“Decent jobs are key to ending poverty in its most extreme forms and transforming the lives of millions. Creating enough decent work opportunities to meet this goal is an enormous challenge. Moreover, many living in poverty suffer additional forms of discrimination whether based on gender, ethnicity or other grounds. The persistence of such discrimination will block efforts to eradicate extreme poverty,” said a statement by International Labor Organization (ILO) Director-General Guy Ryder.
“Ending discrimination in all its forms in the workplace and beyond must be a part and parcel of strategies for building inclusive societies on terms that meet the criteria of social justice. Discrimination prevents millions from establishing a foothold in secure and adequately rewarded jobs. Not only is this unjust and a violation of human rights, it is a waste of much needed human talent and endeavour. Respecting human rights, including fundamental principles and rights at work, is an essential foundation for poverty-eradicating sustainable development,” he noted.
The ILO estimates that 780 million working women and men are not able to earn enough to lift themselves and their families above the $2 a day poverty line. This is around one third of total employment in developing countries.
A further quarter of the developing world’s workers are living on between $2 and $4 a day. This group of near poor are constantly at risk of slipping back into poverty should they be unable to work, for example as a result of ill health.
Between 2015 and 2030, 570 million young women and men will join the world’s workforce mainly in Africa and South Asia.
“The ILO is ready to take up its responsibilities with the UN family to “promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all” as called for in Goal 8 of the 2030 agenda.
“We bring our Decent Work approach to the challenges of this and other Sustainable Development Goals.
Along with jobs and rights, the Decent Work approach also embraces social protection, providing a buffer when people are unable to work and earn sufficient income to stay out of poverty, as well as a floor that prevents the resurgence of poverty,” the Director-General added.
The ILO has made the “End to Poverty “one of its seven centenary initiatives to mark the100th anniversary in 2019. “Our work through this initiative will shape our organization’s efforts to support implementation of the 2030 agenda”.