Social Protection Floors Recommendation, 2012 (No. 202)

Year: 2012

Recommendation No. 202 is the first international instrument to offer guidance to countries to close social security gaps and progressively achieve universal protection through the establishment and maintenance of comprehensive social security systems. To this aim, the Recommendation calls for (1) the implementation, as a priority, of social protection floors (SPF) as a fundamental element of national social security systems and as a starting point for countries that do not have a minimum level of social protection; and (2) the extension of social security with a view to progressively ensure higher levels of social security to as many people as possible according to national economic and fiscal capacity and as guided by Convention No. 102 and other ILO social security standards.

Social protection floors should comprise at least four basic social security guarantees including access to essential health care and basic income security for children, persons of active age who are unable to earn sufficient income, and older persons and should be set at a level that allows people to live in dignity.  Through the social protection floors concept, Recommendation No. 202 provides the minimum core content of the human right to social security. A major achievement of Recommendation No. 202 is the policy guidance it offers States to give effect to their general and overall responsibility to establish and maintain these comprehensive social security systems. It does this through a set of principles that provide instructions for the design and implementation of social security programs. These guiding principles intentionally echo both fundamental human rights principles but also core principles related to the good governance, delivery and financing of social security systems.

Link to Recommendation


Related Key Issues

Universality of protection and effective access

Social protection programmes must be available to all individuals without discrimination of any kind. Universal social protection systems  – those which provide benefits to all residents without conditions – are the best way for States to meet their human rights obligations to ensure that there is no discrimination in the selection of beneficiaries.  Further reading: […]

Related Principles

Universality of Protection

States parties to major human rights instruments related to economic, social and cultural rights such as the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) have an immediate minimum core obligation to ensure the satisfaction of, at the very least, minimum essential levels of all economic, social and cultural rights such as the right […]

Ensure Meaningful and Effective Participation

Meaningful and effective participation of rights holders must be a key component of any social protection system. This is what builds trust and public support behind schemes and ensures that there is a sense of ownership. The participation of right holders is important during the social protection policy making processes but also as regards the […]

Social Protection and Human Rights