Rationale and definition:
Access to adequate social protection is recognized as a basic right, enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, but more than half of the world’s population lacks national social protection coverage.1 This indicator measures the percentage of the eligible population covered by these social safety nets. The ILO includes the following 10 elements as part of comprehensive social security coverage: medical care; sickness benefits; protection for disability, old age and survivorship, maternity, children, unemployment, and employment injury; and general protection against poverty and social exclusion.2 The most common types of social protection are labor market interventions to promote employment and protect workers, social insurance such as health or unemployment insurance, and social assistance to support vulnerable individuals or households. New instruments of social protection have also gained popularity, including conditional cash transfers.
By sex, age, urban/rural, and by type (medical, employment, etc.).
Comments and limitations:
In practice, access to social security can be limited by discrimination, which may not be captured here.
Preliminary assessment of current data availability by Friends of the Chair:
Primary data source:
Administrative data, or household surveys if not available.
Potential lead agency or agencies:
- UN Research Institute For Social Development (2010). Combating Poverty and Inequality: Structural Change, Social Policy and Politics. Geneva, Switzerland: UNRISD.
UN Research Institute For Social Development (2010). Combating Poverty and Inequality: Structural Change, Social Policy and Politics. Geneva, Switzerland: UNRISD.
See ILO Social protection website.