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Time for equality : the role of social protection in reducing inequality in Asia and the Pacific

Publication Date
Asia and the Pacific
Social Outlook
Social protection is central to ESCAP’s vision of a resilient Asia and the Pacific founded on the principles of shared prosperity, social equity and sustainability. Since its establishment in 1947, ESCAP has promoted social protection as part of an overall strategy of reducing inequality, particularly addressing the exclusion of the most vulnerable groups, and offering a path out of poverty and dependence. This report explores the linkages between inequality and social protection. Overall, it argues that inequality, in its multiple forms, is on the rise in Asia and the Pacific, and that this is having an adverse impact on sustainable development. The report provides evidence that social protection is an effective instrument to reduce inequalities, and, by so doing, contributes to the integration of the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development. While countries in the region are increasingly. Recognizing the importance of social protection, important coverage gaps still remain. It is encouraging, nevertheless, that substantial steps are being taken to ensure that all individuals have access to income security and health care along the life-course.