Social protection is the set of public and private initiatives designed to support all people across the life-cycle, providing protection against social and economic risks and ensuring sustainable livelihoods. Well-designed social protection systems ensure a minimum income and equitable access to essential services for the poor and vulnerable, enable people to cope with shocks and ensure dignity. Social protection both prevents people from falling into acute poverty and enables sustainable escape out of poverty.
Social protection can be provided through three main modalities: social assistance (non-contributory transfers and social care services to address special needs), social insurance (contributory schemes to protect against risks) and labour market policies (livelihood promotion and labour standards). Social protection systems ideally comprise the three modalities, which are complementary to cover different needs. Social protection is an essential component of the 2030 Agenda and an effective approach to contribute to SDC's priorities. It contributes to sustainable poverty alleviation, to human development, to inclusive economic growth and to social cohesion. In humanitarian contexts, it offers opportunities to bridge emergency responses to longer-term solutions. Social protection can tackle the root causes of vulnerability, exclusion and inequality, including of gender inequality. It is a central approach to leaving no one behind.
> Information on gender-responsive social protection> The SDC and Social Protection > The Human Rights-Based Approach to Social Protection > Social Exclusion
SDC’s Reflexion Paper: Leveraging Switzerland’s experience to enhance SDC’s engagement in Social Protection