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Importance of dignity to social protection implementation underlined in Guadalajara

Social protection in Latin America

4th September: Academia and international development experts have met in Mexico to discuss the social transformations required to eradicate poverty and significantly reduce inequality within and among countries.

Participants discussing the 21st Century ‘social question’ seminar at the University of Guadalajara’s Centre for Social Science and Humanities covered the evolution of Latin American welfare systems; limitations of current social protection programs in reducing poverty, child poverty and inequality; and key challenges that social protection faces in the region. Many of the presentations reflected on the role of governments in guaranteeing social rights and the social contract, and how cash transfer programmes (mostly conditional and targeted in the Latin American region) fared in this realm.

Development Pathways participated by stressing that inclusive social protection systems must address vulnerabilities that individuals face across the life-cycle, and not take ‘othering’ and stigmatising approaches towards poverty that have a negative impact on programme delivery.

Senior Social Policy Specialist Alexandra Barrantes underlined how targeted and conditional social protection responds to negative poverty narratives and hinders human dignity & the social contract. As such, dignity and non-discrimination principles must be incorporated into the design and implementation of social protection programmes, she said.

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