Globalisation has led to important changes in the nature of work, and workers access to social protection. In large parts of the global economy work is becoming increasingly informalised, both in important global export sectors as well as domestic production.
The expansion in flexible, precarious and insecure forms of work is also associated with an increase in female participation in paid work. Social protection systems designed for formal employment are often inaccessible to informal workers and particularly women.
Globalisation has limited the ability of governments to finance social welfare programmes through public expenditure, but at the same time new actors and institutions have emerged as potential avenues for social protection. An important challenge is how to develop social protection in ways that can harness the contribution of all potential stakeholders to increase support for the expanding army of informal workers linked to the global economy.
Taken from F. Lund and J. Nicholson (eds), Chains of Production, Ladders of Protection. Social protection for Workers in the Informal Economy, Durban: International Labour Organisation/Step, WIEGO, and the World Bank