Everyone deserves to have a good job that is safe and pays them well. Many jobs around the world put workers in danger, do not pay them enough to live comfortably, or do not employ men, women, or people with disabilities equally. Without a job, or one that pays well, people cannot always visit the doctor when they are sick for example. Good, safe, well-paid jobs should be available for everyone — men and women, young people, and people with disabilities.
People in unsafe work environments are at risk of health problems, injuries, and some lose their lives due to poor conditions. If people have a good job in their own community it also helps achieve other Sustainable Development Goals. Things don’t have to be that way. We can promote policies that encourage entrepreneurship and job creation. If their job pays them well, they can afford nutritious food for their family (SDG2: Zero Hunger), they can afford a home in a safe neighborhood (SDG1: No Poverty, SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities) and buy school supplies for their children to get a good education (SDG4: Quality Education).
An important part of economic growth is that people have jobs that pay enough to support themselves and their families. The good news is that the middle class is growing worldwide—almost tripling in size in developing countries in the last 25 years, to more than a third of the population.
But today, job growth is not keeping pace with the growing labor force.
We can eradicate forced labor, slavery and human trafficking. And in the end we can achieve the goal of decent work for all women and men by 2030.
People may not agree about what kinds of jobs there should be or what pay should look like or who should be responsible for providing them, but everyone agrees that more jobs is a good thing. Global Goal 8 is all about jobs and the economies that foster them. Goal 8 envisions a world where everyone--women and young adults included--has a fulfilling job that supports a decent livelihood, where small businesses can thrive, where “the cost of doing business” does not entail environmental degradation.
What can you do?
Support labor issues; Buy from companies that use sustainable materials, care about the environment and treat workers fairly; Encourage the passage of laws that elevate small businesses and provide job training programs for youths; Most importantly, stay informed. Read about workers in other countries; Read about business practices; Talk to your friends about these issues.
Are you ready to work towards this goal? Where can you start?
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