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Achieving Decent Work for all ages The role of social protection United Nations 9 February 2007 Sylvia Beales

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Presentation on theme: "Achieving Decent Work for all ages The role of social protection United Nations 9 February 2007 Sylvia Beales"— Presentation transcript:

1 Achieving Decent Work for all ages The role of social protection United Nations 9 February 2007 Sylvia Beales

2 HelpAge International… Is a global network working with and for disadvantaged older women and men to make sustainable change …with a focus on supporting their rights, empowerment and their contributions in poor and middle income countries to social protection, reduction of poverty, access to health and HIV/AIDS programmes and equality of treatment … supporting older citizens and governments to understand and implement recommendations of 2002 Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing

3 Relevance of Decent work Agenda for the people in, and economies of, developing countries…  Most people work in the informal sector & have “poor quality” jobs  Women workers, young and old workers - the bulk of those in the informal economy - have low incomes, and lack social protection

4 Relevance of Decent Work Agenda for …  child labour  migrant labour  loss of work  informal, poorly protected work  under-employment, reduced employment  post-employment, “retirement”  older carers of HIV/AIDS affected families; 60% SSA

5 Decent Work Agenda and older people in developing countries % of over 60’s in the labour force Source: Population Ageing 2006 Wallchart, UNDESA

6 Revisiting the concept of the Decent Work Agenda… Balancing economic performance with social justice – an enabling environment to tackle poverty The right of all to work in good quality employment across the lifecourse Recognising all workers - in informal sector as well as formal - as valuable contributors Ensuring social protection available to all workers; not just those in formal employment schemes

7 Revisiting the content of the Decent Work Agenda 4 pillars; based on international standards (ILO/UN); national programmes linked to PRSPs  Productive and freely chosen employment  Rights at work, including the core labour standards  Social protection; right to social security (UDHR)  Social dialogue and the inclusion of the gender dimension

8 Social Protection/social transfers: the underutilized pillar of the Decent Work Agenda  Social security is a universal right  Social protection/ social transfers effectively reduces poverty of the poorest (older people, children, disabled)  Implementing transfers is a clear indication of political intent to address vulnerability and support the poorest  Social tranfers deliver rapid impacts – «quick wins» for poverty reduction; ILO estimate for poverty reducing impact of social pension and disability grant in Tanzania is 40%

9 Poverty Reducing impact of social transfers in South Africa; source Statistics South Africa and Economic Policy Research institute (EPRI)

10 Effect of universal pensions on old age poverty (ECLAC)

11 Impact of social protection; social impact indicators/access to essential services  Education  School enrolments  School attendance  School performance  Access to health care; support for HIV/AIDS affected HH  Nutrition; and stunting and wasting  Reported hunger  Expenditure on food  Diversity of food consumption  Rate of return analysis on investment – social returns for poor people, including older people and children, and for the unemployed

12 Impact of South Africa’s Social Pension on adult labour force participation source South Africa Labour Force calculations and EPRI

13 Social transfers are affordable Cost of universal old age pension and disability grant (ILO 2006)

14 Social protection/social transfers are …  an essential development tool and core component of the social protection pillar of the Decent Work Agenda  especially well targeted to older workers and dependents and also mitigate vulnerabilities at other stages in the work/life course;  the main pillar of the DWA to support those workers outside the formal sector  an essential means for all people across the lifecourse to benefit from essential services

15 Social Protection as a core element of DWA needs to be  embedded in nationally owned DWA /PRSP linked development programmes with resources  higher up the political and effective aid agenda …ref follow up to Livingstone Call for Action and G8 aid discussions  Supported more by development partners to enable practical action to deliver Accountable and transparent national and integrated systems – part of good governance agenda Capacity building and investment in social sector Universal coverage – from pilots to the big picture

16 Some conclusions on social protection and Decent Work ‘Without social security neither work nor life in the formal and informal economy can be decent’ (ILO 2006) Achieving progressive social security for all is a clear demonstration of serious investment in people and progressrive eradication of poverty Investing in social security is a political process; it is not an unaffordable dream Action now is needed to ensure social protection/social security is included and resourced via national development programmes with support of development partners and our global community of citizens

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