Over 70 per cent of world's population lacks proper social protection – ILO

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Photo: IRIN/Mohamed Amin Jibril

More than 70 per cent of the world's population doesn't have proper social protection, according to a report issued by the International Labour Organization (ILO) on Tuesday.

The ILO defines social protection as covering both social insurance schemes such as social security pension systems and monetary transfers to lower income households.

The report says that 28 per cent of workers worldwide are covered by unemployment benefit programmes but only 12 per cent of unemployed workers actually receive such benefits.

ILO Deputy Director-General Sandra Polaski said another area where there is a gap in providing social protection is in health benefits, including maternity cash benefits for pregnant female workers.

"Globally, only 28 per cent of women in employment receive maternity pay. Similarly, mandatory social insurance programmes to cover workers who are injured at work or who suffer work-induced health problems cover only 33 per cent of the global labour force. The collapse last year of the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh and the recent Soma mine disaster in Turkey are large and devastating risks at work but smaller accidents happen everyday." (28")

Ms Polaski added however, that there has been what she described as "very important" progress in extending social protection systems in recent years particularly in emerging and developing economies.

She said many middle income countries are boldly expanding their social protection systems, supporting household incomes and thereby boosting domestic demand-led growth and inclusive development.

Derrick Mbatha, United Nations

Duration: 1’52″

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