5 Things You Need to Know for the World Day of Decent Work

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The 7th of October is the World Day of Decent Work, and like World Environment Day and Peace Day, it is a day that demands a global effort on the part of every person. Like May Day, the World Day of Decent Work belongs to all workers, unionised or non-unionised, salaried or hourly, temp or perm, formal or informal.

But what is decent work? What does the World Day of Decent Work entail? And why is the World Day of Decent Work important now more than ever? We have five key facts for you:

1. Decent work

Decent work has a fair income and ensures security in the workplace and social protection for families. It incorporates prospects for personal development and social integration as well as the freedom for people to express themselves and organise.

Finally, decent work involves equality of opportunity and treatment for all women and men. These definitions come from the International Labour Organisation, and who better to define decent work than them?

2. The World Day of Decent Work

On the World Day of Decent Work, every trade union on earth mobilises and millions raise awareness of workers’ rights. Considering only 7% of the world’s workers are unionised when millions need the protection they provide, drawing attention to these vital organisations and encouraging their implementation the world over is of profound importance.

World Day of Decent Work events are promoted by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC). Check out what’s on the schedule for 7 October.

As for why decent work is worth taking action for, check out these stats from the ITUC:

3. Half the world’s population doesn’t think the next generation will find a decent job

Uncertainty about the future is never a good thing, and considering the negative effects on communities and societies of socially-excluded young people, this doubt must fade. As 68% of people believe the government is bad at tackling unemployment, solutions outside of the public sector must be explored.

On the World Day of Decent Work, the Hague will be hosting a debate on the youth unemployment crisis as well as an outdoor photo exhibition “portraying the lives of young people…sharing both their dreams and concerns for the future.”

Events like this can draw attention to the scourge of youth unemployment. To take action yourself, check out Peace Child International’s own Effective Practice Guide to see what youth job creation activities are going on around the world and get inspired to start something in your own community.

4. 84% of people don’t think citizens have enough power

In every country ITUC looked at, a huge majority of citizens believe they don’t have enough influence over government, economies or corporations. Like the youth unemployment issue, a majority of people feeling powerless to change the systems that govern their lives makes for a dreadfully unstable atmosphere.

“People no longer believe governments act to protect workers,” says ITUC Secretary General Sharan Burrow. “Building workers’ power is essential to change a system stacked against workers.”

5. “There are no jobs on a dead planet,”

says Ms Burrow. Climate justice is the theme for this year’s World Day of Decent Work. As the People’s Climate March earlier this month showed us, people are demanding the end of the unsustainable systems destroying our world. How is decent work tied in with this issue?

“The dominant global economic model is destroying jobs and the planet”, says Ms Burrow. The solution? Two words: green economy. And if given more power, workers can become a powerful lobby for this change. Learn more here.

Source: ITUC http://www.ituc-csi.org/IMG/pdf/ituc_global_poll_2014_en_web.pdf


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