Because at the end of the day, work represents an important part of a person’s daily life, both for earning a living and for fulfilling one’s potential. Decent work is the best guarantee against poverty and deprivation both at material and immaterial (physical, intellectual, spiritual, etc.) levels.
So, a bit more on my organisation, World Solidarity and why we focus on social protection.
WSM (a contraction of Wereld Solidariteit – Solidarité Mondiale) is the NGO of the Belgian Christian Labour Movement, better known as the ACW-MOC. Within this movement and in close co-operation with its constituent organisations, WSM is responsible for international cooperation and solidarity with social movements in the South, namely in Africa, Latin America and Asia.
It is clear that in the process of building societies, several possible paths can be followed. For WSM, our path is towards a society with greater social justice and solidarity (and thus reduced poverty, social exclusion, inequality, and vulnerability). Development cooperation is only a manner of contributing to building societies.
– This development must be inclusive: The main powers (political, economic and social powers) must act together while acknowledging their respective roles. Together they must define how they build society and where their responsibilities lie in this process.
– This development must also be sustainable: social, economic and environmental development must go hand in hand.
WSM and its network can contribute to this inclusive and sustainable development on condition that social movements constitute a genuine social power able to interact efficiently with political and economic powers. Social movements are indeed a force of change, a force of social change for the community, for society. A force which starts from and builds on the roots (bottom-up).
To successfully achieve such a development, we firmly believe that decent work strategies must be implemented. The concept of decent work was launched and is actively promoted by the oldest UN agency, the International Labour Organisation (ILO), and is based on 4 pillars: a productive and freely chosen employment (1) for which international labour rights (including fundamental labour standards) are respected (2), which provides access to social protection (3) and where the workers’ voices are heard through social dialogue (4).