Inclusive Social Protection in Latin America: A Comprehensive, Rights-based Approach

This report is part of a series of national case studies aimed at disseminating knowledge on the current status of social protection systems in Latin American and Caribbean countries, and at discussing their main challenges in terms of realizing of the economic and social rights of the population and achieving key development goals, such as combating poverty and hunger. The report highlights the need for innovation in designing policies and instruments, as well as in management, in order to build comprehensive systems that provide inclusive social protection. Social protection has become one of the pillars of social development strategies. But, lacking a consistent standard for social protection in the region, the issue has been approached in different ways and from different analytical and policy dimensions. This report examines the principal ongoing discussions regarding social protection and co-responsibility transfer programmes, looks at the role assigned to them and weighs the conceptual elements, the needs and the challenges to be addressed in order to consolidate comprehensive social protection systems. These systems should provide universal coverage. Their funding should be grounded in solidarity. And, above all, the citizens’ rights that they establish should be egalitarian. The entire citizenry becomes the subject of protection policies, and social policies come to be viewed as a whole that encompasses the complementary —not contradictory—principles of targeting as an instrument and universality as a goal.