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Social protection floors for a just transition to the green and digital economy - CSocD59 Side Event
10 Feb 2021 -  The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the rise of the digital economy. It has also opened new opportunities to accelerate the transition to a green economy. These trends will cause disruptions in labour markets and affect millions of people. There will be job losses in some sectors, and gains in others. Many workers will have to acquire new skills. In these times of rapid change, social protection floors will be essential to ensure a human-centered recovery from COVID-19 and a future of work that leaves no one behind. The ILO Centenary Declaration (2019) calls for enhanced social protection systems that are adapted to these new developments in the world of work. 

Globally, however, social protection systems remain seriously inadequate and underfunded. Today, 55 per cent of the world population – as many as 4 billion people – are unprotected. This coverage gap exists because of significant financing gaps. In order to fulfil the global community’s commitments to extend coverage, developing countries would need to invest an additional US$1.2 trillion to close the annual financing gap of social protection.  To achieve universal social protection (USP2030), a new level of investment is needed, leveraging the power of partnerships, capacities, and technologies, and based on the principles of social dialogue, accountability, and solidarity. 

The side event will explore how social protection floors can both protect people and the planet in a changing world: 

1. Adaptive or shock-responsive SPFs reduce vulnerability, increase resilience, build social cohesion and stability in times of rapid change;
2. SPFs protect those affected by digital transformation and the transition towards the green economy while facilitating these transitions;
3. Filling the financing gaps for achieving SPFs for all should be a priority of the global and national responses for a human-centered recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

This side event will bring together governments, social partners, development partners, civil society, and academics. The focus will be on setting the scene, identifying challenges and opportunities based on sharing concrete country experience, and coming up with concrete actions, with a view to ensuring that the human right to social protection becomes a reality for all and to achieving the goals set by the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.