ILO and partners celebrate Iraq’s ratification of flagship ILO Social Security Convention (C102)

An event was organised at the historical site of Beit Alhikmah in Baghdad, bringing together a wide spectrum of partners who are working closely with the Government of Iraq to reform social protection.

Government, employer and worker representatives, Members of Parliament, policymakers, think tanks as well as journalists, artists and scholars, came together to celebrate Iraq’s recent ratification of ILO Social Security (Minimum Standards) Convention, 1952 (No. 102).

The event was organized by the ILO and Beit Alhikmah, “House of Wisdom,” - an Iraqi intellectual and scientific establishment.

Partners discussed the importance of the convention for Iraq and next steps to be taken in light of its ratification. ILO Social Security Convention No. 102 is the foundation of all ILO Social Security Conventions. 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.

Iraq deposited the instrument of ratification to Director-General of the ILO Gilbert F. Houngbo in Geneva on March 22, making it the second country in the region to ratify ILO Social Security Convention No. 102, after Jordan.

Currently, the social security system for private-sector workers in Iraq has very minimal coverage, and lacks two branches of social security - maternity and unemployment benefits – leaving uncovered workers vulnerable to poverty in the event of job loss or pregnancy.

The Government of Iraq is in the process of undertaking significant reforms of its social protection system, and the ILO is providing technical support in these efforts under the EU-funded Social Protection Programme: Leveraging Effective Response and Accelerating Reform project, and in line with the ILO’s 2019-2023 Decent Work Country Programme for Iraq.