To cast new light on social inequality, the 2012 edition of Social Panorama of Latin America is devoted mainly to aspects of caregiving on which systematized information for the region has not been available hitherto: paid employment in care-related activities, household expenditure on care, and the situation and care needs of persons with disabilities. This edition aims, in fact, to generate knowledge on a link in the chain of social reproduction which has long been sidestepped by public policy, since the issue made little inroads into the discussion or the policy agendas of the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean until a few years ago. The document is divided into two parts. The first, comprising chapters I and II, tracks recent poverty and income distribution trends as well as citizen perceptions of inequality and trust in institutions. The second part homes in on the issue of care, starting with the conceptual and policy view of care as a right, the position regarding paid care work, social expenditure patterns (especially, household spending on care services), the situation of persons with disabilities and their care needs, recent policies that the countries are implementing, and, finally, the challenges that lie ahead.