Decent work and the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development
The 2030 Agenda embraces the three dimensions of sustainability – economic, social and environmental. It has 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that will build on the progress achieved under the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) . It was formally adopted by world leaders gathering at a United Nations special summit in September 2015 in New York.
The 2030 Agenda for sustainable development puts people and planet at its centre and gives the international community the impetus it needs to work together to tackle the formidable challenges confronting humanity, including those in the world of work.
Decent work – Key to sustainable development
It is estimated that over 600 million new jobs need to be created by 2030, just to keep pace with the growth of the global working age population. That’s around 40 million per year. We also need to improve conditions for the some 780 million women and men who are working but not earning enough to lift themselves and their families out of USD 2 a-day poverty.
The importance of decent work in achieving sustainable development is highlighted by Goal 8 which aims to “promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all”.
Goal 8: Decent work and economic growth
Over the past 25 years the number of workers living in extreme poverty has declined dramatically, despite the lasting impact of the 2008 economic crisis and global recession. In developing countries, the middle class now makes up more than 34 percent of total employment – a number that has almost tripled between 1991 and 2015.
However, as the global economy continues to recover we are seeing slower growth, widening inequalities, and not enough jobs to keep up with a growing labour force. According to the International Labour Organization, more than 204 million people were unemployed in 2015.
The SDGs promote sustained economic growth, higher levels of productivity and technological innovation. Encouraging entrepreneurship and job creation are key to this, as are effective measures to eradicate forced labour, slavery and human trafficking. With these targets in mind, the goal is to achieve full and productive employment, and decent work, for all women and men by 2030.
- Sustain per capita economic growth in accordance with national circumstances and, in particular, at least 7 per cent gross domestic product growth per annum in the least developed countries
- Achieve higher levels of economic productivity through diversification, technological upgrading and innovation, including through a focus on high-value added and labor-intensive sectors
- Promote development-oriented policies that support productive activities, decent job creation, entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation, and encourage the formalization and growth of micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises, including through access to financial services
- Improve progressively, through 2030, global resource efficiency in consumption and production and endeavor to decouple economic growth from environmental degradation, in accordance with the 10-year framework of programs on sustainable consumption and production, with developed countries taking the lead
- By 2030, achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men, including for young people and persons with disabilities, and equal pay for work of equal value
- By 2020, substantially reduce the proportion of youth not in employment, education or training.
- Take immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labour, end modern slavery and human trafficking and secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour, including recruitment and use of child soldiers, and by 2025 end child labour in all its forms.
- Protect labor rights and promote safe and secure working environments for all workers, including migrant workers, in particular women migrants, and those in precarious employment
- By 2030, devise and implement policies to promote sustainable tourism that creates jobs and promotes local culture and products
- Strengthen the capacity of domestic financial institutions to encourage and expand access to banking, insurance and financial services for all
- Increase Aid for Trade support for developing countries, in particular least developed countries, including through the Enhanced Integrated Framework for Trade-Related Technical Assistance to Least Developed Countries
- By 2020, develop and operationalize a global strategy for youth employment and implement the Global Jobs Pact of the International Labor Organization
Decent Work Situation in Bangladesh
Bangladesh is focusing on decent work issues such as job creation, social protection, and social dialogue. The priorities for Bangladesh have been chosen on the basis of participatory assessment of current challenges through stakeholder consultations involving a wide range of constituents and other interested parties. These challenges include high unemployment rates among youth, and especially among those with higher levels of education; high and stagnating income inequality; low productivity in some sectors; slow improvement in the occupational safety and health situation and working conditions; as well as inadequate opportunity for social dialogue in Bangladesh.
Bangladesh is fully supportive of the ILO’s Decent Work agenda and implemented two Decent Work Country Programmes so far covering the periods 2006-2009 and 2012-2015. To mitigate these challenges, the DWCP for Bangladesh focuses on four key areas, which include skills development and green growth; promotion of safe and clean working environments; social dialogue between government, employers and workers; and social protection for all workers and vulnerable groups including protection against climate change.
Decent Work Country Programme can make a major contribution to the socio-economic development of Bangladesh. The new DWCP for Bangladesh is results-oriented and coordinated with Bangladesh’s national policy documents and global development initiatives such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).