Global Labour in Crisis

The Working Group ‘Global Labour in crisis’ is chaired by Worldconnector René Grotenhuis in cooperation with the Worldconnectors partner the Society for International Development (SID), the Dutch trade union CNV and The Broker, an independent platform and online magazine on globalization and development.

The working group will gather insights into the issues inherent to the crisis in the labour market at both national and international level. 

The working group’s aim is to consider labour and labour market problems from various perspectives and so produce an analysis set within a global framework. This will enable the working group to contribute to  both the Dutch internal policy agenda and to the way in which the Dutch via foreign trade and Development Cooperation are active in the development processes and the labour market elsewhere.

Employment is more than just work. It is a central vehicle to sustainably lifting millions out of poverty and at the same time forms the basis of a nation’s development. At the individual level, employment not only provides an income, but contributes significantly to our sense of identity. It provides a sense of self-worth and connects men and women to their society, so that they can become active participants.

However, labour markets in both developed and developing economies are in crisis. Lack of investment and trade financing, demand shortfalls in export-oriented industries and policy incoherence leading to unemployment are causing increasing problems which have severe global implications. In addition to the increase of unemployment rates, a growing number of people work below their education level, and opportunities for less-educated and less-productive groups are declining. The number of people working in the informal sector is also on the rise, which is increasing the risk of people engaging in vulnerable or dangerous forms of employment. The number of workers now living below or near the poverty line has increased substantially with women and youth workers being particularly at risk.

This year the working group organised two expert-meetings entitled Labour in Crisis and Arbeid en werkgelegenheid als kernopgaven voor ontwikkelingssamenwerking. These will be followed later this year by an international conference. The  information and views gathered during these events will be used to draft a Final Paper with policy reccommendations.

In cooperation with The Broker an online debate on employment has been set up which also contains a link to The Brokers extensive employment dossier.