South Asians for Human Rights

Promoting Democracy, Upholding Human Rights

The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty on October 17 stressed on the importance of decent and productive work as one of the most effective ways to fight poverty and build self-sufficiency.
The United Nations called on all nations to strive in expanding job opportunities and safe working conditions for all.
This year’s theme – from poverty to decent work: bridging the gap, focused on decent work, meaningful employment, income-generating livelihoods or in one word: jobs.
This is more important now than ever, when the global economic crisis has pushed an estimated 64 million people into poverty and unemployment is up more than 30 million since 2007.
More than half of the worlds’ working population continue to be in vulnerable employment, where they lack formal working arrangements and social security, and often earn little to provide for their families.
In Sri Lanka, the recent progress report on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) shows substantial progress in their achievement, particularly in reducing poverty from 26.1 percent in 1990/91 to 15.2 per cent in 2006/07. However, the report highlights a range of inequities, one of the most apparent being the labour force participation rate.
Sri Lanka records the twentieth largest gap in labour force participation between the sexes.
The Secretary General in his message emphasised on youth employment. Youth are three times more likely to be unemployed than adults.
“One of the best ways for youth to see a future of hope is through the prism of a decent job,” said Ban-Ki-Moon.
In Sri Lanka too, although unemployment levels halved during the past decade particularly among young people, their unemployment rate was eight times higher than that for adults in 2008.
In bridging the gap from poverty to decent work, now is the time to review and invest in economic and social policies that foster job creation; promoting decent labour conditions and deepening social protection systems.
Source: The Sunday Observer – 24.10.2010