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Inclusive Social Protection in Latin America

A Comprehensive, Rights-based Approach

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This publication examines the main debates under way on social protection and co-responsibility transfer programmes. It identifies the role played by these programmes and considers the conceptual elements, needs and the challenges that will have to be overcome to consolidate comprehensive social protection systems in Latin America. The authors argue that these should be solidarity-based systems that provide universal coverage and are essentially egalitarian in the guarantees established as citizens' rights. Citizenship as a whole is thus becoming part of protection policies as the region moves towards all-encompassing social policies that combine the complementary principles of targeting as the instrument and universality as the end.

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Co-responsibility transfer programmes and social protection

Co-responsibility transfer programmes (CTPs) seek to reduce poverty by combining a short-term objective (to increase the resources available for consumption to meet the basic needs of beneficiary families) with a long-term objective (to build human capital to prevent the intergenerational transmission of poverty) (Britto, 2006; Cecchini and Madariaga, 2010; Cohen and Franco, 2006a; León, 2008). Typically, CTPs achieve these objectives by three means: (i) cash transfers, to increase incomes; (ii) making transfers conditional upon the use of certain social services, to promote human capital accumulation; and (iii) focusing on poor and extremely poor households. They are intended to address the material and cognitive aspects associated with situations of poverty in holistic manner, recognizing the importance of combining non-contributory social protection with social promotion efforts (Levy and Rodríguez, 2005), in addition to implementing cross-sector interventions (Cohen, Franco and Villatoro, 2006).

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