Objective 8: decent employment and economic growth
On the left, Bouraga, Tagant (Mauritania), 2008, on the right, supermarket in Segovia (Spain), 2018 © Francisco Sánchez Aguado
SDO 8 aims to Promote sustained, inclusive economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent jobs for everyone. Lack of employment is the main cause of not being able to escape from poverty, even though in many countries having a job does not provide sufficient means to escape either. Around half the world’s population subsists on the equivalent of 2 US dollars a day, and lack of decent job opportunities, insufficient investment and low spending prevent everybody from sharing in social progress.
Although a lack of decent jobs affects all the world, it does so to different degrees and, as is shown in the photos, situations are radically different for the same kind of work, not just as regards the environment –which is important- but also as regards the working conditions like contracts, salary, healthcare, security, etc.
Along with the goals for 2030 such as GNP growth of at least 7% a year in underprivileged countries or achieving full, productive and decent employment for all women and men, are more ambitious goals, such as taking immediate steps to eradicate forced labour, slavery and people trafficking and to ban and eliminate the worse kinds of child labour, including recruitment and use of child soldiers, and, by 2025, eliminate all kinds of child labour. There are also lukewarm measures such as trying to improve production and efficient use of the world’s resources, or trying to separate economic growth from the degradation of the environment: we need to do more than achieve that separation if we want a secure future, and to look for alternatives to GNP growth to achieve the development and wellbeing of states and their citizens.