      • Socio-economic recovery remains uncertain and enhanced social protection spending will continue to be crucial. 
      • Countries are at a crossroads with regard to the trajectory of their social protection systems.

    Image Courtesy: ILO 

    • Important Findings: 
      • Meager Spending: Global spending on social protection averages around 12.9%.
      • Disparity among countries: Mongolia, New Zealand, Singapore and Australia have 100 percent social protection net, while in Myanmar and Cambodia, the number stands below 10 percent.
      • Majority is wholly unprotected: 
        • As of 2020, only 46.9 percent of the global population was effectively covered by at least one social protection benefit, while the remaining 53.1 percent as many as 4.1 billion people were left wholly unprotected. 
        • The population having access to at least one social protection measure, is 33.2 percent in South-Eastern Asia and 22.8 percent in Southern Asia. The latter’s most populous countries – Bangladesh and Pakistan – cover only 28.4 percent and 9.2 percent of their populations, respectively
      • Working-age is partially protected: The large majority of the working-age population in the world 69.4 percent, or 4 billion people are only partially protected or not protected at all.
      • No Protection in event of illness or injury: 
        • Three out four workers in the Asia Pacific region are not protected in the event of illness or injury sustained at work. 
        • Countries with lower GDP per capita tend to have low levels of work injury coverage for example, Afghanistan, India, Nepal and Pakistan cover fewer than 5 percent of their workers.
        • The share of people with severe disabilities worldwide who receive a disability benefit remains low at 33.5 percent.
      • Gender Inequality: 
        • The inherent gender inequality in the social protection coverage, women’s coverage lags behind men’s by a substantial 8 percentage points.
        • Some countries have made decisive progress towards universal or near-universal effective maternity coverage. Despite the positive developmental impacts of supporting childbearing women, only 44.9 percent of women with newborns worldwide receive a cash maternity benefit.
      • No effective social protection coverage for children: The vast majority of children still have no effective social protection coverage, and only 26.4 percent of children globally receive social protection benefits. 
        • Effective coverage is particularly low in some regions: 18 percent in Asia and the Pacific, 15.4 percent in the Arab States and 12.6 percent in Africa.

    World Social Protection Report 2020-22

    • It is published by the International Labour Organization (ILO).
    • It gives a global overview of recent developments in social protection systems, including social protection floors, and covers the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. 
    • Based on new data, it offers a broad range of global, regional and country data on social protection coverage, benefits and public expenditures.
    • The report identifies protection gaps and sets out key policy recommendations, including in relation to the targets of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

    Findings for India 

    • Comparison with Rest of Asia:
      • Only 24.4 percent of Indians, even fewer than Bangladesh (28.4 percent), are under any sort of social protection benefit.
    • Less Spending on social protection: 
      • India spends just 8.6% on this, approximately 4% less than the global average.
    • Lower Coverage: 
      • The population having access to at least one social protection measure is only 24.4 percent in India.
    • Low Investment & Benefits: 
      • Owing to the relatively low investment in social protection, the amounts transferred under non-contributory benefits are usually too low to provide adequate protection.
      • With contributory schemes typically limited to those working in the formal sector and non-contributory schemes still mostly targeted on the poorest, India’s social security benefits are lower than the five percent of GDP per capita ($2,277).
    • Combination of Schemes: 
      • India achieved social protection through a combination of contributory and non – contributory schemes.
      • Efforts for progressive extension of coverage by combining different tiers of social protection. 
      • E.g.- Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Programme (MGNREGA), which offers a degree of protection for informal sector workers for up to 100 days.

    Social Protection

    • Social protection includes access to health care and income security measures related especially to old age, unemployment, sickness, disability, work injury, maternity or the loss of the main breadwinner in a family, as well as extra support for families with children.
    • It is an important tool that can create wide-ranging social and economic benefits for countries at all levels of development. 
    • It can underpin better health and education, greater equality, more sustainable economic systems, better-managed migration and the observance of core rights. 
    • Importance: 
      • It helps 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. 
      • It enhances human capital and productivity, reduces inequalities, builds resilience and ends the inter-generational cycle of poverty. 
      • It also helps ensure equality of opportunity by giving them a chance to climb out of poverty and become productive members of society. 


    Way Ahead

    • Universal social protection: Establishing universal social protection and realizing the human right to social security for all is the cornerstone of a human-centered approach to obtaining social justice.
    • Increased Investment for Enhanced Coverage: To guarantee at least basic social protection coverage, low-income countries would need to invest an additional US$77.9 billion per year, lower-middle-income countries an additional US$362.9 billion per year and upper-middle-income countries a further US$750.8 billion per year. That’s equivalent to 15.9, 5.1 and 3.1 percent of their GDP, respectively.
    • Social justice and resilient future: The world community must recognize that effective and comprehensive social protection is not just essential for social justice and decent work but for creating a sustainable and resilient future too.
    • Rights-based social protection: There is an urgent need to harness the pandemic response to build a new generation of rights-based social protection systems. 

    International Labour Organisation (ILO) 

    • It is a specialised agency of the United Nations.
    • It is the only tripartite U.N. agency since 1919.
    • The unique tripartite structure brings together governments, employers and workers of 187 member States, to set labour standards, develop policies and devise programmes promoting decent work for all women and men.
    • Aim: To promote rights at work, encourage decent employment opportunities, enhance social protection and strengthen dialogue on work-related issues.
    • History: Established in 1919 by the Treaty of Versailles as an affiliated agency of the League of Nations.
    • Became the first affiliated specialized agency of the United Nations in 1946.
    • India is a founder member of the ILO.
    • Headquarter: Geneva, Switzerland.
    • Flagship Reports of ILO are:
      • Global Wage Report
      • World Employment and Social Outlook (WESO)
      • World Employment and Social Outlook
      • World Social Protection Report
      • World of Work Report

    Source: TH