Social Protection Department

The Social Protection Department provides ILO member States with tools and assistance to achieve and maintain the human right to social protection. Since its creation in 1919, the ILO has actively promoted policies and provided assistance to countries to supply adequate levels of social protection to all members of society guided by international social security standards adopted by its tripartite constituents, in particular its flagship Convention concerning Minimum standards of social security, 1952 (No. 102) and the Social Protection Floors Recommendation, 2012 (No. 202)


  1. Video message | 15 July 2020

    Social protection a vital part of the pandemic response

    ILO Director-General Guy Ryder delivers a message to the UNDP High Level Political Forum event on COVID-19 and social protection. Social protection is a vital part of the pandemic response. Yet the majority of people around the world don't have access. Building back better means achieving social protection for all.

  2. Comment | 16 July 2020

    Building back better: Equality at the centre

    Putting equality and environmental sustainability at the centre of the recovery phase of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  3. Press release  | 14 May 2020

    Plug social protection gaps in developing countries to prevent future crises, ILO says

    Strengthened and comprehensive social protection systems will lessen the impact of crises such as COVID-19.

  4. Press release | 24 April 2020

    The COVID-19 crisis: A wake-up call to strengthen social protection systems

    Countries with effective health and social protection systems are better prepared to respond to the pandemic.

  5. © © Chassenet / BSIP via AFP/OIT

    News | 26 March 2020

    COVID-19: Social protection systems failing vulnerable groups

    Governments must use the momentum created by the COVID-19 pandemic to make rapid progress toward collectively financed, comprehensive, and permanent social-protection systems.

  6. News | 04 December 2019

    Making social protection fit for the future

    At an Infopoint organized by the European Commission, Valérie Schmitt, Deputy Director of ILO’s Social Protection Department, welcomed the new EU-funded flagship programme which aims to increase social protection coverage in eight priority countries. Read more >

  7. News | 25 November 2019

    More than 500 billion dollars a year needed to ensure basic levels of social protection worldwide

    A new ILO report highlights critical financing gaps in social protection and provides policy recommendations on how these gaps could be closed. Read more >

  8. ILO Centenary Event | 25-28 November 2019

    Global Social Protection Week: Achieving SDG 1.3 and Universal Social Protection in the context of the Future of Work

    This event will chart the way towards achieving universal social protection for all. It will provide a roadmap for the future of social protection within the framework of the recently adopted ILO Centenary Declaration for the Future of Work .

  9. News | 04 November 2019

    Belgian stakeholders reflect on Universal Social Protection by 2030

    Veronika Wodsak from the ILO’s Social Protection Department adressed a conference on Universal Social Protection by 2030 (USP 2030), organized by the Belgian Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation, the Belgian Ministry of Social Affairs, Belgian social partners and World Solidarity. Read more >

  10. Conference paper. Report III (Part B) - General Survey concerning the Social Protection Floors
    Recommendation, 2012 (No. 202)

    Universal social protection for human dignity, social justice and sustainable development

    04 March 2019

  11. Social Protection for Children

    International Conference on Universal Child Grants

    06 - 08 February 2019

    This conference, convened by UNICEF, the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), brings together national governments and policy practitioners, researchers and the international community to explore the arguments and the evidence emerging from the implementation of alternative cash transfer schemes and their implications for Universal Child Grants.

  12. Global Partnership for Universal Social Protection (USP2030)

    Countries urged to act on universal social protection

    06 February 2019

    To end poverty, ensure social protection for all and make good on international commitments made in 2015, countries around the world have been urged at a ministerial-level conference at the International Labour Organization to take five actions towards universal social protection.

  13. Flagship Programme on Social Protection

    Expand social protection to the 4 billion excluded

    25 October 2018

    Two UN agency heads have signed a call for action for countries to expand social security and assistance to more than four billion people currently without protection.

  • Universal social protection is a human right and a State responsibility. As countries begin this pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals, there is increased recognition that social protection is fundamental in reducing poverty and inequality, in improving human capital and productivity and in supporting growth and jobs. Social protection responds to many of the challenges that we face today.

    Guy Ryder,
    Director General of the
    International Labour Organization