Social Protection

We believe one of the most effective tools for children and families facing poverty, discrimination or social exclusion is a well-functioning social protection system

A small child standing barefoot on a concrete floor

The challenge

When families – especially poor families, face social risks or loss of income, they often resort to costly coping strategies that perpetuate poverty, like selling a productive asset, allowing children to drop out of school, missing out on seeing a doctor. Poverty can sometimes even jeopardize children’s chances to live in a healthy and loving environment.  

With 1 in 3 of children living at-risk-of poverty in the country, the reality is that the well-being of many children is being undermined, because not all children are getting the support or the social services they need.

Social protection plays a vital role in strengthening the resilience of children, families and communities, and supporting national human and economic development

Whether a child allowance to help a single parent, a one-off cash benefit for a new baby or the professional support from a social worker – social protection can be a strong ally in the fight against poverty. However, often the quality of those services is inadequate, basically leaving many children at risk of inter-generational poverty or social exclusion.

Children with disabilities are among those most excluded

Upholding the rights of children with disabilities to ensure they stay with their families, get a good education and participate in community life, requires tackling the barriers that keep them isolated. One of the barriers is a tendency to want to ‘fix’ children with disabilities – rather than identifying and removing the physical, attitudinal and social barriers that prevent them from being included.

The solution

UNICEF is committed to support the creation of more efficient social protection programs and system in the country that alleviate poverty and promote inclusion for all children.

We work towards strengthening the country’s social protection system and making sure that it is well connected with child protection, early learning and education, and health services. We support efforts to improve the social transfers system for children and their families; to improve the assessment model used to identify the support that children with disabilities need to overcome barriers; to ensure social workers have the capacity to provide quality services for all children and their families; and efforts to alleviating child poverty.

This is just some of the work we support for a better and integrated social protection, a foundation for every child to survive, thrive and reach their full potential!