Social Protection Floor in Brazil (country brief)

Until the end of the 19th century, Brazilian social protection focused on charitable action, such as the religious hospitals (“Santas Casas”) attending to the needs of the sick poor, and treasuryfinanced benefits for key groups at the service of the State, such as civil servants and the military. When the agriculture export-oriented economy triggered a growth of the urban economy based on wage work in the early 20th century, as in several other pioneer countries in Latin America, Brazil introduced contributory social security schemes for urban workers. Its set-up started with labour accident protection laws in the first two decades, and was followed by old-age and widow pension insurance starting in 1923 under the Eloy Chaves law, which is officially recognized as the foundation milestone of contributory social insurance.