Owing to continuing severe problems in Latin America, including poverty, inequality, vulnerability, unemployment and informal employment, which worsened during the crisis of late 2008 and early 2009, Latin American countries must be urged strenuously to strengthen their social protection systems and to extend them to include those that are currently excluded, as advocated by previous ECLAC documents.
Boosting social protection helps to build fairer and more inclusive societies where all citizens can enjoy their economic, social and cultural rights. To achieve this, it is necessary to influence income distribution and invest in human capability. When countries succeed in harnessing the human capability of their citizens throughout their lifetimes, the gains in terms of productivity and social cohesion can be enormous.
This book aims to encourage dialogue on social protection in Latin America. It highlights the need for innovation in designing policies and instruments, as well as in management, in order to build comprehensive systems that provide inclusive social protection for all citizens.
Even though social protection has become one of the pillars of social development strategies, in Latin America there is no consistent standard. Instead, social protection has been approached in different ways and from different analytical and policy standpoints.
This book examines the principal ongoing discussions regarding social protection and co-responsibility transfer programmes, looks at the role assigned to them, identifies current policies in this field and weighs the conceptual elements, the needs and the challenges to be addressed in order to consolidate comprehensive social protection systems. The book examines the main approaches informing their design and implementation, performance and gaps in existing protection, as well as the changes that a number of countries are making to secure effective and sustainable management in this area.