A concrete example of a training activity leading to action and change!
Under the leadership of the ILO Sub-regional Office for Andean counties in Lima, participants from ESSALUD (the social health insurance scheme of Peru) and the Junta Nacional del Café (the national coffee producers’ association) met at the first course on the extension of social protection held by the Turin Centre in Lima in 2005, where they discussed different ways to extend social protection to coffee producers.
In 2007, the course was held in cooperation with the European Commission’s “Eurosocial” programme in Costa Rica. Participants from ESSALUD examined the use of collective affiliation agreements by the Costa Rican social security fund (CCSS) and the national coffee producers’ association to cover rural workers in the sector.
After a number of negotiations and studies, closely monitored by the ILO Sub-regional Office in Lima, a new social security programme is being launched to benefit 200,000 people (42,000 families) in the rural areas of Peru.
Here is what a participant, Mr Javier Rosas, General Director, ESSALUD (Seguro Social de Salud), Lima, Peru, has to say about it:
“EsSalud has focused on extending coverage to agricultural workers. It has put forward proposals that will improve the conditions and features of agricultural social security in a way that guarantees its continuity and funding so that Peru’s agricultural workers, be they employees or self-employed, have access to social health protection. In the case of self-employed agricultural workers, this entailed assessing and incorporating new insurance models. For this, the training and experience-sharing promoted by Eurosocial and the ILO (Lima in 2005, San José de Costa Rica in 2007 and in Belém do Pará and Soure, Brazil, in 2008) were important and very useful to EsSalud, because through them we got to know new models, systems and success stories. These will help us to develop a new insurance system that will involve collective contributions and affiliation, and strategic alliances with the associations that represent self-employed agricultural workers.”
This agreement is of the utmost importance, since it is a sure way to extend social security to a collective party (coffee producers) who have not yet been able to benefit from the existing system. This agreement is to be extended beyond the coffee sector to other agricultural producers and urban workers.
A real success!