The system of socio-economic security was introduced in Europe in the late 19th century. Such socio-economic security systems were gradually implemented in most countries during the early 20th century as a means of improving the well-being of the poor to reduce inequality within the capitalist society. Social security has been defined by the International Labour Organization (ILO) as “the protection which society provides for its members through a series of public measures against the economic and social distress that otherwise would be caused by the stoppage or substantial reduction of earnings resulting from sickness, maternity, employment injury, invalidity and death; the provision of medical care; and the provision of subsidies for families with children”.
Every welfare State must guarantee to its people – minimum standard of living, social protection in the event of insecurity and provision of best possible services. Social security caters to the basic human need for support in times of unemployment, disability, illness, old age and death. The State has the primary responsibility to develop appropriate systems for providing protection and assistance to its workforce and their dependents. The provision of social security services differs from one country to another. They are in the form of government legislations. Social Security Laws of a country includes several social welfare or social insurance programs. The International Social Security Association (ISSA) is a global association of institutions involved in the field of social security with more than 300 members in more than 129 countries all over the world.
ISSA analyses the developments and trends in social security and deals with current questions in this field and such activities serve the particular needs of the member organization in the different parts of the world. The ISSA expert committee on the assurance against occupational accidents and diseases and the expert committee for the prevention of occupational accidents and diseases with its eleven international sections play a major role world-wide concerning the safety and health at the workplace.
The International Labour Organization is responsible for preparing and adopting treaties and recommendations as well as supervising the observance of existing international labour and social security standards.