SDG 8: Decent Work & Economic Growth

In the 87th Session (1999) of International Labour Organization (ILO), the Director–General to the Conference give the notion of Decent Work.

‘[The] work [is] “productive work for women and men in conditions of freedom, equity, security and human dignity’.

The four key-elements of a decent work are;

1. A fair income to employee.

2. Freedom to employees.

3. Equity.

4. Security of job.

5. Human dignity and respect.

Roughly half of the world population have only 2 US dollars daily income which does not guarantee an escape from poverty. Even though worldwide GDP growth rate of countries are rising continuously yet there are many ones whose GDP growth rate is retarding, set 7% for 2030 agenda.

The decreasing labour productivity, low-wages and rising unemployment due to shrinking national economies and labour-markets bring no positive changes in workers’ lives, the situation is further deteriorating for them!

The present COVID-19 pandemic severely affected this notion of Decent Work.

Many employers used the job-retention programmes for their employees for lessening their financial burden.

For example, OECD projected 12.3% to 13.7% unemployment rate in France after the outbreak of Covid-19 for the year 2020. However, it remained around 8.62 percent in that year with a loss of half a million jobs to French.

Origin of the Term

In September 2000 with the beginning of new millennium, world leaders pledged to safeguard the humanity from poverty, hunger and environmental degradations and especially focusing on women empowerment.

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), as called, are the ideals for which the whole humanity has to strive both on governmental and inter-governmental level.  

MDGs Changing into SGDs

The main issue with the MDGs was they were rich-focused, included only the dos & don’ts and that they ignored the critical and specific problems of the second & third world countries like hunger, poverty, war, education, institutional weakness, healthcare and corruption. To name a few!

While the new defining three parameters of SDGs are;

1. Ecological impact.

2. Social development.

3. Industrial and infrastructural development.

Which are equally applicable to all developed, developing & underdeveloped countries.

The reason behind adopting SDGs for MDGs was the lack of governance, transparency and the absence of universal analysing mechanism among the world nations that made it less achievable, if not altogether unsuccessful.

Brazil achieved many goals of MDGs. The West African country, Benin, did not achieve any goal.

Also Read: To be, or not to be

In South Asia, Bangladesh succeeded in reducing infant and maternal mortality rate despite its’ low income. Likewise Nepal got a high score in achieving the 8 Goals of MDGs.

The East African country, Uganda achieved only three goals out of Eight Goals of MDGs due to corruption and bad governance.

One of the many reasons cited for its’ failure is the conception & structuring of MDGs on the developmental models of western countries, mainly on OECD countries’ models, that were rather impracticable in those countries.

.In Rio+20 Conference (Brazil, 2012), SDGs replaced MDGs or in other words  previous MDGs were to be redefined & re-evaluated  on the basis of new evaluating parameters of SDGs.

Uplifting the Humanity, Their sole Goal

Both MDGs & SDGs have the same common goal, uplifting the humanity to a progressive prosperous future.

Take the analogy of drive from New Jersey to New York. The 88 kilometres long route would have many milestones. Its’ now depends on the driver how fast they travel and how quickly arrive in New York by crossing the roadside miles!

New Jersey and New York are goals (SDGs), the 88 kilometres long route is the indicators (of SDGs) while the roadside milestones are the targets (of SDGs).

SDGs are more inclusive & elaborative than MDGs having 17 Goals, 169 Targets with 232 Indicators for calculating the success of each nation in attaining these SGDs, no matter how rich or poor is it!

SDGs & Economic Growth

A sustainable & all inclusive economic growth is a phenomena that is blessing both for individuals as well as for states.

It helps to uproot many social & political misdoings from societies. This is a positive chain-reaction that brings many glad-tidings within itself!

The balanced economic growth in society leaves no space for social or political atrophy which is the usual by-product of an unbalanced economic growth. As some strata of society feel that are ostracised from the majority.

The SDGs thus serve both on micro and macro level, internally within a country and to the World peace and progress externally.

How are the SDGs Successful?

A Quick glimpse of OECD countries will quickly depict their achievements in SDGs.

This pie-graph clearly presents that other countries of the world have to take serious actions for achieving these SDGs that would bring social, economic, political stability and prosperity not only to the underdeveloped countries but to their regions and whole humanity at large.

When the rich OECD countries are nearly approaching these goals despite their resourcefulness.

The underdeveloped countries have to struggle & strategize for these goals by focusing on education, agriculture, socio-economic sector and health infrastructure.  

SDG 8: Decent Work & Economic Growth

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