EUROsociAL has supported the design of Paraguay's public social protection policy, presented to the country by its President Mario Abdo Benítez
Despite social progress in terms of reducing poverty and improving access to social benefits, Paraguay is one of the countries with the highest inequality in the region with the highest inequality on the planet, Latin America. The debate on social protection is an unavoidable requirement in a society seeking to advance towards greater degrees of social justice and to avoid conflicts and violence that threaten its institutions and the quality of its democracy. But it is also a condition for the economic progress that the country aspires to and that will only be such if it is understood as human progress, in an inclusive society with greater,more fairly distributed welfare.
Responding to this historic opportunity Paraguay has to make progress in social inclusion as a basis for its development, the Social Cabinet took the initiative to negotiate a participatory social protection proposal which culminated in the design of a public policy that has reached its implementation phase in all regions of the country. The political commitment is absolute, as reaffirmed by the Paraguayan President, Mario Abdo Benítez, and his entire cabinet, including the Ministries involved in this policy: Public Management, Social Development, Health, Employment and Social Security, Finance, Women and Public Works.
Paraguay is not alone in this challenge. Just like the experiences of other Latin American nations it is a source of learning and transfer of good practices in various areas of social protection, including international cooperation, especially those coming from the European Union through the EUROsociAL+ programme. It is an opportunity to enhance the proposals, perspectives and technical capabilities that are made available to a task that is so transendental for the fate of our nation.
The Social Protection System seeks to articulate the strategies for intervention by the entire public sector from the viewpoint of citizens´ rights and life-cycle. It is about organizing, for children, for young people of both sexes, for workers, ffor older adults, women and men, the task of adding together all the relevant public policies and services.
Progress has been made in the conception of a universal social protection that integrates the two dimensions or pillars of social protection, contributory (social security) and non-contributory (policies and targeted programmes, but also, as a fundamental aspect, care services for dependent persons – older adults, disability, childhood), in order to make progress in social inclusion. In addition, this perspective is related to the regulation of the labour market. That is, with the purpose of:
- Improving the basic quality of life conditions.
- Mitigating the damage deriving from social risks.
- Facilitating access to opportunities throughout the life cycle.
That is also what the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that Paraguay has ratified refer to, five of which make explicit reference to the implementation of social protection policies, with demanding goals for 2030.
Programa EUROsociAL+ / Delegación de la Unión Europea en el Paraguay