Copyright (c) 2006 Comparative Labor Law & Policy Journal
Comparative Labor Law & Policy Journal
SOCIAL PROTECTION AND DECENT WORK: NEW PROSPECTS FOR INTERNATIONAL LABOR STANDARDS: ACTORS: THE ROLE OF WORKERS' ORGANIZATIONS IN THE EXTENSION OF SOCIAL SECURITY TO INFORMAL WORKERS
27 Comp. Lab. L. & Pol'y J. 187
Ravi Naidoo+ and Isobel Frye++
Given the global pressure to reduce costs of production in a destructive race to the bottom, what tactics should be used to pursue the aim of universal and adequate social protection? In particular, what forms of social protection will address the needs of informal workers in developing countries? And, crucially, how can workers' organizations effectively promote this call?
Less than 10% of workers in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia have access to social security, while in other developing countries between 10% to 50% of workers are able to access social security. 1 The working conditions of most informal economy workers are particularly hazardous, and yet it is these very vulnerable workers that are least able to access any form of social protection under current social security schemes. There is growing recognition internationally of the beneficial impact of social security both with regard to the strengthening of social cohesion within increasingly polarized societies, but also the economic returns of increased social security investment in workers in terms of productivity and skills development of both current workers and future generations of workers.
Assessed against criteria of effectiveness, efficiency, and sustainable political economy, universal social security coverage should be the ultimate goal - even in the poorest of countries. The specifics of social security provision would differ according to national context. However, a coherent and efficient approach would be to ensure that all public policies (including economic policies) are measured and assessed in terms of their contribution to social ...
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