Social security in Pakistan

Brick kiln workers get citizenship documents © ILO

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The Pakistani Constitution guarantees ‘social justice’ for all without discrimination. In line with these constitutional provisions, the new political Government of Pakistan after setting-in in 2018, with a strong emphasis on Social Protection, came up with a national Social Protection Programme titled ‘EHSAAS’ – with a much broader scope. ILO actively supported developing EHSAAS Programme in 2019 and more particularly, in establishing a ‘Labour Welfare and Social Protection Expert Group (LWSPEG)’ which developed a comprehensive programme of ‘Mazdoor Ka Ehsaas (MKE)’ – with particular focus on informal and excluded segments of workers in Social Protection.

The DWCP (2016-22) seeks to address the challenge of expanding the social protection systems that are in place and making those systems more sustainable. The existing social protection systems exclude the workers in the informal economy while catering only for the needs of the formal economy workers. Consequently they remain exposed to the multiple risks affecting their daily lives and inhibiting their development initiatives. The most disadvantaged groups such as the poor women, the elderly, disabled people and migrant workers often remain caught in a continuing cycle of poverty and vulnerability.

The DWCP (2016-22) has devised the following key strategies to achieve its goals:
  • Set up an inter-ministerial task teams at the national and provincial levels to support the development of a national social protection framework and provincial social protection policies,
  • Develop a functional coordination mechanism so that social protection programmes and schemes are well coordinated and harmonized,
  • Enhance capacity of social protection institutions for effective and efficient implementation of programmes and schemes,
  • Support social protection mechanisms that are accessible to workers in the informal economy, and
  • Support capacity development of social partners to effectively implement social protection initiatives at the provincial level.

Key resources

  1. World Social Protection Report 2014-15

    Building economic recovery, inclusive development and social justice