The Social Protection Floor is a global social policy approach promoting integrated strategies for ensuring access to essential social services and income security for all.
The Social Protection Floor (SPF) is a first step toward the implementation of comprehensive social protection systems worldwide. By establishing a nationally defined and context-specific Social Protection Floor, countries help realize the universal right to basic social security and essential social services while enabling and promoting future socio-economic development.
Phnom Penh, Cambodia: Second South-South Cooperation Initiative mission to Cambodia, bringing experts from the National Health Security Office (NHSO) of Thailand to support the design of social protection policies and systems in Cambodia. The first South-South Cooperation project, in Cambodia, was launched on April 26, 2012, and will span two years. Four additioanl countries have initially been selected to participate and benefit from the technical expertise of other South countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Lao PDR and Togo. For more information, see South-South collaboration.May 30 - June 15, Geneva: A new recommendation on social protection was adopted at the 101st session of the International Labour Conference, in Geneva. The Recommendation Concerning National Floors of Social Protection puts forth a new international labour standard by providing the ILO's 183 Member States with a number of guidelines on the implementation of national social protection floors. This is the first autonomous standard on social security to be voted on in 68 years.
January 30, New York: Fourth Inter-agency Technical Meeting on the Social Protection Floor Initiative. This meeting served to devise strategies for closer collaboration between SPF-I coalition members and to establish a workplan for 2012.
December 4-7, Kyoto: In the Asia-Pacific region, the publication Social Protection Floor - For a Fair and Inclusive Globalization, known was the "Bachelet Report", was launched on Monday, 5 December 2011, during the plenary session of the 15th Asia and the Pacific Regional Meeting by Ms Sudha Pillai, Secretary of the Planning Commission of India and Member of the Social Protection Floor Advisory Group. Based on the discussions at this meeting, the commitment to "building effective social protection floors, in line with national circumstances" was identified as a priority by ILO's members (see Conclusions of the 15th Asia and the Pacific Regional Meeting). The "Bachelet report" was subsequently launched in:
- Bangkok on Friday, 9 December 2011 at the United Nations Conference Centre (UNCC)
- Jakarta on Monday, 12 December 2011 by Mr. Martin Hirsch, former High Commissioner against poverty and for youth policy of the French Government.
November 8, Geneva: European launch of the Social Protection Floor for a Fair and Inclusive Globalization (or "Bachelet") report at ILO headquarters.
October 27, New York: The Social Protection Floor Advisory Group headed by the former President of Chile, Michele Bachelet, presented a ground-breaking report arguing that the Social Protection Floor can boost economic growth and enhance social cohesion.
October 11-14, Johannesburg: 12th African Regional Meeting where the Action Plan on the Yaoundé Tripartite Declaration on the Implementation of the Social Protection Floor was presented. This document will be reviewed to address comments provided by government, employers and workers.
September 26-27, Paris: G20 Labour and Employment Ministers expressed their commitment to extending social protection coverage by expanding social protection floors. See summary document.
September 20, Bangkok: The participants of the 6th ASEAN GO-NGO Forum for Social Welfare and Development held on 20 September 2011 in Bangkok, Thailand, agreed on the need to strengthen cooperation amongst ASEAN Member States towards universal coverage of social protection to the peoples of ASEAN. See recommendations.
July 18-26, Cape Town: During the 6th World Congress of Education International, the world’s largest federation of education employees, a resolution on Social Protection Education was submitted by labour unions from four different regions, promoted by the Education and Solidarity Network, and adopted unanimously. It urges countries to: implement policies for the creation of social protection floors, provide quality social protection for education professionals, and include social protection education in education and training systems to promote a social protection culture.
Click here for a complete history of meetings and events pertaining to the Social Protection Floor.
All around the world, countries continue to develop and implement programmes that bring them closer to ensuring a Social Protection Floor for all. Some highlights of the latest progress are presented below.
Thailand expresses its commitment to implementing an SPF and begins work with UN agencies
Extending the scope and coverage of the social protection system (particularly to informal sector workers) is a key target of Thailand's 11th Five-Year Economic and Social Development Plan (2012-2016). Universal access to free basic health care and nine years of free, compulsory education – key elements of an SPF – are already in place but the government’s new National Economic and Social Development Plan envisages further extending access to services and providing an adequate level of social protection to all members of the population.
The SPF-Initiative has been a means for the government and the UN system in Thailand to work together in a coherent manner toward this unified goal. An effective partnership has been formed between UNICEF, UNFPA and the ILO on the UN side and the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security, and the National Economic and Social Development Board on the government side. In August 2011, a government-led consultative workshop mapped out Thailand's social protection system (identifying and prioritizing gaps) and carried out an initial assessment of the cost of filling gaps in social protection coverage. This has helped identify the main social protection issues and strategies, and the support that the UN can provide to the Government of Thailand as it implements its SPF.
Opening remarks, Consultative Meeting on the SPF in Thailand Pre-assessment Matrix on the SPF in Thailand
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The NGO Committee for Social Development at the United Nations is collecting signatures in support of a universal Social Protection Floor. This petition asks all governments to ensure that all citizens, particularly the most vulnerable, have access to basic social transfers and to essential services, such as food, shelter, education and health care.
Please sign the petition and send this information to all your friend networks, schools, parishes, and ministries.
So far, 4 555 people have signed the petition (in four languages).
New ILO Recommendation Concerning National Floors of Social Protection, adopted June 15, 2012
Social Protection Floor for a Fair and Inclusive Globalization, "Bachelet Report," SPF Advisory Group, 2011
Sharing Innovative Experiences: Successful Social Protection Floor Experiences (vol 18), UNDP, ILO, Special Unit on South-South Cooperation, 2011