Social protection floor for a fair and inclusive globalization

Social protection floor for a fair and inclusive globalization

The social protection floor approach has been developed by the ILO, drawing on recent experiences of extending protection, mostly in developing countries.

It includes guarantees of:

  • basic income security, in the form of various social transfers (in cash or in kind), such as pensions for the elderly and persons with disabilities, child benefits, income support benefits and/or employment guarantees and services for the unemployed and working poor
  • universal access to essential affordable social services in the areas of health, water and sanitation, education, food security, housing, and others defined according to national priorities

This report, from the ILO's Social Protection Floor Advisory Group, shows how social protection can play a pivotal role in relieving people of the fear of poverty and deprivation, delivering on the promises of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The extension of social protection, drawing on basic social floors, is a missing piece in a fairer and inclusive globalisation.

Main recommendations include:

  • combining the objectives of preventing poverty and protecting against social risks, thus empowering individuals to seize opportunities for decent employment and entrepreneurship
  • the floor should be regarded as a framework for coordinated interventions at the household level, addressing multidimensional causes of poverty and social exclusion and aiming to unlock productive capacity
  • the floor should combine income transfers with educational, nutritional and health objectives, to promote human development
  • there should be assistance and incentives that promote participation in the formal labour market
  • the need to ensure economic affordability and long-term fiscal sustainability, while noting that international solidarity in the form of cost-sharing may be needed to help to start the process in some low-income countries
  • coherence between social, employment, environmental and macroeconomic policies as part of a long-term sustainable development strategy

  • adequate institutional framework with sufficient budgetary resources, well-trained professionals and effective governance rules with participation of the social partners and other stakeholders

  • effective health-financing systems to ensure access to good quality health services