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:
- The report stated that 31 states in India had implemented the national ‘PM CARES for Children’ scheme. So far, only 4,302 children have received support from the scheme.
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.
Mains Link: UPSC 2016
Examine the main provisions of the National Child Policy and throw light on the status of its implementation.