As the world is rushing to save the Earth, we must remember that sustainability focuses on both the planet and people. Human rights and human dignity are a big part of our journey in sustainable development.
The 2030 Agenda of Sustainable Development gives the global community a framework for tackling our many challenges with 17 Goals (SDGs), including in the world of work. The ILO (International Labour Organization) highlights the importance of decent work in achieving Goal 8, “to promote sustained, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth, full of productive employment and decent work for all.”
ILO is the only tripartite United Nations agency. Its structure gives an equal voice to workers, employers, and governments in designing policies and programs.
Decent Work Country Programmes (DWCPs) are ILO’s primary pathway to support its member countries. DWCPs work in two complementary ways. They promote decent work as a critical element in policies and national development strategies. At the same time, they create a framework to advance the decent work agenda.
Tripartism and social dialogue are crucial to ensure a coherent, relevant, accepted and integrated DWCP. Each DWCP is designed uniquely to allow the ILO’s strategic goal of Decent Work for All to be aligned with each country’s social and economic development priorities.
For instance, in Ukraine, its country priorities are improved social dialogue, inclusive and productive employment, and improved working condition and social protection.
In addition to DWCPs, new sub-regional Decent Work Programmes for Southern African Development Community (SADC) and Western Africa Economic Community (ECOWAS) are being developed in Africa.
Meanwhile, Malaysia’s country priorities are protecting and promoting rights at work, strengthening national capacities to meet the needs of current and future work, and strengthening labor migration governance.
The execution and realization of country priorities and outcomes are then further detailed in a plan. The plan includes management, implementation planning, monitoring, reporting, evaluation, funding, advocacy, and communication.
As of May 2021, there are fifty active DWCPs across countries in Africa (18), Arab states (3), Asia and the Pacific (18), Latin America and the Caribbean (2), and Europe and Central Asia (8). Additionally, there are twenty-five more DWCPs in the drafting and consultation process.
Workers are an essential factor in business and industries everywhere. Moreover, workers’ rights are human rights. DWCP is a way to tightly integrate workers’ rights—human rights—into policy-making and development strategy in a national scope to reflect our effort in achieving sustainability.