Poverty goal of 2030 Agenda at risk without decent work
Without further progress in creating quality jobs, the goal of ending poverty by 2030 will not be achieved. Continuation of the uneven and fragile progress in reducing poverty may compromise the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the United Nations in September 2015, including both SDG 1 to end poverty in all its forms and everywhere by 2030 and many of the other SDGs.
That is according to the new International Labour Organization (ILO) Report titled World Employment and Social Outlook 2016. The report shows that the poor may completely miss out on the technological revolution which is transforming today’s economies and societies.
Although they represent 30 percent of the world’s population, the poor receive less than two (2) percent of the world’s income. So, unless action is taken, poverty will tend to perpetuate itself across generations.
The findings show that this may exacerbate socioeconomic instability and erode support for pro-growth policies.
A key finding of the study is that it will not be possible to reduce poverty in a lasting manner without decent work. In other words, decent work is a necessary condition for eradicating poverty.
ILO estimates that nearly $10 trillion is needed to eradicate extreme and moderate poverty by 2030. However, this cannot realistically be achieved by income transfers alone.
Guy Ryder the ILO DirectorGeneral said there is need to implement the foundations of a rights-based approach to poverty reduction. This entails the ratification of those international labour standards which are most relevant to poverty alleviation.
Moreover, the extension of labour, social and other regulation in order to achieve the broadest coverage possible provides a means of maximizing the poverty-reducing effects of standards.
“Economic growth should be broad-based. This can be facilitated by policies that support transitions into formal enterprises and decent jobs. In this regard, it is important to create an enabling environment for sustainable enterprises, notably small and medium-sized enterprises, which are the main engine for job creation and thus the conduit for lasting poverty reduction,” he said
Furthermore, the report stated that the solution requires more than simply the availability of resources.
Almost one-third of the extreme and moderate poor in emerging and developing countries actually have a job. However, these jobs are vulnerable in nature: they are sometimes unpaid, concentrated in low-skilled occupations and in the absence of social protection, the poor rely almost exclusively on labour income.
Ryder said that can be achieved by promoting sound business regulation, introducing more effective and equitable tax regimes and implementing efficient business registration. The rural economy also represents substantial untapped potential that duly recognized and developed through decent work, can make an important contribution to poverty alleviation.
“Carefully designed employment and income policies are necessary to support individuals and to help broaden the productive base by raising skill levels, boosting participation in the labour market and facilitating transitions into formal employment,” he insisted.
“As imperative as it is to enable employers to create jobs in new sectors, workers also need to be equipped with the tools necessary to take up these jobs. At the same time, the role of social protection is central within each of these policy areas and is particularly relevant in alleviating poverty among those who are not able to work or are not of working age,” he said.
In addition, two-thirds of the jobs are in typically low-productivity agricultural activities.
Among developed countries, a greater number of workers have wage and salaried employment, but that does not prevent them from falling into poverty. In fact, more than 80 percent of the working poor in developed countries are in wage and salaried employment.
Generally, without an adequate supply of decent work opportunities, it will be difficult for the working poor to improve their working conditions, acquire a career and thus lift themselves and their families out of poverty.
“This calls for renewed efforts to improve the tax base which can be supported through the creation of decent jobs. The fight against tax evasion and excessive income inequalities must also be seen in that light. Indeed, the rich have a certain responsibility in addressing the situation facing the poor,” said Ryder