National Commission on Labour (1967)||
The quest for social security and freedom from want and distress has been the consistent urge of man through the ages. This urge has assumed several forms. according to the needs of the people and their level of social consciousness, the advancement of technology and the pace of economic development From its modest beginnings in a few countries in the early decades of the present century, social security has now become a fact of life for millions of people throughout the world. Social security measures have introduced an element of stability and protection in the midst of the stresses and strains of modern life. It is a major aspect of public policy today and the extent of its prevalence is a measure of the progress made by a country towards the ideal of a Welfare State.
Concept and Scope
13.1 Social security envisages that the members of a
community shall be protected by collective action against social risks causing undue
hardship and privation to individuals whose private resources can seldom be adequate to
meet them. It covers, through an appropriate organisation, certain risks to which a person
is exposed. These risks are such that an individual of small means cannot effectively
provide for them by his own ability or foresight alone or even in private combination with
his colleagues1. The concept of social security is based on ideals of human dignity and
social justice. The underlying idea behind social security measures is that a citizen who
has contributed or is likely to contribute to
his country's welfare should be given protection against certain hazards.
13.2 Although social security systems are related to
policies of development and the main constraint on their evolution is limited financial
resources, the economic content of social security measures is being increasingly
recognised. Some elements of it contribute to the raising of the standard of living of
large masses of the population. It is an incentive for development, substituting as it
docs, hope for fear, and in the process improving the efficiency of the working force. Its
cost is offset by gains in productive efficiency on the one hand and increased savings
(through the contributions it makes to , a country's development) on the other.
13.3 The role of the
ILO, since its inception in 1919, in creating international standards of social insurance
and in promotion of social security, has been significant. Through its Conventions and
Recommendations, the ILO has exerted its influence to extend the range and the classes of
persons protected and the contingencies covered and to improve the efficacy of the
benefits assured The latest trends regarding the provision of comprehensive social
security were brought out by its Recommendation on income security and medical care
adopted in 1944 This was followed by adoption of the Social Security (Minimum Standards)
Convention, 1952, which embodies the universally accepted basic principles and common
standards of social security. The application of these principles has guided developments
in this field throughout the world.