Right to social security is a kind of natural right and it isrecognized as a
basic human right by most of the international personality. The concept of
social security was first introduced in Germany in 1883.According to this scheme
each member of a particular trade (blacksmiths, painters, weavers etc.) was
required to contribute at regular intervals;
Money from this fund was used for food, lodging, hospital and funeral expenses
of aged and disabled members.
Generally accepted definition of social security is “right to social security
assistance for those unable to work due to sickness, disability, maternity,
employment injury, unemployment or old age”.
Internationally the concept of social security as a basic human right came to
play by ILO’s declaration of Philadelphia (1944) and its income security
recommendation 1944( no.67).Then this right is uphelded in various
international instruments like international bill of rights (UDHR,ICESCR) and
is reflected in various international conventions.
Most of the states in the world accepted and recognized this right as human
right and enforce it through their legal instruments.
This paper will briefly point out the various international conventions and
declarations, Indian municipal laws and schemes which directly or indirectly
recognize the social security as a human right.
International Human Rights Law:
Social security was established as a basic human right in the ILO’s Declaration
of Philadelphia(1944) and its Income Security Recommendation,1944 (No. 67). This
right is upheld in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948, and the
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, 1966.
Following are international instruments which made clear that social security is
a human right through their articles.
International Bill of Rights:
Universal Declaration of Human Right:
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights recognizes the right to social
security in article 22,
Which states that:
"Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is
entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation
and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the
economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free
development of his personality.”
And article 25, which enshrines the right to an adequate standard of living,
"(1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and
well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and
medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the
event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of
livelihood in circumstances beyond his control. (2) Motherhood and childhood are
entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of
wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection."
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Right
Article 9 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
(ICESCR) recognizes "the right of everyone to social security, including social
The right to social security is furthermore recognized in Article 10, which
states that "special protection should be accorded to mothers during a
reasonable period before and after childbirth. During such period working
mothers should be accorded paid leave or leave with adequate social security
State parties obligation:
State parties to the ICESCR have the obligation to respect, protect and fulfil
the right to social security. In the General Comment no 19 (2007) On the Right
to Social Security the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
clarified that the right to social security as enshrined in the ICESCR
"the right to access and maintain benefits, whether in cash or in kind, from (a)
lack of work-related income caused by sickness, disability, maternity,
employment injury, unemployment, old age, or death of a family member; (b)
unaffordable access to health care; (c) insufficient family support,
particularly children and adult dependents"
State parties must ensure that "the social security system will be adequate,
accessible for everyone and will cover social risks and contingencies". State
parties also have an obligation to facilitate the right to social security by
sufficiently "recognizing this right within the national political and legal
systems, preferably by way of legislative implementation" and "adopting a
national social security strategy".
International covenant on civil and political rights:
According to the UN Human Rights Committee article 26 of the International
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights on discrimination applies to the right to
social security. In a General Comment from 2000 the Committee highlighted the
right to social security as an area where women are frequently subject of
UN Conventions And Specific Instruments:
Convention on elimination of all forms of racial discrimination:
The right to social security is recognized in article 5 which requires that
State parties must prohibit and eliminate racial discrimination in all of its
forms, and to guarantee the right of everyone "without distinction as to race,
colour, or national or ethnic origin, to equality before the law, notably in the
enjoyment of... the right to public health, medical care, social security and
Convention on elimination of all forms of discriminations against women:
It enshrines the right to social security for women in article 11, stating that
women have "the right to social security, particularly in cases of retirement,
unemployment, sickness, invalidity and old age and other incapacity to work, as
well as the right to paid leave”.
Convention on the rights of the children:
It enshrines the right of children to social security in article 26, stating
"(1) States Parties shall recognize for every child the right to benefit from
social security, including social insurance, and shall take the necessary
measures to achieve the full realization of this right in accordance with their
(2) The benefits should, where appropriate, be granted, taking into account the
resources and the circumstances of the child and persons having responsibility
for the maintenance of the child, as well as any other consideration relevant to
an application for benefits made by or on behalf of the child.
The Convention further elaborates on the right of children to social security in
article 18 in relation to working parents, stating that
"States Parties shall render appropriate assistance to parents and legal
guardians in the performance of their child-rearing responsibilities and shall
ensure the development of institutions, facilities and services for the care of
According to the Convention "States Parties shall take all appropriate measures
to ensure that children of working parents have the right to benefit from
child-care services and facilities for which they are eligible."
Article 20 of the Convention makes provisions for the right to social security
of children without parents, stating that
"A child temporarily or permanently deprived of his or her family environment,
or in whose own best interests cannot be allowed to remain in that environment,
shall be entitled to special protection and assistance provided by the State."
And that "States Parties shall in accordance with their national laws ensure
alternative care for such a child”.
ILO conventions and recommendations relevant to social security extension
The Social Security (Minimum Standards)
Convention, 1952 (No. 102)
The Equality of Treatment (Social Security)
Convention, 1962 (No. 118)
The Employment Injury Benefits
Convention, 1964 (Schedule I amended in1980) (No.121)
Invalidity, Old-Age and Survivors’ Benefits
Convention, 1967 (No. 128)
The Medical Care and Sickness Benefits
Convention, 1969 (No.130)
The Maintenance of Social Security Rights
Convention, 1982 (No. 157)
The Employment Promotion and Protection
against Unemployment Convention, 1988(No.168)
The Job Creation in Small and Medium-
Sized Enterprises Recommendation, 1998(No. 189)
Maternity Protection Convention (Revised)2000 (No. 183)
In 2001, the International Labor Conference adopted the Resolution and
Conclusions concerning Social Security
Reaffirmed social security as basic human right,
Confirmed the ILO Mandate in social security, and
Proposed that the ILO launches a global campaign for the extension of social
for all, which was launched at the ILC 2003.
Global Jobs Pact (adopted by the ILC 2009):
Requests countries that do not yet have extensive social security to build
“adequate social protection for all, drawing on a basic social protection floor,
Access to health care,
Income security for the elderly and persons with disabilities, Child benefits,
Income security combined with public employment guarantee
schemes for the unemployed and the working poor”
Declaration of Philadelphia (1944):
To pursue the extension of social security measures to provide a
basic income to all in need of such protection and comprehensive medical care
Thus, with the adoption of the Declaration of Philadelphia, ILO constituents
widened the mandate of the Organizationfrom the social security protection of
workers and theirfamilies to the extension of social security measures
to all those in need.
This was the first moment in history that the world community declared its
commitment to the extension of social security to all.
ILO Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalization (adopted by the ILC
Recognizes that the ILO has the solemn obligation to further among the nationsof
the world programmes which will achieve the objectives of the extension of
socialsecurity measures to provide a basic income to all in need along with all
the other objectivesset out in the Declaration of Philadelphia
Preamble to the ILO Constitution (1919):
To improve conditions of labor, inter alia, through the «prevention of
unemployment, theprotection of the worker against sickness, disease, and injury
arising outof his employment, the protection of children, young persons and
women, provision for old-age and injury.
The Social Security Laws aim at providing safety to man from various
contingencies or unseen risks and which are found in all the ages and in all the
countries. Following are social security laws followed in India.
The Preamble of the Indian Constitution is the sole-repository of
Social Security measures and provides for establishment of Socialist State.
According to the Supreme Court of India, the principle aim of socialism is to
eliminate inequality of income, status and standard of the life and to provide a
decent standard of life to the working people.
The Preamble of the Constitution of India reads as under:
WE THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, having solemnly resolved to constitute
India into a SOVEREIGN SOCIALIST SECULAR DEMOCRATIC
REPUBLIC and to secure to all its citizens:
JUSTICE, social, economic and political;
LIBERTY of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship;
EQUALITY of status and opportunity; And to promote among them all
FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of
Though the Preamble is not technically enforceable through courts of
law, it is useful in interpreting the various provisions of the Constitution and
acts as a beacon in conflicting situations.
These objectives can be achieved through various Directive Principle
of State Policy enumerated in Part-III of the Constitution.
Preamble’s objectives can be achieved through various Directive
Principle of State Policy enumerated in Part-III of the Constitution. They are
Article 38 is a mandate to the state to secure a social order for the promotion
of welfare of the people.
Article 38 (1) directs the State to promote the welfare of the people by
securing and protecting as efficiently as it may a social order in which justice
–social, economic and political shall inform all institutions of national life.
This is a re-affirmation of the preambular objective of securing socio-economic
and political justice.
The 44th Amendment added clause (2) to Article 38 which directs the state to
minimize the irregularities in income, and to endeavor to eliminate inequalities
in status, facilities and opportunities not only amongst individuals but also
groups of people residing in different areas or engaged in different vocations.
This clause represents the group equality.
Article 39 provides for equal rights to adequate means of livelihood to all
citizens and distribution of wealth and material resources to sub serve common
good and prevention of concentration of wealth and means of production etc.,
Article 39 lays down certain specific objectives. Clauses (a) (b) and
(c) particularly lay down the norms for an egalitarian operation of economic and
social system of the country. Securing of adequate means of livelihood for
citizens, preventing the concentration of economic power in few hands and
ensuring the operation of the economic system for the general good are stated as
the guiding principles. Ensuring of equal pay for equal work and protection of
health and strength of workers from abuse are some other objectives of the
Securing the right to work, education and public assistance in case of
unemployment, old age, sickness and disablement and in other cases of undeserved
want are significant measures of social security under Article 41 .
Thus, Article 41 provides for right to work, education and public
assistance in certain cases such as unemployment, old age, sickness and
Article 42 stands for providing just and human conditions of work and maternity
Article 43 deals with living wage for workers and
Article 43-A intend to secure workers participation in management of industries.
Though these provisions are intended to bring socialistic order in
the Indian society, these provisions are not enforceable in the Courts of law,
the Supreme Court of India has declared that they are nevertheless fundamental
in the governance of the country and it is the duty of the State to apply them
in making laws.
The Directive Principles of State Policy and Fundamental Rights of the
Indian Constitution provide basis for many Social Security benefits. Basing on
these principles and rights, few Social Security laws are passed for the benefit
of poor, weaker and unorganized sections of society.
Fundamental Rights was also included in the Constitution which
guaranteed Right to Equality (Article 14) and Right against Exploitation
(Article 23 and 24).
A separate chapter on Directive principles of State Policy
incorporated in the Constitution has embodies the fundamental principles based
on social justice concerning labour.
Right to life (Article 21) includes all the rights that are essential
to main human life in a civilized society, such as food, clothes, house,
medicine and education. The Right to work means the citizen’s right on his
society to have work according to his ability and skill with suitable minimum
wages that enable him to maintain his life in a civilized society.
Entries, 21, 22, 23, 24 and 26 of Concurrent list (List-III)
authorize the State Governments to take necessary steps for regulations and
control of Commercial and Industrial monopolies, Trade Unions, Industrial and
labour disputes, Social Security and Social Insurance, employment and
unemployment, welfare of labour etc., respectively with an intention to ensure
protection of interest of all the citizens of India.
Enactments And Rules:
The Constitution of India provides basis for enactment of social
security legislations by both the Parliament and the State. Following are the
principal social security laws enacted in India:
The Employees’ State Insurance Act, 1948
It covers factories and establishments with 10 or more employees and
provides for comprehensive medical care to the employees and to their families
in the form of cash benefits also during sickness and maternity and monthly
payments in case of death or disablement.
The Employees’ Provident Funds & Miscellaneous Provisions Act,1952
It applies to specific scheduled factories and establishments
employing 20 or more employees and ensures terminal benefits to provident fund,
superannuation pension, and family pension in case of death during service.
Separate laws exist for similar benefits for the workers in the coal mines and
The Employees' Compensation Act, 1923
It requires payment of compensation to the workman or his family in
cases of employment related injuries resulting in death or disability. The
Workmen Compensations Act, 1923 provides for the payment of compensation to
workmen for injuries sustained in accidents.
The Workmen’s Compensation (Amendment) Act, 2000 that came into effect
in December 2000 provided for compensation even to casual workers. The minimum
amount of compensation for death has been enhanced from Rs.50,000 to Rs.80,000
and for total disablement from Rs. 60,000 to Rs 90,000. The ceiling on monthly
wage/salary reckoned for determining the compensation amt has also been
increased from Rs. 2000 to Rs.4000. The amt of funeral expenses payable has also
been increased to Rs. 2500 from Rs.1000.
The Maternity Benefit Act, 1961
It provides for 12 weeks wages during maternity as well as paid leave
in certain other related contingencies.
The Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972
It provides for 15 days wages for each year of service to employees who
have worked for five years or more in establishments having a minimum of 10
The Factories Act, 1948
The Factories Act, 1948 is designed to protect the workers in the
factories. The Act has undergone various amendments from time to time. The main
object of the Act is to ensure adequate safety measures and to promote the
health and safety of the workers and further, deal with benefits and welfare
facilities and health, safety and hygiene inside the factory premises.
Provisions regarding health of the workers relate mainly to cleanliness,
disposal of wastes and affluent, ventilations, control of temperature.
Elimination of dust and fumes, artificial humidification, overcrowding,
lighting, drinking water facilities, latrines, urinals and spittoons.
Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970
It regulates the employment of contract labour in certain establishment
and provides for its abolition in certain circumstances. The Act is applicable
if the principal employer engages twenty or more contract workers in an
establishment. The contractor who employs twenty or more workers in his contract
work will be covered under The Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act,
There is a special provision for the abolition of the contract system if
certain conditions are met, like jobs being of perennial nature and connected
with the core business of the principal employer.
Building and other Construction Workers’ (Regulation of Employment and
Conditions of Service) Act, 1996
It aims at providing safe and healthy atmosphere to the building and
construction workers at their work place. A fund was created with the revenue
collected from the employers and the contributions from the workers.
Benefits under this Act include assistance in cases of accident, payment
of pension, house building loans, assistance for group insurance schemes,
education of children, maternity benefits for female beneficiaries and so on.
Dock workers’ (Regulation of Employment) Act, 1948
The Act and the scheme are social legislation enacted for the purpose of
the welfare of the dock workers.
Provisions has also been made in the Act for the setting up of a
tri-partite Advisory Committee consisting of not more than 15 members
representing govt, dock workers and their employer in equal proportion, to
advise govt in the administration of the Act or any scheme formulated there
under. Provision has also been made for the appointment of Inspectors for the
purpose of the Act.
Under the Act, Dock workers Regulation of Employment Scheme have been
framed for dock workers in the ports of Bombay, Calcutta and Madras. Tripartite
Dock Labour Boards have been appointed in these ports.
Minimum Wages Act, 1948
The Minimum Wages Act, 1948 is the most important legislation that has
been enacted for the benefits of unorganised labour. It was enacted for fixing,
reviewing and reviving the minimum rates of wages in the scheduled employments
where workers are engaged in the unorganised sector.
Payment of Wages Act, 1936
The Payment of Wages Act, 1936 regulates the payment of wages to certain
classes of employed persons. The main purpose of act is to ensure regular and
prompt payment of wages and to prevent the exploitation of wages earners by
prohibiting arbitrary fines and deduction from wages. The Act was subsequently
amended in 1957, 1962, 1964, 1967, 1976 and 1982 in order to extend its various
provisions and coverage. By virtue of the amending Act of 1982 the wage limit
was raised to cover persons drawing less than Rs 1600 per month.
The Mines Act, 1952
The Mines Act, 1952 was enacted to amend and consolidated the law
relating to the regulation of labour and safety in mines. The Act extends to the
whole of India and it aims at providing for safe as well as proper working
conditions in mines and certain amenities to workers employed therein. Elaborate
provisions have been made in the Act for safeguarding the health and safety of
workers and for promoting their welfare.
In every mine where more than 150 persons are employed, a first aid room
under the charge of medical and nursing staff is to be provided and maintained.
Inter-State Migrant Workmen (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service)
It was enacted to regulate the employment and condition of service of
inter-state migrant workers. The benefits included non-discrimination in wage
rates, holidays, hours of work and other conditions of work for inter-State
migrant workers in relation to local workers. They are eligible for a
non-refundable Displacement Allowance equal to 50% of their monthly wages in
addition to the wages.
The National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, 2005
Recently, the parliament has passed the historical National Rural
Employment Guarantee Act, 2005 that guarantee 100 days of wage employment in a
year to every rural household whose adult members are willing to do unskilled
Cases Decided By Supreme Court And High Court:
Right to life covers within its ambit the right to social security
and protection of family .K. Ramaswamy J., in Calcutta Electricity Supply
Corporation (India) Ltd. v. Subhash Chandra Bose, held that right to social and
economic justice is a fundamental right under Art. 21. The learned judge
explained that right to life and dignity of a person and status without means,
were cosmetic rights. Socio-economic rights were, therefore, basic aspirations
for meaning right to life and that Right to Social Security and Protection of
Family were integral part of right to life.
In Regional Director, ESI Corporation v. Francis De Costa, the
Supreme court held that security against sickness and disablement was a
fundamental right under Art. 21 read with Sec. 39(e) of the Constitution of
The Court in Life Insurance Corporation of India v. Consumer
Education and Research Centre observed that social security has been assured
under Article 41 and Article 47 and it imposes a positive duty on the State to
raise the standard of living and to improve public health.
Socio-economic values created by our Constitution are to be
translated into practice through the instrumentality of social security
legislation. This trend is clearly discernible from Royal Talkies case and
Orango Chemical Industries and another v. Union of India decided in the later
seventies by the apex court.
Judiciary based its decisions on the principles of social justice and
attempted to create a value system which takes care of interests and rights of a
large number of people who are poor, ignorant or in a socially and economically
Justice P.N.Bhagawati in case of People’s Union for Democratic Rights
and Others v. Union of India asserted that time has come when the courts must
become the courts for poor and struggling masses of the country. They must shed
their character as upholders of the established order and status quo.
The spirit was maintained by Supreme Court in its subsequent case of
Sanjit Roy v. State of Rajasthan. Again it was stressed that State cannot be
permitted to take advantage of the helpless condition of the affected persons
and deny the advantage of labour legislation to helpless labour.
Bandhua Mukti Morcha v. Union of India is a landmark decision in the
area of bonded labour wherein the Supreme Court has stretched its protective
arms to various aspects such as, its identification, release and rehabilitation.
It was held that when an action is initiated in the Court through Public
Interest Litigation alleging the existence of bonded labour, the Government
should welcome it as it may give the Government an opportunity to examine
whether bonded labour system exists and as well as to take appropriate steps to
eradicate that system.
This is the Constitutional obligation of the Government under Article 23
which prohibits ‘forced labor’ in any form. Article 23 has abolished the system
of bonded labour but unfortunately no serious effort was made to give effect to
this Article. It was only in 1976 that the Parliament enacted the Bonded Labour
System (Abolition) Act, 1976 providing for the abolition of bonded labour system
with a view to preventing the economic and physical exploitation of the weaker
section of the society.
Bandhua Mukti Morcha v. Union of India
P.Sivaswamy v. State of Andhra Pradesh
Balram v. State of M.P. These were other cases on right to bonded labors.
In People’s Union for Democratic Rights v. Union of India, The Supreme
Court ruled that Article 24 is enforceable against everyone and by reasons of
its compulsive mandate no one can employ a child below 14 years in a hazardous
employment. The aforesaid view was reiterated in Salal Hydro Project v. State of
Jammu & Kashmir where the Supreme Court held that construction work being
hazardous employment, no children below the age of 14 can be employed in such
work because of constitutional prohibition contained in Article 24
A milestone in the area of implementation of equal pay was reached with
the pronouncement of the Supreme Court in People’s Union for Democratic Rights
v. Union of India. The Supreme Court ruled that equal pay for equal work is
based on principle of equality embodied in article 14 of the Constitution which
finds expression in the provision of the Equal Remuneration Act, 1976.
In Sanjit Roy v. State of Rajasthan, the vires of Rajasthan Famine
Relief Works Employees (Exemption from Labour Laws) Act, 1964 was challenged on
the ground that provisions of Section 3 of the said Act provided for a payment
of less than minimum rates of wages and, therefore, contravene Article 14 of the
Constitution. The court found no justification in denying minimum wage to each
worker merely because the employment was provided as a measure of famine relief.
The Court has taken a holistic view regarding health and labour welfare.
In Calcutta Electric Supply Corporation v. Subhash Chandra Bose, Justice K.
Ramaswamy in his dissenting opinion observed that health and strength of the
workers is an integral facet of right to life.
In Ram Bahadur Thakur (P) Ltd. v. Chief Inspector Plantations, the
point for determination by the Court was whether in calculating 160 days period
which will entitle a woman employee to get maternity benefit, the work on half
days can be included or not. It was held that according to Explanation to
Section 5(2) of the Maternity Benefit Act, the period during which a woman
worker was laid off should also be taken into consideration for ascertaining the
eligibility. During the lay-off period a woman worker cannot be expected to have
actually worked in the establishment. So, actual work for 160 days cannot be
insisted as a condition precedent for claiming the maternity benefit.
Several schemes have been evolved in India through legislations and
policies to provide Social Security to the workers in the unorganised sector.
Some of the important schemes are as under:
Integrated Rural Development Programme, Rural Group Life Insurance Scheme
It was introduced in 1995 in which insurance is available between ages
20- 60 years for an assured amount of Rs. 5000 with a premium of Rs. 60 per
annum, However the programmes in the scheme has not been very satisfactory all
over the country and required revamping by undertaking effective publicity.
Old Age Pension Scheme
It is another Social Security measure exists in almost all States in
India, which is a monthly pension ranging between Rs 50 to Rs.100 and is
applicable to the people whose income does not exceed the maximum slab
prescribed. However, many of the old aged people who are eligible for pension
under the scheme are not aware about the same as such are deprived of the
benefit. These schemes can be implemented properly through the local authorities
by identifying the needy beneficiaries.
Krishi Shramik Samajik Suraksha Yojana
It was launched in July, 2001 for giving Social Security benefits to
agricultural labourers on hire in the age group of 18 to 60 years.
Shiksha Sahayog Yojana
It provides for educational allowance of Rs. 100 per month to the
children of parents living below the poverty line for their education from the
9th to 12th standard.
Jawahar Gram Samriddi Yojana
The scheme will generate supplementary employment for the implemented
with the help of village panchayat institutions and they are also empowered to
execute work with approval of Gram sabhas.
Employment Assurance Scheme
It was started on 2nd October, 1993 for implementation in 1778
identified backward Panchayat Samitis of 257 districts situated in drought prone
areas, desert areas, tribal areas and hill areas in which the revamped public
distribution system was in operation. It was subsequently expanded by 1997-98 to
all the 5448 rural Panchayat Samitis of the country. It was restructured in
1999-2000 to make it a single wage employment programme and implemented as a
Centrally Sponsored Scheme on a cost sharing ratio of 75:25.
Pradhan Mantri Gramodaya Yojana
This scheme was introduced in 2000-01 with the objective of focussing on
village level development in five critical areas, i.e. health, primary
education, drinking water, housing and rural roads, with the overall objective
of improvingthe quality of life if people in the rural areas.
Food for Work Programme
The programme aims at augmenting food security through wage employment
in the drought affected rural areas in eight States i.e. Gujarat, Chhattisgarh,
Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Rajasthan and
Uttaranchal. The workers are paid the balance of wages in cash, such that they
are assured of the notified Minimum Wages.
Rajiv Gandhi Shramik Yojana
It was launched with effect from 1st April 2005. Under this scheme,
insured workers who lose their jobs after having contributed to the ESI scheme
for five years or more shall be entitled to an ‘unemployment allowance’ in cash.
Swasthya Bima Yojana
The workers in the unorganized sector constitute about 93% of the total
work force in the country. The Government has been implementing some social
security measures for certain occupational groups but the coverage is
miniscule. Majority of the workers are still without any social security
Life Insurance Corporation of India
The main purpose of this corporation is to provide protection to a family
in the event of premature death of its bread winner.
National Old Age Pension Scheme
This programme is a significant step towards the fulfillment of Directive
Principles as stated in Articles 41 and 42 of the Constitution.
Social security program of US:
social insurance programs:
Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI)
Temporary Disability Insurance
Health Insurance and Health Service
Australia’s social security laws:
The legislative, policy and administrative framework of social security
in Australia comprises the Social Security Act 1991 (Cth), the Social Security
(Administration) Act 1999 (Cth) and the Social Security (International
Agreements) Act 1999 (Cth).
The Guide to Social Security Law provides the lens through which the
legislation is to be implemented, by providing guidance to decision makers
Social security law is administered by the Department of Human
Services (DHS), through Centrelink.
Australia’s social security system forms part of a wider structure
that presumes a strong commitment by government to high levels of employment and
includes social protections provided outside the social security system—such as
a mandatory system of private superannuation, workers’ compensation, a national
health care system, paid sick leave and other cash and in-kind welfare benefits
and services such as personal tax concessions.
State has an obligation to respect, protect, promote and fulfil the
right of access to social security,the reality of the matter is that the State
has not fully complied with its obligations as set out in the Constitution and
binding international instruments. Most vulnerable and marginalised groups are
excluded from social security legislation mainly because they do not form part
of the formal workforce of the country. Those excluded from social security
legislation are the unemployed, informally-employed, migrant workers and
Rural and unorganized workers are completely ignored from the
coverage of such laws and deprive them in getting benefits under Social Security
laws which are being enjoyed by organized workers
Therefore, it can be concluded that the State has not fully realised
the right to social security. It can however be safely concluded that the State
is gradually advancing the right, through mechanisms that have been put in place
such as policies, programmes, projects and legislation that enable the
fulfilment of the right in question.