Universal Social Protection: ILO and the Word Bank call world leaders to ensure that no one is left behind

On June 30th, a milestone joint ILO and Word Bank initiative, calling world leaders to move away from targeted safety nets to universal social protection systems, was launched.

This is a major step away from the minimalistic, temporary and targeted safety nets vision of Social Protection victim, since the 1980s of market-oriented reforms.

In their joint statement, the ILO Director-General Guy Ryder and World Bank Group President Jim Yong Ki , indicate that “since the 2000s, universality has re-entered the development agenda. First it was education: universal primary education became a Millennium Development Goal in 2000. In 2012, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution endorsing universal health coverage. Now it is time for universal social protection”.

The new development agenda that is being defined by the world community, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), provides an unparalleled opportunity for the two institutions to join forces to make universal social protection a reality, for everyone, everywhere. Indeed, social protection systems, including social protection floors, figure prominently among the SDGs: Goal1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere / 1.3 Implement nationally appropriate social protection systems and measures for all, including floors, and by 2030 achieve substantial coverage of the poor and vulnerable. Social protection policies also feature in goals to achieve gender equality and to reduce income inequality.

The main international cooperation institutions such as the European Commission, and the United Nations have all endorsed universal social protection. Now, it is time to join forces to make it happen..

SOLIDAR supports Universal Social Protection and has undertaken –together with the Global Coalition for Social Protection Floors – numerous campaign and advocacy actions to gain EU institutions support towards.

-* The inclusion, in the sustainable development goals, of a target on the implementation, by 2030, of universal and comprehensive social protection systems and quality nationally-defined social protection floors (such as outlined in ILO Recommendation 202).
-* The creation of a Global Fund for Social Protection (GFSP): a solidarity based financing mechanism to help countries design, implement and, to a limited extent, finance national floors of social protection.
-* The recognition and the support of the CSOs role in the design, monitoring, evaluation and, where relevant, the implementation of universal social protection systems and floors (including the design of legal frameworks).
-* The recognition that Social Protection is a human right which enables the fulfillment of other rights.

For more information about SOLIDAR work on social protection, have a look at:
-* Briefing Paper “Winning the fight against poverty and inequality”.
-* Global Coalition for Social Protection Floors proposal for a Global Fund for Social Protection.
-* Universal Social Protection Advocacy Tour Photo Gallery.
-* You can also follow this discussion through #socialprotection4all.