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ILO–UNICEF joint report on social protection for children

GS Paper 2

Syllabus: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population



 Context: Only 26.4 per cent(just 1 in 4 children) of children aged 0-15 years are shielded by social protection, leaving the remaining 73.6 per cent exposed to poverty, exclusion and multidimensional deprivations, noted a new United Nations (UN) report titled – More than a billion reasons: The urgent need to build universal social protection for children.


Need for Social Protection:

  • Social protection policies are powerful tools for alleviating poverty for children and their families at risk of falling into poverty and helping all children deprived of key services.
  • Social protection can also shield children from other major risks, such as child labour and forced labour.


Key findings of the report:

  • 2.4 billion Children in this world need adequate social protection.
  • Nearly 1.77 billion children aged 0-18 years lack access to a child or family cash benefit, a fundamental pillar of a social protection system
  • Regional disparities
  • One billion children live in multidimensional poverty without access to education, health, housing, nutrition, sanitation or water.
  • Gender disparity
  • Children with disabilities or living in a household with a family member with a disability are more vulnerable to poverty


Stats on India in the report:


Recommendations given to achieve universal social protection for children:

  • Provide a comprehensive range of benefits that supports children and families through a life-cycle approach.
  • Authorities are advised to provide child benefits through national social protection systems that also connect families to crucial health and social services, such as free or affordable quality childcare.
  • Increase budget allocation for children: Ensure sustainable and equitable financing of social protection systems
  • Build social protection systems that are rights-based, inclusive, gender-responsive, informed by social dialogue and able to effectively respond to multiple shocks and crises, and that can therefore deliver for children and families.
  • Guarantee access to decent work and adequate employee benefits.
  • Ensure that social protection systems are adapted to developments in the world of work to enhance economic security for parents, caregivers and their families.


Conclusion: Following the above recommendations will help us achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) of achieving substantial social protection coverage by 2030.


Insta Links:

ILO: World Social Protection Report 2020-22


Mains Link: UPSC 2016

Examine the main provisions of the National Child Policy and throw light on the status of its implementation.