Work and growth

Publish date 13-12-2021

by Valentina Turinetto


In 1999 the director general of the International Labor Organization, the United Nations specialized agency on labor and social policy issues, presented a first definition of decent work, declaring that it is the primary objective of the UN "to ensure that all men and women have access to productive work, in conditions of freedom, equality, security and human dignity ”. After more than 20 years, about half of the world's population still lives on less than two dollars a day.

Global unemployment is on the rise.

However, in many places, having a job does not guarantee the possibility of escaping poverty.

Finally, 152 million children and adolescents are still victims of child labor.

For this reason, the eighth goal of the 2030 Agenda reaffirms the importance of promoting development-oriented policies that support productive activities, the creation of decent jobs, entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation. It aims to ensure full and productive employment and decent work for women and men, including young people and people with disabilities, and fair pay for jobs of fair value, by reducing the share of unemployed and out-of-work youth. each cycle of study or training. The eighth point of the Agenda also underlines the importance of taking steps to eradicate forced labor, end modern slavery and human trafficking and ensure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labor, including recruitment and employment of child soldiers.

In line with the objectives of the Agenda, 2021 has been chosen as the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labor. National and regional institutions, social partners and organizations of various kinds are encouraged to promote concrete actions aimed at contributing to the elimination of child labor. On the website dedicated to the proposed initiatives  ( there are various examples that touch the North and South of the world: various governments are establishing or strengthening the coordination and monitoring system for children exposed to child labor or who they are already involved in child labor.

The economic community of West African states is developing a new regional action plan for the elimination of child labor; this action will help improve human security in the region by developing greater awareness, coordination and commitment to the protection of all vulnerable people. Various private companies and universities have set goals to be pursued to protect children's rights. It is desirable that these dozens of projects can be implemented in a short time. Iqbal Masih, the Pakistani child who has become a symbol of the fight against child labor, reminds us: "The only working tools a child should hold are pens and pencils."

Only by starting from the protection of the smallest will it be possible to achieve decent work for all, understood as a source of personal dignity, family stability, peace in the community, democracy and economic growth.

Valentina Turinetto

NP Agosto-Settembre 2021

This website uses cookies. By using our website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Cookie Policy. Click here for more info