According to the World Social Protection Report 2020-22 of the International Labor Organization (ILO), only 44.1 percent of the region’s population has access to at least one social protection service.
The document also reported that the budget for these services in the region has averaged 7.5 percent of the Gross Domestic Product in the last two years, while half of the countries spend 2.6 percent or less, a figure significantly lower than the world average of 12.9 percent.
The ILO exemplified that in some specific benefits, 45.9 percent of new mothers receive paid maternity leave and 14 percent of unemployed workers receive unemployment assistance.
The text detailed that contributory social protection schemes are usually limited to those working in the formal sector, while non-contributory schemes go to a small group of the poorest in a society.
This means that a large and significant number of employees are left unprotected, including many women, migrants, the self-employed, micro and small business workers, domestic workers, home-based workers and others who help families.
Asia and the Pacific are at a crossroads, as they face challenges in benefit adequacy and system sustainability, along with low public spending and the persistence of atypical forms of work, said ILO regional office deputy director Panudda Boonpala.