Social Protection

A joint commitment to preventing poverty, reducing inequality and combatting social exclusion

Better Work envisions a global garment industry that lifts millions of people out of poverty by providing decent work, empowering women, driving business competitiveness and promoting inclusive economic growth.

National social protection systems that provide comprehensive and adequate social protection to all workers have an essential role to play in making this vision a reality.
Better Work’s experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic emphasized the importance of ensuring that social protection is available throughout peoples’ lives as a tool to prevent poverty, reduce inequality and combat social exclusion. During the pandemic, workers in the garment sector suddenly faced the possibility of mass layoffs, irregular working hours, low pay and generally harsher conditions.

Universal access to comprehensive, adequate and sustainable social protection systems creates an effective crisis response mechanism, enabling access to healthcare, supporting income security, and facilitating job transitions and business stability. The ILO’s Resolution on the Global Call to Action for a human-centred recovery from the COVID-19 as well as the United Nations’ Global Accelerator on Jobs and Social Protection for Just Transitions stress the crucial importance of the establishment of strong social protection systems amid the pandemic and post pandemic context. 

In its current five-year strategy, Better Work is expanding its areas of work and leveraging the ILO’s existing expertise by joining forces with the ILO’s Global Flagship Programme on Building Social Protection Floors for All (SPF-FP) to implement the ILO’s Social Protection Floors Recommendation (2012, No. 202) and the Convention 102 on minimum standards of social security, eventually contributing to the achievement of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.

Social dialogue has a central role to play in this process. As both a key instrument for enabling sound social protection policies and systems and a core Better Work value, effective social dialogue can lead to more efficient, balanced and durable social protection solutions. 

Better Work is currently collaborating with other ILO units as well as global and national partners to elaborate its action plan for this area of work.

Better Work’s current Strategic Phase: Sustaining our impact in 2022-27 and beyond

Strategic Priorities

Better Work five-year strategy (2022-27) embraces innovation around a set of strategic priorities to adapt to the needs of the garment and footwear industry around the world.


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