Social protection has emerged as a crucial policy and programme measure to reduce poverty and help those impacted by crises to prepare for, cope with and recover from shocks. Despite the recognition of the value of social protection, only 26.4 per cent of children globally receive social protection benefits. Global data on access to social protection for displaced children is not available, but gaps are likely even higher as displaced children and their families are often excluded in policies and programmes or face administrative barriers to accessing national systems.
Authored by the ODI in partnership with UNICEF, this paper assesses the benefits of inclusive social protection from a displacement and child-centred perspective and sheds light on the following questions: how do inclusive social protection systems support displaced children and their families? What are the benefits of inclusive social protection – for displaced populations, host communities, local economies and state institutions? What are some of the common barriers but also opportunities for realising better child outcomes through social protection that includes displaced children?
Looking forward, the paper considers what kind of policy response is needed to sustain promising gains and accelerate momentum, and to transition from short-term, humanitarian funding to predictable long-term approaches in order to develop robust social protection systems that work for all children and their families – no matter who they are and where they come from.