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The 2012 Recommendation concerning national floors of social protection (No. 202): The human rights approach to social security in ILO wrapping paper

Vonk, G., 2013, In : International Journal of Social Security and Workers Compensation. 4, 1, p. 49-59 11 p.

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The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has a long tradition of developing minimum social security standards. However, the value of these instruments is increasingly criticised. A central point in this criticism is that the standards are not based upon the notion of a right to social security for all and therefore fail to address the problem of lack of coverage that exists in large parts of the world. Here the standards are often contrasted with the human right to social security which is based on a right to social security for all. It is hoped that the 2012 Recommendation (No 202) concerning national floors of social protection will help to bridge the gap between ILO standards and the human rights approach to social security. Has this gap truly been bridged, or is the human rights approach fundamentally different from the standard-setting approach of the ILO? This is the central question posed in this paper. After a short introduction to the social protection debate in the ILO, we reflect on the differences in nature between the ILO standards and the human rights approach, in particular by comparing the modern interpretation of the right to social security, as adopted in the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) General Comment No 19, with the classic ILO standards approach. In the next section we will investigate to what extent the differences in approach are mitigated by the Social Protection Floors Recommendation. In the penultimate section we will discuss the complementary role of ILO standards to the human rights approach and raise the question of whether the older ILO social security standards, in particular Convention No 102, are still suitable to play such role. The paper concludes with a résumé.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-59
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Social Security and Workers Compensation
Volume4
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013

    Keywords

  • ILO recommendation national floors social protection

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