100 years of social protection: The road to universal social protection systems and floors - Volume 2: 52 country cases

100 years of social protection: The road to universal social protection systems and floors is a compendium of country studies on the development of national social protection systems mand floors. It includes studies about the historical development of social protection in countries, and how international social security standards and the development of comprehensive national legal frameworks contribute to creating coherent and inclusive social security systems. It shows how national ownership is key to developing sustainable social protection systems, and how social dialogue is crucial in this process. It also covers how countries have developed their social protection system to take on the big challenges of our time – growing informality, crisis response and recovery, and fiscal pressures. The country studies are not intended to provide a “gold standard” nor seek to give comprehensive descriptions of a countryʼs national social protection system. Instead, they focus on specific policy and implementation challenges which policymakers around the world may face. By learning from efforts undertaken elsewhere, we hope to inspire good practices in shaping national policies in support of the realization of universal social protection.

This publication constitutes the second volume of the compendium. The first volume, containing 50 country studies, was published as part of the ILOʼs 100th anniversary in 2019. At that time, we already foresaw the publication of a second volume that would bring us to a total of 100 country studies. What we did not foresee, however, was the vastly different context in which discussions around social protection would take place. In 2020, as governments worldwide scrambled to respond to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, we witnessed the largest mobilization of social protection measures ever seen. These measures not only helped to protect peopleʼs health, but also protected the jobs and incomes on which well-being equally depends. Without them, the impact of the crisis on national economies would undoubtedly have been much worse. This experience has also shown that with strong political will, many of the bottlenecks that countries face in achieving universal social protection systems can indeed be overcome. Some of the country studies included in this publication provide concrete examples of national social protection measures enacted during the COVID-19 crisis. Others provide interesting examples of how countries have linked social protection to other policy measures to support just energy transition or to initiate a smooth transition to formal employment while increasing the fiscal space for social protection. These experiences are particularly relevant for the design and implementation of United Nations Secretary Generalʼs Global Accelerator on Jobs and Social Protection for Just Transitions launched in the aftermath of the crisis.