Press Release
Published on December 22, 2022

Expanding the Social Protection System for Young Men and Women in the Informal Economy

In Ecuador, only 2 out of 10 young workers have access to social security and 80% of them work in the informal economy.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, ILO, UN Women and UNDP worked together with the national and local governments in Quito, Guayaquil, Loja and Machala to incorporate young workers into the social security system and to promote their access to decent work.

Through "My Future Is Today", the UN agencies worked with the Ecuadorian Social Security Institute (IESS) and the Ministry of Labour to design an innovative scheme which would allow 400,000 young self-employed workers to have access to contributory social protection. The project also helped to create a national registry of informal youth, that will allow the government to better identify the population and to design labour and social protection policies. In addition, a communications campaign called "Hablemos la Plena" was implemented to improve the social security culture in the country, since a high proportion of young workers are unaware of the benefits offered by the social security system. The campaign reached more than 2,700,000 young people through social networks. In addition, 4,000 young people strengthened their employability by participating in training programs in soft, digital, financial and entrepreneurship skills.

Melissa Rogel (23) has started a small family business producing and selling chocolate products in Machala. Melissa has big aspirations. She participated in "My Future Is Today" with the United Nations, where she has been trained with the ILO's IMESUN methodology to strengthen and formalize her business.