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Providing decent work key to achieving fairer globalization – Migiro

11 December 2007If globalization is to deliver on its promise of increased opportunities and benefits for all countries, it must be accompanied by decent employment that advances both business and workers, Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro said today. For many people around the world, achieving “fairer globalization” is very simple, Ms. Migiro said at an event on employment and globalization hosted by the non-profit institution Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung. “They want governments and the private sector to deliver productive, fulfilling jobs – jobs that offer an adequate income, while enhancing a sense of self-worth and dignity.” But at the same time, companies face demands to reduce labour costs and increase their international competitiveness, she noted, adding that too often, these conflicting demands play out at the expense of employees. “Labour regulations and protection of workers’ rights are often inadequate; employment is increasingly casual and informal,” she said. Ms. Migiro pointed to the recent UN Report on the World Social Situation which confirmed an increasingly shared belief that much work remains to be done to achieve full and productive employment for all. “Job creation cannot be a mere by-product of economic growth,” she stated. “Decent work must be put at the centre of economic and social policymaking – and more integral in corporate strategy.” That includes further incorporating labour standards and workers’ rights into management practices. “The good news is that a company’s ability to compete, gain trust and ensure long-term financial viability is today more clearly linked to issues of responsibility,” said the Deputy Secretary-General, noting that companies around the world are increasingly implementing policies that respect human rights and ensure safe and decent workplace conditions. “And because these responsible practices often help businesses to attract and retain skilled workers, save costs, enhance productivity, build brands and create trust, there is good reason to believe that more companies will follow suit,” she added.

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