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Employment and decent work: DG DEVCO releases new manual for EU Delegations

Bangladeshi women with sewing machines

Having a job does not guarantee escaping poverty. According to the International Labour Organization, around half of the total global workforce – some 1.4 billion people – are stuck in what is known as vulnerable employment.

What is vulnerable employment?

Vulnerable employment is defined as the sum of the employment status groups of own- account workers and contributing family workers. These workers are less likely to have formal work arrangements, and are therefore more likely to lack decent working conditions, adequate social security and ‘voice’ through effective representation by trade unions and similar organisations.

Source: International Labour Organization (PDF)

Vulnerable employment, like informal employment, is characterised by inadequate earnings, low productivity, difficult working conditions, a lack of social security and more. These factors not only undermine people’s fundamental rights as employees, but can also endanger their personal safety and wellbeing.

Addressing them effectively in development cooperation is key to improving the well-being of individuals and societies. The question is – what can governments and development partners do to facilitate the creation of productive employment and decent work?

For more, watch this short interview with B3 Head of Sector, Françoise Millecam:

To this end, DG DEVCO has just released the first volume of its new manual – Promoting Employment and Decent Work in Development Cooperation: Concepts and Foundations. The manual aims to enhance the European Commission staff’s ability to diagnose challenges to productive and decent employment in partner countries, engage in technical dialogue with local counterparts and promote decent work as part of the EU’s international development efforts.

The manual was created by DEVCO B3 Unit, in collaboration with the German development agency GIZ and the International Labour Organization, and with input from DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion. It is available on the Unit B3’s thematic page on the intranet and on the EU Publications website here.

Image credit: World Bank via Creative Commons licence 2.0

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Capacity4dev Team
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14 March 2018

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