|Introduction to Social Security (ILO, 1984, 200 p.)|
This handbook is the direct successor of the ILO manual which in 1958 presented the subject of social security in a series of ten lessons, and went through five successive impressions before being revised and enlarged in 1970 to take account of changes in those 12 years. The fact that the text has now had to be completely revised and largely rewritten demonstrates not only that the material has outgrown the original framework but also how social security itself is an evolving concept, responding to new situations, moving into fresh areas of the world, and adapting its ways to new fields of administration.
As the subject-matter extends and diversifies, its treatment in a publication like this necessarily changes. The attempt to be exhaustive has to be resisted, as has the temptation to be superficial and to describe in too general terms matters which closely touch the lives of so many people, be they workers, heads of families, pensioners or citizens. The present volume aims at a middle course. It is intended to be an introduction to social security for the ordinary reader who looks for a reasonably complete explanation of what the subject is all about and it will, when taken together with other material available from the ILO and from the authorities which administer national programmes of social security, provide a basis for courses of study in adult and workers' educational groups and other bodies interested in aspects of social welfare and civic affairs. For the student who wishes to pursue the subject, or some aspect of it, in greater depth and detail, there are some suggestions for further reading at the end of the volume.
Social security is, as these chapters bear witness, one side of a coin. Positive action to promote employment, personal and public health, safety at places of work and the well-being of mothers and children may be deemed to be of greater importance. But the services which come to the aid of workers when their wages are interrupted by sickness or injury, which enable expectant or nursing mothers to suspend their work, which support invalids and orphans and which provide an income in old age and widowhood, are no less important to the community, together with the security that resides in the knowledge that they will be there if and whenever they are needed.