Employment and decent work: DG DEVCO releases new manual for EU Delegations

We very often think jobs first and quality
of jobs will follow, but actually it’s very far from being automatic. The problem is related to what we call vulnerable
employment. It is estimated that there are 1.4 billion
workers worldwide who are in what is called vulnerable employment. So, there is work, there are forms of work,
but people cannot make a living out of this work. This is why it is important to ensure the
quality of work – to make sure that people earn enough, and have relatively good working conditions, in order to lift them out of working poverty. It is of course, access to productive jobs,
but it is also related to working conditions, decent wages, occupational safety and health,
social protection – for you as a worker and for your family members – but also the
right to express your concerns and the right to participate in decision making that affects
your working conditions and your working life… But also, equal opportunities for men and
women, and closing the gender gap in what affects employment. So all these conditions are what the International
Labour Organisations calls the “Decent Work Agenda.” So, the main challenges related to decent
work creation are of course related to growth and job creation, but growth alone is not
a mechanism that can guarantee the quality of work. This is the first volume of a series of two,
so the first volume that we released now is more about concepts and theories. It’s about concepts related to employment and decent work, its about labour economics, how to address labour constraints, what are the main challenges related to employment in developing countries – which are of course, very different from the challenges that we know in developed economies. Volume two will be more operational, it will provide some more guidance on how best to integrate these concepts and objectives of job creation and decent work within development cooperation. This manual is mostly intended for colleagues
working in Delegations – not only colleagues who deal with social sectors; when we talk about employment, this is cross-cutting. Whether you are working in agriculture or
in the energy sector, or if you are in charge of general budget support operations, you
are in charge of economic dialogue with the country, this is for you… And we do hope that it will be very useful
– and again, this is the first step for really mainstreaming employment in a better
way in what we do.

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