The working group ‘Global Labour in Crisis’ is led by Worldconnector René Grotenhuis in collaboration with Worldconnectors partner Society for International Development (SID) Netherlands, the CNV labor union, and The Broker, an independent platform and online magazine focusing on globalization and development.

The working group aims to gain insights into the issues behind the labor market crisis at both national and international levels. The goal is to analyze the global interconnection of labor and labor market issues from various perspectives and, in turn, contribute to the policy agenda, both for the Netherlands and for how the Dutch are actively engaged in the development process and labor markets abroad through official development assistance and foreign trade.

Labor means more than just work. It is not merely a means to lift people out of poverty and a foundation for a country’s development. At an individual level, it provides income and contributes to a person’s sense of identity. Labor instills a sense of self-worth and connects women and men to society, enabling them to actively participate.

However, labor is under pressure in both developed and developing economies. Due to global issues like a lack of investment and incoherent government policies, unemployment is steadily increasing. As a result, more people are working below their skill levels, and low-skilled individuals are finding it increasingly difficult to secure employment. This, in turn, leads to more people working under hazardous labor conditions in the informal sector. Meanwhile, an increasing number of workers, particularly women and youth, are living at or below the poverty line.

This year, the working group organized two expert meetings on the topics of ‘Labour in Crisis’ and ‘Labor and Employment as Core Challenges for Development Cooperation.’ These will be followed by an international conference later this year. The information and opinions gathered during these meetings will ultimately be compiled into a concluding document with policy recommendations.

In collaboration with The Broker, an online debate on employment has also been established, linked to The Broker’s extensive employment dossier.