Towards Universal Social Protection

Latin American Pathways and Policy Tools

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This book reflects on the public policies, programmes and regulatory frameworks that are taking a rights-based approach to expanding social protection coverage and benefits in Latin America, with a view to achieving universal coverage. Its discussion of the policy tools and programmes pursued in the region aims to provide the reader with technical and programmatic insights for assembling and coordinating public policies within consistent and sustainable social protection systems. The combination of normative orientations and stock of technical knowledge, together with advances regarding the rights-based approach to social protection within a life cycle framework, afford the reader not only a tool box of specific social protection instruments, but also an in-depth examination of related political economy aspects.



Adolescence and youth

Adolescence and youth are increasingly recognized as key stages in life. The accumulation of tools and assets needed for welfare during adulthood starts as early as early childhood and childhood but comes to a crossroads when choosing among paths for the transition to adulthood (ECLAC, 2011b). The physical, social and psychological changes concentrated in a few years during this stage set paths that subsequently condition behaviour in adulthood as well as the individual’s position in the social structure. In other words, how adult roles are taken on —and sequenced— in the lives of teenagers and young people largely determines access to opportunities and well-being in later years (Coleman, 1974).


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