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Glossary

social protection

The term “social protection” is used to mean protection provided by social security systems in the case of social risks and needs. Social protection is often interpreted as having a broader character than social security (including, in particular, protection provided between members of the family or members of a local community). It is also used in some contexts with a narrower meaning than social security (understood as comprising only measures addressed to the poorest, most vulnerable or excluded members of society). Thus, unfortunately, in many contexts the terms “social security” and “social protection” are used interchangeably. [ref.23091]

social protection floor

The “Social Protection Floor” (SPF) is a basic set of social rights, services and facilities that every person should enjoy.

The United Nations suggests that a social protection floor could consist of two main elements that help to realize human rights:

  • services: geographical and financial access to essential services such as water and sanitation, health, and education;
  • transfers: a basic set of essential social transfers, in cash or in kind, to provide minimum income security and access to essential services, including health care. [Ref. 21960]

social security

The notion of social security covers all measures providing benefits, whether in cash or in kind, to secure protection, inter alia, from:

  • lack of work-related income (or insufficient income) caused by sickness, disability, maternity, employment injury, unemployment, old age, or death of a family member;
  • lack of access or unaffordable access to health care;
  • insufficient family support, particularly for children and adult dependants;
  • general poverty and social exclusion.

Social security schemes can be of a contributory (social insurance) or non-contributory nature. [ref.23091]