faster productivity growth, better standard of living and
sound ecosystem and realizing economic and social development while living
harmoniously with nature so that workers live and work in a good ecological
environment is the basic purpose of achieving sustainable development as well
as an important precondition for decent work for all workers.

5, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, South Africa

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“Measures to protect the environment and mitigate the impact
of climate change can also contribute to job creation.

Decent jobs

Decent work sums up the aspirations of people in their
working lives. It involves opportunities for work that is productive and
delivers a fair income, security in the workplace and social protection for
families, better prospects for personal development and social integration,
freedom for people to express their concerns, organize and participate in the
decisions that affect their lives and equality of opportunity and treatment for
all women and men.

The ILO’s Decent Work Agenda

Productive employment and decent work are key elements to
achieving a fair globalization and poverty reduction. The ILO has developed an
agenda for the community of work looking at job creation, rights at work,
social protection and social dialogue, with gender equality as a crosscutting

During the UN General Assembly in September 2015, decent work
and the four pillars of the Decent Work Agenda – employment creation, social
protection, rights at work, and social dialogue – became integral elements of
the new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Goal 8 of the 2030 Agenda
calls for the promotion of sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic
growth, full and productive employment and decent work, and will be a key area
of engagement for the ILO and its constituents. Furthermore, key aspects of
decent work are widely embedded in the targets of many of the other 16 goals of
the UN’s new development vision.

Youth and green jobs

The youth of today are the change agents of a more developed,
better world and they will be the leaders of tomorrow. The United Nations’
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) look at the young persons over the world
to lead the global efforts to achieve the SDGs. SDGs represent a collective
best vision for the future – a vision that promises the generations a safe,
hospitable planet, on which every person has the chance for a prosperous and
peaceful life. Providing the youth with the expertise and institutional
knowledge to carry out the plan we’ve built to sustain our planet through 2030
is the need of the hour. For the reason that the youth today will also bear the
consequences of any inaction, it is imperative that they become the flag
bearers for achieving the SDGs as they have the biggest stake in their success.

According  to  ILO’s 
Global  Trends Report  2012 
on  Youth,  nearly 
75  million  young 
people  are  unemployed 
across  the  world, 
which represents an increase of more than 4 million since 2007 (ILO,
2012). These challenges
are evident in India, which has the largest youth population in the world with
around 66 per cent of the total population under the age of 35. According to
2010 population figures, one in five young people in the world is an Indian.
India enjoys a demographic dividend where more than 50 per cent of its
population is in the working age group of 15 to 59 and 28 per cent in age group
15-29. It is expected that by the year 2020, more than 65 per cent of the
Indian population would be in the working age group and India would enjoy the
demographic dividend (Ms.Sunita Sanghi, Adviser & Ms. A. Srija, Director
Planning Commission, and Government of India).

Sustainable development is only useful if it leads to the
improved welfare of ordinary people. Generating more decent and green jobs that
provide a living wage, social protection and worker rights is the best way to
promote the three components of sustainable development: economic growth,
social cohesion and environmental sustainability (I.L.O-2012). One of the main
challenges, according to the International Labour Organization (ILO, 2010)16,
is the connection between youth unemployment and social exclusion. The
organization conducted research that suggests this relationship can lead to
social and political instability. According to the World Bank (2015)17, 262
million youth are economically inactive, the majority of which live in cities,
making their participation in a country’s markets an important part of urban
development. In the words of Malala Yousafzai (2013), as a candidate for the
Nobel Peace Prize, “in many parts of the world, students are going to school
every day. It is normal life but in other parts of the world, we are starving
for education… it is like a precious gift…. “. Thus, the connection
between youth engagement in inclusive urban development and the needs of the
young population is fundamental to the development of prosperous cities

Green jobs and sustainable environment

change    poses    major   
risks    to economic   prosperity  
and   social   progress. Current    carbon   
and resource-intensive approaches    
to     economic     growth    
and development   will   increasingly   undermine productivity   and  
affect   enterprises,   jobs, livelihoods and   in  
some   cases   even  
the ability of   households   to  
remain   in   their region. According    to   
ILO    estimates,    a continued   rise  
of   emissions   until  
2050 would result in the loss of over 7% of global economic
productivity. By  contrast,  if 
properly  managed,  climate change  action 
can  lead  to 
more  and  better jobs, 
poverty  reduction  and  social 
inclusion in   the   quest  
for   a sustainable   and low – carbon  economy. 
The ILO reports that the transition  
to   a   greener  
and   low – carbon economy could
generate up to 60 million additional jobs worldwide over the next two decades compared
to a 

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