The Report on the World Social Situation 2018

Promoting Inclusion Through Social Protection

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This report discusses the contribution of social protection to social inclusion focusing, in particular, on the extent to which such groups are effectively covered by existing social protection measures. An overall assessment of the impact of social protection on the reduction of poverty and inequality frames the report’s analysis. The report focuses on six social groups: children, youth, older persons, persons with disabilities, ethnic minorities and indigenous peoples, and international migrants. It considers how gender and socioeconomic status intersect with other group attributes and affect the barriers some groups face. The 2030 Agenda draws attention to these bases of disadvantage when it emphasizes that all should be included “irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion or economic or other status”. The Addis Ababa Action Agenda also commits to providing appropriate social protection to all, including the vulnerable, persons with disabilities, indigenous persons, children, youth and older persons. Each of these groups is at high risk of poverty and exclusion and barriers to their rights. The report assesses the contribution of social protection measures to enhancing opportunities and promoting respect for the rights of the five groups selected.




Against a backdrop of sharp inequalities and persisting exclusion, inclusiveness has emerged as a major aspiration of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This is reflected in its central pledges: that no one will be left behind, that all goals and targets will be met for all nations, peoples and segments of society, and that every endeavour will be made to reach those left the furthest behind first. There is a growing recognition that, virtually everywhere, some individuals and groups confront barriers that prevent them from participating in the social, economic and political life of their communities on equal terms with others. Because of their age, gender, race, ethnicity, disability or migrant status, some people lack opportunities, resources and a voice, and are routinely denied respect for their rights. To varying degrees, development is leaving them behind.


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