Accelerating decent work to expand social and economic opportunities


03-December-2011

Conceptualised in 1999, decent work encapsulates opportunities that are conducive for men and women to obtain decent and productive employment in conditions of freedom, equity, security and human dignity.

Decent work agenda
The ILO decent work agenda for the world is achieved through the implementation of four strategic objectives:
• Creating employment opportunities that generate investments, encourage entrepreneurship and promote skills development.
• Protecting rights at work especially for the youths, women and the disadvantaged workers.
• Extending social protection for workers to ensure quality of life.
• Promoting social dialogue at work to avoid disputes and increase productivity.


Decent work delivers: fair income, reasonable hours of work, weekly rest, paid leave, health & safety at work, balance between work and social life, sick leave, maternity leave, disability benefits, old age benefits, injury social help.

Challenging decent work targets for Africa

A decent work agenda for Africa was validated in 2007 at the 11th African regional meeting and it sets out 17 ambitious labour and employment targets to be achieved by ILO African member states by 2015. The 17 targets are:

1. Creation of sufficient decent jobs to absorb new labour market entrants and reduce half the number of working poor;

2. Integrated strategies for sustainable enterprise development, with special focus on women entrepreneurs, including registration of at least half of all enterprises operating informally;

3. Adopting policies and programmes leading to a significant reduction in the current youth employment rate for Africa of nearly 20%;

4. Ensuring that half of Africa’s workforce has obtained new or improved skills;

5. Incorporating local economic development and employment-intensive investment approaches in all reconstruction and recovery programmes, particularly building effective accountable institutions for the world of work and for economic and social governance;

6.Developing programmes for the improvement of working conditions, including regulation on hours of work and minimum pay, reduction of occupational accidents and diseases and a progressive increase in the number of labour inspectors in relation to workers;

7. Upgrading the informal economy and extending protection to informal economy workers;

8. Ensuring that migrant workers have regular, authorised status and are fully protected by the labour legislation of the host country;

 

9. Introducing or extending a basic social security package;

10. To have national HIV/Aids strategies to ensure the workplace contributes to the overall objective of achieving universal access to prevention, treatment, care and support;

11. Establishing or further developing tripartite social dialogue institutions;

12. Adopting legislation to guarantee freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining;

13. Ratifying conventions, implementing and respecting fundamental principles on rights at work;

14. Preparing national action plans for the prevention of the worst forms of child labour and the eradication of forced labour by 2015;

15. To have anti-discrimination legislation and promote equality of opportunity and treatment in respect of employment and occupation;

16. To generate basic annual data on the size and composition of the labour force and other labour statistics;

17. To develop significant programme of support for the decent work agenda in Africa 2007-2015 and to encourage all member states in Africa to have DWCPs.

Seychelles has achieved some of the targets, while progress is being made in other areas.

Seychelles decent work country programme – key to the future of work

 

Earlier this week, we witnessed an historic step in the development of the labour and employment sector in Seychelles. The Minister for Education, Employment and Human Resources, Macsuzy Mondon, and ILO regional director for Africa, Charles Dan, signed a memorandum of understanding to implement the 2011-2015 Decent Work Country Programme initiated by the International Labour Organisation (ILO).This is a key tool that will deliver ILO support to Seychelles in the field of employment.

It is through such country programme that decent work will be accelerated for the benefits of workers and the unskilled. The priorities under the programme are:

(i) Review labour legislation and strengthen the dispute resolution framework.

(ii) Promote quality employment and reduce unemployment particularly for women and youth.
(iii) Promote effective tri-partism and social dialogue.

 

Implementation of the Decent Work Country Programme
 
Specific activities involving stakeholders are planned under each priority to address the present challenges. The implementation of these activities will be supervised by an advisory and monitoring committee.

Benefits of the programme
• Modern and flexible labour legislation attractive for investments, but protective of workers’ rights
• Increased opportunities for workers in Seychelles to enjoy decent working conditions
•  Stable labour relations conducive for productive employment
• Empowerment of individuals to become self-sufficient
• Contribute towards sustainable development.

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