How business leadership can advance Goal 8 on Decent Work and Economic Growth
Sustainable and equitable economic growth, coupled with low unemployment and decent work, is at the top of the agenda for most, if not all, countries. However, growth has not reached full potential in many economies in the developed and developing world. At the same time, exploitation and labour rights violations are still endemic around the world. An estimated 168 million children are victims of child labour. There are major forces that are changing labour market dynamics such as automation, globalisation, and demographic changes. The impact of these forces must be reconciled with the need to create 600 million new jobs by 2030, mostly in developing countries, to sustain economic growth and maintain social stability.
Businesses play a central role in advancing Goal 8, as they account for the majority of GDP in most countries as well as the majority of jobs. The foundation of supporting decent work is implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, through which companies can address their own impacts on employees and workers in their value chains. Decent work as defined by the International labour Organization (ILO) is work that is productive and delivers a fair income; security in the workplace; social protection for families; better prospects for personal development and social integration; freedom for people to express their concerns, organize and participate in the decisions that affect their lives; and equality of opportunity and treatment for all women and men.