In Ecuador, 7 out of 10 young people, specially women, are working in informal conditions.
On January 31st, 2020, the Vice Presidency of the Republic, the Ecuadorian Institute of Social Security (IESS), the Ministry of Labor, the Ministry of Economic and Social Inclusion (MIES) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility (MREMH), with the support and participation of the International Labor Organization (ILO), the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and UN Women, announced the launch of the SDG Project: Expanding the social protection system for young men and women in the informal economy.
With a duration of 20 months and a budget of $2.7 million dollars, this initiative aims at improving the access to decent work and living conditions of young people between 18 and 29 years of age—who are part of the informal sector—through their inclusion in the Ecuadorian social protection system. Likewise, the initiative has a special focus on gender equality.
“The social protection system is a fundamental component of the Welfare States and is directly related to the economic and social development model of a country. In the face of different social risks, systems with ample and sufficient coverage are essential to promote cohesive societies and move towards achieving social justice” – Matilde Mordt, UN Resident Coordinator a.i. in Ecuador.
For his part, Philippe Vanhuynegem, Director of the International Labor Organization´s Office for the Andean Countries, stressed the importance of focusing on young people and their access to social protection and decent work as a pathway to meeting the objectives set in the 2030 Agenda. In this regard, he introduced the scope and main objectives of the project, which will have four main components:
- An innovative scheme to incorporate the target group into the contribution- based social security system.
- Strategies to guarantee the financial sustainability of the Ecuadorian social security system.
- Strategies to accelerate the target group’s transition to decent working conditions, including vocational and technical training.
- Development of a locally based care service model for young mothers and fathers in the informal sector and employment.
From a transformative vision, the achievement of these ambitious goals requires strong alliances with the private sector and business associations, trade unions and civil society organizations, academia and financial institutions, which play a key role in the project’s success. Furthermore, this initiative will be worked up closely and implemented together with the Ecuadorian Social Security Institute, who is the main partner from the Government’s side.
The proposal was selected from among 114 projects presented globally on the first call for proposals of the Sustainable Development Goals Fund (Joint SDG Fund). This financing mechanism was implemented by the United Nations to support the attainment of sustainable development goals through multidimensional and comprehensive joint programs.
The 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), place social protection as a key element in alleviating poverty and reducing inequality, as well as in achieving the goal of leaving no one behind.