The impact of social protection on children is under-researched. Key findings and insights from the literature include:
- Multidimensional social protection systems have had positive impacts on addressing economic and human development, multiple vulnerabilities, and both social and economic inequities.
- Child-sensitive social protection programmes are more intentionally responsive to children’s rights and vulnerabilities, addressing the range of dimensions of children’s wellbeing. They do not necessarily target children, however.
- Social protection and child protection (e.g. combatting abuse and violence) should not be viewed as two separate sectors – social protection has great potential to decrease risks for children. Evidence on non-contributory social protection programme impacts on violence and abuse against children cautiously indicates positive protective impacts, notably on sexual violence against female adolescents.
- Social transfers can contribute to reducing negative sexual behaviours and HIV prevention, particularly in combination with effective enabling factors (e.g. health-care services). This is by addressing underlying causes of risks – these are the structural social and economic drivers of adverse behaviours, e.g. early sexual debut, unprotected sex, dependence on men for economic security, migration for economic reasons, transactional sex.