Second ILO – UNICEF The urgent need to build universal social protection

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Second ILO – UNICEF The urgent need to build universal social protection

Recently, the second joint report of International Labor Organization (ILO) – United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on social protection of children has been released.

The report titled “A Billion Reasons: The Urgent Need to Build Universal Social Security for Children” has been released.

The report expresses a shared commitment to strengthening social protection systems and extending their benefits to every child at risk.

Key Findings of the Report

  • Globally, only 1 out of every 4 children (aged 0-15 years) has access to social protection.
  • 4 billion Children in the world need adequate social protection. However, children are still twice as likely as adults to live in poverty.
  • The growing number of children deprived of globally important social protections may hinder the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), such as SDG-1 and SDG-10.
  • It should be noted that SDG-1 is related to eradication of poverty and SDG-10 is related to reduction in inequality.
  • The challenges children are facing are increasing. Crises like the Covid-19 pandemic, rising cost of living, climate catastrophe are further compounding these challenges.
  • Social protection refers to a set of policies and programs designed to prevent and reduce poverty and vulnerability throughout the life cycle.

Some examples of social security:

Benefits for children and families, maternity benefits, unemployment allowance, financial or medical assistance for injuries at work, etc.

Need for child centric social security –

  • To enhance their work productivity and income earning potential;
  • To address issues such as child labour, gender inequality and exclusion;
  • To increase access to food, nutrition, education and healthcare, etc.

6 important steps have been recommended to create universal social security for children –

  • There is an urgent need to move towards universal coverage of children for better survival.
  • There is a need to ensure that social security systems keep pace with developments in the world of work.
  • It is necessary to adopt rights based, inclusive, gender responsive and information based social security systems.
  • Sustainable and equitable funding of social security systems must be ensured.
  • Adequate benefit levels must be guaranteed to make a meaningful difference in the lives of children.
  • A wide range of benefits that support children and families should be provided through a life-cycle approach.

Source – UNICEF

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