Comprehensive, Coherent and Coordinated Policies

The interdependence, indivisibility and mutually reinforcing nature of human rights necessitates a holistic approach to social protection. As such, under international human rights law, social protection programmes should be one element within a broader strategy aimed at overcoming poverty and realizing all human rights, including economic, social and cultural rights such as the rights to education, adequate food and housing. Indeed, ILO Recommendation No. 202 (para 3(l)) recognizes the need for policy coherence to increase the government’s ability to achieve desired development goals with limited resources and to ensure that social and economic policies reinforce each other. In other words, the State should ensure coordination and complementarity with other social, economic, development and employment policies.

Fragmented social protection programmes and lack of sufficient coordination and cooperation between actors increase the likelihood that the rights of people living in poverty will be infringed. This is in part due to the weakening of the ability of rights holders to identify who is accountable for certain aspects of programme implementation. Incoherent policies can be a disincentive to action and a serious impediment to the realization of economic, social and cultural rights, especially of most vulnerable and/or least represented people. Additionally, ineffectively coordinated programmes can leave gaps in coverage, induce exclusion errors, or increase the risk that activities in one sector have unforeseen effects in another.

The responsibility to ensure programme and policy coordination remains with States even when programmes are funded by international assistance or private actors. Political commitments by the donor community to improve aid effectiveness were established with the Paris Declaration, the Accra Agenda for Action and the Busan Partnership Document. These reiterate the commitments of developing countries and donors to ensure that their respective development policies and programmes are designed and implemented in ways consistent with human rights principles and obligations. The State retains its status as primary duty bearer regardless of the source of funds, and it is further obliged to progressively reclaim its financial and administrative responsibilities from external actors when international assistance is relied upon. A rights-based perspective requires states to make an institutionalized commitment to progressively resource a comprehensive national social protection system (ILO Recommendation 202, para. 3(g)).

Expert Commentaries

Inter-sectoral Coordination, Social Protection and Human Rights: A virtuous circle

Social protection has become an ever more important policy discussion in the social development agenda. Significant advances have been made in the social protection field in the Americas and normative and institutional frameworks have been established within the countries to further strengthen social protection policies. Nevertheless, challenges still remain in developing and consolidating integrated and […]

Mutual Reinforcement of the Human Right to Social Protection and the Human Right to Water and Sanitation

The rights to social protection and water and sanitation can and should be mutually reinforcing, particularly if the linkages are made explicit. Such linkages include both consideration of access to water and sanitation in the design of social protection systems, as well as explicit recognition of the human right to water and sanitation in legislation, […]

Challenging Assumptions: From child-focused to child-sensitive social protection

Few people would disagree that children need protection and support, and that they should receive priority in policy interventions, including social protection. These beliefs are underpinned by the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), which has been ratified by 192 of 195 of the world’s countries. In the past decade, social protection […]

Adopting Comprehensive, Coherent and Coordinated Policies in Social Protection: A View from the Americas

In the context of the principles of social protection, through the Social Charter of the Americas,1 the countries of the region acknowledge they have “a responsibility to develop and implement comprehensive social protection policies and programs, based on the principles of universality, solidarity, equality, nondiscrimination, and equity that give priority to persons living in conditions […]

Legal Instruments

National Insurance and Social Security Act (No. 15)

This Act to establish a system of national insurance and social security providing pecuniary payments by way of old-age benefit, invalidity benefit, survivors’s benefit, sickness benefit, maternity benefit and funeral benefit, and to substitute for compensation under the Workmen’s Compensation Ordinance a system of insurance against injury or death caused by accident arising out of […]

Ley 22.431 De Protección Integral para los discapacitados.

Crea un sistema de protección integral de las personas discapacitadas, tendiente a asegurar a éstas su atención médica, su educación y su seguridad social, así como a concederles las franquicias y estímulos que permitan, en lo posible neutralizar la desventaja, que la discapacidad les provoca y les den oportunidad, mediante su esfuerzo, de desempeñar en […]

Legal Cases

Austerity measures that contravene Conventions by reducing social protection and increasing poverty in Greece

Recalling previous recommendations, the Committee observed that the austerity measures in conjunction with the continuous contractions of the economy, employment and public finances posed a threat to the viability of the Greek national social security system, resulting in the impoverishment of the population, thus undermining the application of all accepted parts of Social Security (Minimum […]

Reduction of pensions for condemned prisoners in Azerbaijan

The Court was requested to examine whether Article 109 para. 1 of the Law of Azerbaijan Republic On Pension Maintenance of Citizens, allowing an 80 per cent reduction of pensions for entitled persons who are incarcerated, was consistent with the right to social protection, contained in Article 38 of the Constitution of Azerbaijan. According to […]

Coherent Constitutions and the Right to Social Protection for Adopted Children in Taiwan

The Judicial Yuan, a body responsible for interpreting the Constitution, examined the constitutionality of provisions in the Statute for Labor Insurance preventing children adopted within less than six months of the death of their adoptive parents from collecting social insurance benefits as survivors. The Court held that despite the intentions of the provision to prevent […]

Combining constitutional and international standards for social protection resource mobilization in Latvia

Summary: In 2000, twenty Latvian parliamentarians complained to Latvia’s Constitutional Court that certain employers within Latvia were not paying social insurance premiums into a fund for their employees, and that this was a breach of the human right to social security as per Latvia’s constitution as well as Articles 9 and 11 of the International […]

Ensuring mechanisms that protect the right to life against the risk of famine in India

Summary: In 2001 the Peoples’ Union for Civil Liberties claimed that that recent starvation deaths that occurred in the Indian State of Rajasthan were the result of the State’s failure to release grain stocks in fact kept as a guard against famine, and that this denial amounted to a violation of the human right to […]

Resources

Case Studies and Exercises on Unemployment Protection Based on the Fictional Country of Coresia

The case studies and exercises on unemployment protection based on the fictional country of Coresia is part of the training material of the Unemployment protection: A good practices guide and training package, Experiences from ASEAN. The training material was produced under ILO/Japan Project, Promoting and Building Social Protection in ASEAN, launched in 2011. The five […]

Unemployment protection: A good practices guide and training package — Experiences from ASEAN

This unemployment protection guide covers knowledge, expertise and instruments that were developed through technical assistance to ASEAN countries provided by the ILO/Japan Project, Promoting and Building Social Protection in Asia. It can be used also as a toolkit by policy-makers to conduct feasibility studies for the design of unemployment benefits schemes for both informal and […]

Understanding Multiple Trajectories of Extending Social Protection to the Poor: An analysis of institutional change in Kenya

Political economic analyses of recent social protection reforms in Asian, African or Latin American countries have increased throughout the last few years. Yet, most contributions focus on one social protection mechanism only and do not provide a comparative approach across policy areas. In addition, most studies are empirical studies, with no or very limited theoretical […]

How to Make ‘Cash Plus’ Work: linking cash transfers to services and sectors

The broad-ranging benefits of cash transfers are now widely recognized. However, the evidence base highlights that they often fall short in achieving longer-term and second-order impacts related to nutrition, learning outcomes and morbidity. In recognition of these limitations, several ‘cash plus’ initiatives have been introduced, whereby cash transfers are combined with one or more types […]

Social Protection and Resilience: supporting livelihoods in protracted crises and in fragile and humanitarian contexts

The paper discusses the role social protection can play in saving livelihoods while also enhancing the capacity of households to respond, cope and withstand threats and crises. It focuses on social protection’s role in protracted crises and fragile and humanitarian contexts, as well as discusses the importance of shock-response systems, even in stable contexts.

Mental Health in the Workplace

One in four adults will experience mental health difficulties, yet prejudice and discrimination are significant barriers that deprive people of their dignity. To make dignity in mental health a reality requires every member of society to work together. It requires action in the community and, importantly, in the workplace. Our vision, therefore, is to start […]

Adolescents’ Mental Health: Out of the shadows: Evidence on psychological well-being of 11-15-year-olds from 31 industrialized countries

It is the right time to channel more public investment for comprehensive support of children’s and adolescents’ mental health and well-being. Target 3.4 under Goal 3 of the Sustainable Development Agenda explicitly aims to ‘promote mental health and well-being’, while the WHO Comprehensive Mental Health Action Plan for 2013-2020 emphasizes the importance of children “having […]

Adapting Fomento to countries in Sub-Saharan Africa

Although one of the hallmarks of an effective development intervention is its successful implementation across a variety of contexts, programme replication is often overlooked. In a recent project, the International Food Policy Research Institute adapted a well-regarded Brazilian agricultural intervention, Fomento, for implementation and evaluation in two African countries, Senegal and Malawi. The rigorous impact […]

The Social Dimensions of Saudi Vision 2030: a paradigm shift (One Pager 361)

This One Pager explains that to address internal development issues in Saudi Arabia such as poverty, vulnerability and inequality, the Vision 2030 plan and its programmes have, inter alia, pointed to a number of specific goals, targets and policy measures to reduce social vulnerability, address labour market issues for women and promote quality in education and training initiatives. […]

Playing with Fire: deepened financial integration and changing vulnerabilities of the Global South

From the early 1990s many emerging and developing economies (EDEs) liberalized their capital accounts, allowing greater freedom for international lenders and investors to enter their markets, as well as for their residents to operate in international financial markets. Despite recurrent crises, liberalization has accelerated in the new millennium. Global financial integration of EDEs has been […]