The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has called on Nigeria and other member countries to develop their national social protection systems, which comprise basic, lifelong social security guarantees for all for health care and income security.
A call of action to this effect was issued by members of the Global Partnership for Universal Social Protection the (USP2030), who convened at a high-level conference at the International Labour Organization (ILO) headquarters on February 5, 2019.
The call to action refers to earlier member State commitments, particularly to end poverty, undertaken within the Sustainable Development Agenda.
Universal social protection ensures that anyone who needs social protection can access it at any time. This includes child benefits, pensions for older persons and benefits for people of working age in case of maternity, disability, work injury or for those without jobs.
“The ILO Constitution teaches us that poverty anywhere is a threat to prosperity everywhere. Social protection for anyone in need, at any age, helps ensure against that threat,” said Deborah Greenfield, ILO Deputy Director-General.
Countries in many parts of the world have achieved universal coverage, such as Bolivia, Cabo Verde, Lesotho, Mongolia, Namibia, South Africa and Timor Leste. Mongolia, for instance, has been able to provide universal old age and disability pensions, as well as universal maternity and child benefits.
However, more than half of the global population (four billion people) still has no access to even one social protection benefit. Forty-five per cent of the global population receives only one social protection benefit. Progress has been best in old-age pensions, with 68 per cent of older persons receiving a pension.
However, child and family benefits are limited to one third of the world’s children: 1.3 billion children do not have social protection. The numbers worsen for persons with disabilities: only 28 per cent receive social protection benefits.
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