The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has said that more than half of the world’s population lacks access to essential health care and just 29 per cent have comprehensive social security cover.
This is according to a new ILO report on the implementation of social protection in more than 100 countries.
Globally, the report said only 68 per cent of persons of retirement age receive some form of pension, and in many low-income countries this drops to just 20 per cent. While fewer than 60 per cent of countries reported that they had schemes or benefits to ensure income security for children.
The findings come in the General Survey 2019, compiled by the ILO Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations (CEACR). The survey (published under the title Universal Social Protection for Human Dignity, Social Justice and Sustainable Development) focuses on the ILO’s Social Protection Floors Recommendation, 2012 (No. 202), which calls for basic income security and essential health care guarantees from childhood to old age. It also aims to encourage greater levels of protection for as many people as possible, as soon as possible.
“Social protection is proven to be good for societies and economies. This human right clearly has strong buy-in from countries, employers and workers across the world,” said Emmanuelle St-Pierre Guilbault, legal specialist at the ILO’s International Labour Standards Department.
She added, “This is a ‘must’ to tackle the broad and rising inequality we see today and foster stability.
“Social protection is proven to be good for societies and economies. The ILO stands ready to help countries address any remaining obstacles on the road to achieving sufficient social protection for all.”
“The ILO stands ready to help countries address any remaining obstacles, including the major issue of financing, on the road to achieving sufficient social protection for all.”
The found that while universal health coverage has been achieved in many high- and middle-income countries, in many countries the population only has access to certain components of health care.