February 19, 2019

Honing in on Social Protection

Two significant Commissions will take place at the United Nations during February and March 2019. These are the 57th Commission for Social Development (CSocD57) and the 63rd Commission on the Status of Women (CSW63). Mercy Global Action will participate in both Commissions. In attendance at these commissions will be representatives from Member States, UN entities and NGO’s from all regions of the world.  

As is the practice, these commissions each have a priority theme. Significantly, both commissions this year include Social Protection in their Priority theme.

So, what is 'Social Protection'? There are numerous definitions on social protection floors but the most commonly adopted one can be found in the International Labour Organizations, Recommendation No. 202 (ILO, 202). It states, ‘ Social Protection Floors are nationally defined sets of basic social security guarantees that should provide access to essential health care and to basic income security for all those in need over the life cycle’. (June 2012). Comprehensive social protection systems cover the following eight functions: benefits for sickness, unemployment, old age, employment injury, family/child, maternity, invalidity/disability and survivors (Social Security Minimum Standards Convention, 1952 No. 102).

Social Protection is considered a human right and in 2014 the Human Rights Council requested that the Secretary General of the United Nations submit an annual report on the . According to ILO’s World Social Protection Report 2017 -19, universal social protection contributes to eradicating poverty, reducing inequality, promoting economic growth and social justice, as well as achieving the sustainable development goals. However, the report found that approximately three quarters of the world’s population lack adequate social protection. We have much work to do to ensure universal access to adequate social protection. We recommend reading the report to learn more about the current state of social protection systems around the globe.

Over the next couple of months this newsletter will provide more resources that specifically relate to the theme of social protection. As poverty eradication is a central concern of Mercy Global Action we encourage you to explore this notion of social protection and explore how your own particular country delivers social protection to the most vulnerable.

Messages to: Angela Reed rsm - MIA-MGA Coordibator at the UN

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