Saturday, June 7, 2014

70 per cent of world population lack social protection-ILO

The International Labour Organisation (ILO)  has said that more than 70 per cent of the world population is not adequately covered by social protection, stressing that the unwinding of social security protections in many countries since 2010 has contributed to increased poverty and social exclusion
The disclosure was made during presentation of this year social report theme “World Social Protection Report 2014/15: Building economic recovery, inclusive development and social justice at the 103rd International Labour Conference (ILC) organised by the ILO, in Geneva, Switzerland.
The ILO Deputy Director-General Sandra Polaski while presenting the report which shows that only 27 per cent of the global population enjoys access to comprehensive social security said,  “The global community agreed in 1948 that social security and health care for children, working age people who face unemployment or injury and older persons are a universal human right and yet in 2014 the promise of universal social protection remains unfilled for the large majority of the world’s population.”
 “It’s a phenomenon that is widespread among developed and developing countries alike according to the latest World Social Protection report released by the International Labour Organization”, she added.
According to the report as many as 122 countries, including 82 developing economies have in recent years been contracting their social protection budgets.
Also Isabel Isabel Ortiz, Director of the ILO Social Protection Department, says it’s a trend that can be traced back to the financial crisis of 2008: Fiscal stimulus plans were launched between 2008 and 9 and we estimate that social protection was about 25% – a quarter – of all the fiscal stimulus plans.
“So really, it played a very important role at the beginning of the crisis and it was very good to protect populations against the risks of unemployment and also to cushion the problems of smoothing consumption at a moment where risks were very high.”, she added
She emphasised that a  significant number of developing countries are fazing out subsidies, eliminating them, and also copying or cutting the wage bill, this means the number or the salaries of health, education and other social workers – civil servants in general that are very much needed for human development.
She noted that such fiscal contractions have contributed to increasing poverty rates in many countries. Children particularly are at risk.
According to the report Child Poverty increased in 19 of the 28 countries of the European Union between 2007 and 2012.
“for the large majority of the global population the fundamental human right to social security is not realised at all or only in a partial way that leaves billions of people insecure”, she said.
“The fiscal consolidation which was undertaken by a number of governments actually led to double dip recessions. At a minimum one can say it was too soon, if we look at lessons of history where a slack of private demand can be addressed by expanded government demand for a period of time until the private sector can get its momentum back “, she affirmed

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