Establishing long-term economic growth through productive employment and decent, inclusive work is critical to the goal of improving the conditions and living standards of a community.
SDG 8 aims to promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth by creating infrastructures that offer full and productive employment and ‘decent’ work for all*. Whilst employment is key to driving economic growth, ‘decent’ work is much more valuable.
‘Decent work’ is the notion that opportunities are available to all where they can conduct work that can be productive as well as being able to earn a living wage. Future proofing economic developments by providing such work for all ages and genders stimulates sustainable progress, creates jobs and ensures a greater quality of life for all.
In order to allow developing nations to flourish economically, it’s pivotal that all humans are treated fairly and provided equal opportunity across all industries. SDG 8’s 2030 target of achieving inclusive employment and decent work with equal pay for women, men, young people and persons with disabilities is critical to the economic strength and longevity of developing nations.
Financial institutions are the backbone of economies and creating a robust financial system can foster greater access to banking, insurance and financial services for all. A bank account is the critical access point to a system that provides much needed loans and services for developing nations. In 2018 there were an estimated 1.7 billion adults worldwide who still didn’t have access to a bank account and by supporting the improvement of financial institutions in developing nations the UN strives to reduce this number and improve bank accessibility.
How businesses can assist with SDG 8:
Businesses can make a significant impact by ensuring that there is ‘decent work’ throughout their entire supply chain. Indeed, rejecting or ceasing business with suppliers that don’t value labour rights is an exemplary way to express your businesses disapproval of such practices, unfortunately it may not result in long term change. Rather, by expressing to suppliers the expectation that workers need to be paid a living wage instead of a minimum wage can further highlight the importance and availability of ‘decent work’.
Long term change is derived from systematic transformations that improve on the working conditions and respect for labour rights.