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The rights-based approach to social protection in Latin America: From rhetoric to practice


  • Sepúlveda, Magdalena


This paper aims to contribute to developing the normative framework for rights-based social protection systems and discusses lessons learned in some emblematic programmes implemented in Latin America which have sought to advance a rights approach. The paper emphasizes the added value of the rights-based approach and describes the normative content of the right to social security. It then describes the basic elements of a rights-based approach and examines how it is operationalized in the design, implementation and evaluation of landmark social protection programmes in the region. The paper seeks to demonstrate that, despite the large gap that still exists between the rhetoric of a human rights approach and its implementation in specific policies, there have been significant achievements in some countries in Latin America. It argues that some of the good practices in the region can serve as policy examples to follow elsewhere. The paper concludes with a number of public policy recommendations with a view to consolidating the rights perspective in social protection programmes.

Suggested Citation

  • Sepúlveda, Magdalena, 2014. "The rights-based approach to social protection in Latin America: From rhetoric to practice," Políticas Sociales 189, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL).
  • Handle: RePEc:ecr:col041:37517

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Simone Cecchini, 2009. "Do CCT Programmes Work in Low-Income Countries?," One Pager 90, International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth.
    2. Emanuela Galasso & Martin Ravallion, 2004. "Social Protection in a Crisis: Argentina's Plan Jefes y Jefas," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 18(3), pages 367-399.
    3. Cecchini, Simone & Madariaga, Aldo, 2011. "Conditional cash transfer programmes: the recent experience in Latin America and the Caribbean," Cuadernos de la CEPAL, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL), number 95 edited by Eclac, September.
    4. Cecchini, Simone & Martínez, Rodrigo, 2012. "Inclusive Social Protection in Latin America: a comprehensive, rights-based approach," Libros de la CEPAL, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL), number 111 edited by Eclac.
    5. Armando Barrientos & David Hulme, 2008. "Social Protection for the Poor and Poorest in Developing Countries: Reflections on a Quiet Revolution," Global Development Institute Working Paper Series 3008, GDI, The University of Manchester.
    6. Leonardo Gasparini & Guillermo Cruces, 2010. "Las asignaciones universales por hijo en Argentina: Impacto, discusión y alternativas," Económica, Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas, Universidad Nacional de La Plata, vol. 0, pages 145-186, January-D.
    7. Leonardo Gasparini & Guillermo Cruces, 2010. "Las Asignaciones Universales Por Hijo. Impacto, Discusión y Alternativas," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0102, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
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