ILO’s Global Social Protection Week gathers international community to achieve universal social protection by 2030

For four days, high-level and technical experts discussed how to accomplish appropriate social protection systems globally and how to face emerging challenges, such as climate change and migration

Geneva, 28 November—From 25 to 28 November 2019, the Global Social Protection Week (GSPW) gathered high-level and technical experts in the International Labour Organisation (ILO) headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, to discuss ways to achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 1.3, which aims to implement nationally-appropriate social protection systems and measures for all, including floors, and achieve substantial coverage of the poor and the vulnerable by 2030. The GSPW is held in the context of the Agenda on Universal Social Protection (USP2030).

The International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth (IPC-IG) was represented by Ms. Anna Machado, Ms. Mariana Balboni and Ms. Marina Carvalho, who delivered a presentation of the Centre and the platform at the session “Speed Networking Marketplace: Initiatives on Social Protection”.

Anna also participated in the technical-level conferences during the last two days of the GSPW, and delivered a speech at session 3.1, “Building rights-based social protection systems”. “We discussed the relevance of anchoring social protection in national legal frameworks that comply with the human rights-based approach”, she stated. Her presentation was based on the findings of a recent study on children’s right to social protection in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, produced by the IPC-IG jointly with UNICEF. The research report is available here. The session also featured presentations from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the ILO, the World Health Organization (WHO), and representatives from Russia, Paraguay, Indonesia and Senegal.  

A series of technical sessions took place during the last two days, addressing key discussions around six main topics: extending social protection coverage to the ‘missing middle’ (especially informal workers); adapting social protection to emerging challenges, including climate change, migration and humanitarian crises; building universal social protection systems; financing and creating fiscal space for SDG 1.3; social protection and the future of work; and making the right to social protection a reality for all. 

The GSPW ended on 28 November, and some of the highlights were summarised by the ILO’s Deputy Director General, Ms. D. Greenfield, and by the ILO’s ad interim Director of the Social Protection Department, Ms. Valérie Schmitt:

  • Social protection is not a cost, but an investment in people and has the potential change their lives.
  • Social protection is girls’ and women’s best friend and can be considered key for addressing gender inequality.
  • Social protection is a crucial element when discussing the future of work, as stated in the ILO’s Centenary Declaration for the Future of Work.
  • Four billion people still live without social protection (up to 90 per cent of the population in some developing countries), and that’s a call for action for all States (including high-income countries).
  • Political will and concrete actions are essential for achieving universal social protection by 2030.
  • There is no social contract without social justice. Strong social protection systems are a powerful weapon to fight inequality and build a more equal society for all individuals.

The online knowledge sharing platform facilitated the livestream of the Conference. The recordings are available here.

Friday, November 29, 2019 - 13:45