Over the last two decades, the Indian economy has reached an average growth rate of 8 per cent. However, translating growth into the creation of more decent jobs, especially for the large youth population and women, has been a challenge. Employment in the informal sector was as high as 92 per cent in 2009-10 reflecting the challenge of decent work in India.
On the positive side, during this period, poverty in India has fallen at a faster rate in coparison with earlier periods. Economic growth along with progressive policies and flagship programmes of the Government of India have brought greater focus on improving access to education, skills development, employment and social protection. During the 11th Five Year Plan, the Unorganised Workers Social Security Act was enacted that called for greater inclusion of unorganized workers to address the needs of marginalized and vulnerable groups.
While India has made great progress in achieving a basic level of social protection for a significant proportion of the population, decision-makers are facing a number of pivotal challenges: closing the coverage gap; improving the governance of social protection schemes; and creating the necessary fiscal space. Based on its experience in implementing several national and state-level initiatives, covering a range of areas for different target groups, India is exploring the establishment of a nationally-determined social protection floor.
Adolescents between 14 and 17 years, who have completed education in the GOI’s National Child Labour Programmes, attend a tailoring class at the Mahila Audyogik Prashikshan Sanstha (Women Vocational Training Center) in Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh, on Modular Employable Skills (MES) of the GOI’s Skills Development Initiative Scheme (SDIS). Vocational training under MES is provided on locally employable skills as part of the Child Labour Convergence Project, a Government of India and ILO technical cooperation project.
In support of the Government of India’s 12th Five Year Plan, the United Nations in India will conduct evidence-based analysis on social protection based on international standards, with the aim to provide options for establishing a national social protection floor. Convened by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the Employment and Social Protection Task Team brings together 11 UN agencies including IFAD, UNDP,UNESCAP,UNESCO, UNFPA, UNICEF, UNIDO, UNWOMEN, WFP and WHO. The UN Solution Exchange Work and Employment Community supports the outreach of the team.
FEBRUARY 2015 – THEME OF THE MONTH
Ahead of World Day of Social Justice in February, the United Nations Country Team aims to draw attention to the complex phenomenon of internal migration and highlight the issues and challenges associated with it. The purpose is to stimulate public awareness and facilitate policy debates on enabling safer and meaningful migration for vulnerable workers. readmore>>
FEBRUARY 2014 – THEME OF THE MONTH
Coinciding with the World Day for Social Justice on 20 February, the Employment and Social Protection Task Team, led by ILO, launched joint advocacy and communications around the theme of Rights for Domestic Workers in February 2014. The theme stimulated public debate on the rights and equality issues of domestic workers including safety, working conditions, wages, social protection, employer’s expectations and employer-employee relationships with a view to collectively promote decent work for domestic workers. The joint advocacy and communications theme featured the second UN public lecture by an eminent expert and a panel discussion. For details of the events and resources, please readmore>>
Social Protection Floor for a Fair and Inclusive Globalization This Report of the Social Protection Floor Advisory Group chaired by the UN Under Secretary-General and former Executive Director of UN Women, Ms. Michelle Bachelet highlights that the social protection floor is based on the idea that everyone should enjoy at least basic income security sufficient to live, guaranteed through transfers in cash or in kind, such as pensions for the elderly and persons with disabilities, child benefits, income support benefits and/or employment guarantees and services for the unemployed and working poor.
A Social Protection Floor for India This study, commissioned by the United Nations in India, considers the feasibility of a Social Protection Floor for India. It outlines the key characteristics of the Indian workforce and shows how this both necessitates and poses a challenge for building a Social Protection Floor. The study further examines the existing social protection programmes in India, with a particular emphasis on the trends in financial expenditure on social protection.
Decent Work Agenda The ILO has developed an agenda for the community of work. It provides support through integrated Decent Work Country Programmes developed in coordination with its constituents. Putting the Decent Work Agenda into practice is achieved through the implementation of the ILO’s four strategic objectives, with gender equality as a crosscutting objective.
Social Protection Access to adequate social protection is recognized by International labour standards and the UN as a basic right. It is also widely considered to be instrumental in promoting human welfare and social consensus on a broad scale, and to be conducive to and indispensable for fair growth, social stability and economic performance, contributing to competitiveness.
The Social Security (Minimum Standards) Convention, 1952 (No. 102), is the flagship of all ILO social security Conventions, as it is the only international instrument, based on basic social security principles, that establishes worldwide-agreed minimum standards for all nine branches of social security: medical care, sickness benefit, unemployment benefit, old-age benefit, employment injury benefit, family benefit, maternity benefit, invalidity benefit, and survivors′ benefit. ILO Recommendation No. 202
The 101st session of the International Labour Conference (ILC) adopted on 14 June 2012 the Recommendation no. 202 concerning national floors for social protection by an impressive tripartite consensus vote: 452 votes in favour, 0 against, 1 abstention. Social protection floors are nationally defined sets of basic social security guarantees which secure protection aimed at preventing or alleviating poverty, vulnerability and social exclusion. This new international labour standard aims at extending essential health care and basic income security to millions of people.