(07 July 2014) – A new report by the International Labour Organization (ILO) presents the latest social security trends in 190 countries and finds that most people are without adequate social protection at a time when it is most needed.
According to the “World Social Protection Report 2014/15: Building economic recovery, inclusive development and social justice”, only 27% of the global population enjoys access to comprehensive social security.
The latest trends show that a number of high-income countries are contracting their social security systems. In the European Union, cuts in social protection have already contributed to increases in poverty which now affects 123 million people or 24 per cent of the population, many of whom are children, women, older persons and persons with disabilities.
On the other hand, many middle-income countries are expanding their social protection systems, supporting household incomes and thereby boosting demand-led growth and inclusive development. China, for example, is close to achieving universal pension coverage and has sharply increased minimum wages and Brazil has accelerated the expansion of social protection coverage and minimum wages since 2009.
Some lower-income countries, for example Mozambique, have also extended social protection, yet often through temporary safety nets with very low benefit levels. Many of these countries are now undertaking efforts to build social protection floors as part of more comprehensive social protection systems.