Promoting Inclusion through Social Protection: Report on the World Social Situation 2018
Universal social protection is a potent development policy tool that can alleviate poverty, inequality and social exclusion. In fact, few countries have been able to reduce poverty and improve living conditions on a broad scale without comprehensive social protection systems in place.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development underscores the importance of social protection for the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Target 1.3 addresses the role of social protection in ending poverty in all its forms. Specifically, it seeks the implementation of “nationally appropriate social protection measures and systems for all, including floors”. By 2030, the goal is no less than “substantial coverage of the poor and the vulnerable”.
Countries around the world have made noteworthy progress in building and strengthening social protection systems. Still, only 29 percent of the global population enjoy comprehensive coverage. Even in countries where universal coverage is guaranteed by law, not all segments of the population are reached. Gaps in access and insufficient benefits challenge the effectiveness of social protection to reduce inequality and leave no one behind. Understanding the barriers that diverse groups face in accessing social protection is necessary if substantial coverage is to be ensured for all nations, peoples and segments of society.
The Report on the World Social Situation 2018 examines the contribution of social protection to social inclusion, focusing on seven, often disadvantaged, groups: children, youth, older persons, persons with disabilities, international migrants, ethnic and racial minorities, and indigenous peoples.
The report aims to answer three main questions: Who enjoys social protection coverage—and who does not? What are the barriers to effective coverage? And how can social protection programmes be designed and implemented to be sensitive to the needs of disadvantaged groups?