Focus 11: Employment


Sustainable development should provide employment and decent jobs for all those seeking work. Some areas that could be considered include:

  1. promoting full employment through macroeconomic policy;

  2. addressing youth unemployment through policies and strategies aimed at providing young people with access to decent and productive work;

  3. facilitating the participation of women in the labour force;

  4. social security and protection including for those retired from the labour force, persons with disabilities, the unemployed, children and youth, and older persons; and

  5. eliminating gender-based and other forms of labour market discrimination including against persons with disabilities and older persons;

  6. encouraging transition from informal sector to formal sector employment;

  7. promoting non-farm employment opportunities in rural areas;

  8. ensuring decent wages aligned with productivity;

  9. supporting small- and medium-sized enterprises;

  10. increasing access to credit to the youth, women and other vulnerable groups;

  11. promoting appropriate job-rich technology applications;

  12. promoting job-rich sustainable tourism;

  13. training and re-skilling for displaced workers;

  14. protecting the rights of migrant workers and displaced persons in compliance with the ILO norms and standards; and

  15. appropriate means of implementation*.


  • Reminded of the universality of the post-2015 agenda and the SDGs. Some lessons from the MDGs – equitable access to services and going beyond aggregate measures Access is not enough – quality must also be addressed.

  • Need to reflect the multiple interlinkages between issues and address key drivers and enablers of change. But not all our priorities are “goalable”.

  • Poverty eradication remains our overriding goal that is manifestly linked to decent and productive work, social protection, and access to quality basic education and health care.

  • Repeated emphasis on the need for disaggregated data to address inequalities and track progress in reaching vulnerable populations.

  • Decent and productive work is the most direct route out of poverty, based on robust, inclusive, job- creating growth. Enterprises and entrepreneurs are principal job creators. Unemployment, especially among youth, is a serious problem. A goal or targets related to jobs would need to address the situation of the working poor as well as the unemployed.

  • Many highlighted the cross-cutting nature of social protection; minimum services can be extended even in low-income settings.

  • The human rights dimension, equity of access, quality, and relevance were emphasized with respect to education. At the elementary level it should be free.

  • Complete the unfinished work of the MDGs to ensure universal primary school enrollment - but also learning outcomes, relevance to job needs, lifelong learning, adult literacy, and non-formal education.

  • Culture was highlighted as a source of resilience, strengthen and adaptability of societies. Youth concerns need to be reflected across goals, especially in relation to education, health and employment.

The above was taken from the United Nations Sustainability web site: http://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/index.php?menu=1300

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