In news–The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has released a report titled ‘World Social Protection Report 2020-22: Regional companion report for Asia and the Pacific’ is a companion to the ILO’s ‘World Social Protection Report 2021-22 recently.
Key highlights of the report-
- The report gives a regional overview of the social protection in the Asia and Pacific region.
- According to the report, only 24.4 percent of Indians, even fewer than Bangladesh (28.4 percent), are under any sort of social protection benefit.
- The report notes that Mongolia, New Zealand, Singapore and Australia have 100 per cent social protection net, while in Myanmar and Cambodia, the number stands below 10 per cent.
- With contributory schemes typically limited to those working in the formal sector and non-contributory schemes still mostly targeted on the poorest, India’s social security benefits are lower than the 5% of GDP per capita ($2,277).
- However, the report appreciated India’s higher coverage rate achieved through a combination of contributory and non-contributory schemes through its progressive extension of coverage by combining different tiers of social protection such as the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Programme (MGNREGA), which offers a degree of protection for informal sector workers for up to 100 days.
- The report notes three out four workers in the Asia Pacific region are not protected in the event of illness or injury sustained at work.
- Countries with lower GDP per capita tend to have low levels of work injury coverage for example, Afghanistan, India, Nepal and Pakistan cover fewer than 5 per cent of their workers.
- According to the report, as of 2020, only 46.9 per cent of the global population was effectively covered by at least one social protection benefit, while the remaining 53.1 per cent as many as 4.1 billion people were left wholly unprotected.
- Highlighting the inherent gender inequality in the social protection coverage, the report makes note women’s coverage lag behind men’s by a substantial 8 percentage points.
- The report further notes that the large majority of the working-age population in the world 69.4 per cent, or 4 billion people are only partially protected or not protected at all.
- Social protection systems help individuals and families, especially the poor and vulnerable, cope with crises and shocks, find jobs, improve productivity, invest in the health and education of their children, and protect the aging population.
- Social protection programs are at the heart of boosting human capital for the world’s most vulnerable.
- They empower people to be healthy, pursue their education, and seek opportunities to lift themselves and their families out of poverty.
- Mid-Day Meal (MDM) programme, Public Distribution System (PDS),Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS), National Health Policy 2017; Social Security Code 2020, MGNREGA, and National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP) are some of the social protection schemes in India.