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Social Protection

Building social protection floors and comprehensive social security systems

Legal framework

Updated by ursula kulke , Emmanuelle St-Pierre Guilbault on 01.04.2014

This section explains how legislation on social security is a key tool for the extension of social security. It also defines the role of the International Social Security Standards (and in particular the ILO social security Conventions and Recommendations) and how they help in drafting social security legislation.


The importance of legislation in the process of extension of social security

Providing a legal framework for social security has many advantages. A legislation is important:

  • to fix the rights and obligations of all concerned parties
  • to guarantee and improve a proper functioning of the scheme - e.g., in the absence of proper administrative rules you may provide a benefit to a dead person (if you do not check every year if that person is still alive)
  • to guarantee and improve the sustainability of the scheme (e.g. prudential rules, sustainable financing, minimum reserves to safeguard the solvency and use of the funds/reserves/how they may be invested)
  • to guarantee equal treatment (same rules for everybody)
  • to improve transparency and prevent willful and un-willful abuses and corruption
  • to increase confidence in the State
  • to legalize the rights and the possibilities to react against possible non-legal treatment to improve coordination between schemes, e.g., avoid double benefits.


Self-learning kit on The role of International social security standards in the extension of social security

This learning kit tries to explain what the ILO social security standards are, as well as to define their role and impact in the extension of social security worldwide. Click here to use the learning kit.

Main Resources


Recommendation concerning national floors of social protection (Social Protection Floors Recommendation), 2012 (No. 202)