You are viewing an archived web page, collected at the request of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) using Archive-It. This page was captured on 02:51:35 Feb 05, 2017, and is part of the UNESCO collection. The information on this web page may be out of date. See All versions of this archived page.
Loading media information hide
  UNESCO.ORG The Organization Education Natural Sciences Social & Human Sciences Culture Communication & Information
UNESCOPoverty is a violation of Human Rights
   Poverty and Human Rights: UNESCO's Anti-Poverty Projects

Decent Work
"Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment. Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work. Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection." (Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Paris 1948, art. 23)
Decent WorkPoor people invariably lack adequate and secure livelihoods. In the countryside and cities, they experience unemployment, underemployment, unreliable casual labour, poverty wages and unsafe working conditions. In the countryside, their livelihoods are made precarious by multiple factors such as: inadequate access to land and irrigation, lack of seeds and fertilisers, deficiencies of transport, and the overexploitation of common resources such as pastureland, forests and fish.

The right to decent work encompasses productive and sufficient work of acceptable quality in which rights are protected and which generates an adequate income with adequate social protection. Sufficient work means that all have full access to income-generating opportunities. Thus, the right to decent work has three rights dimensions: the right to work, rights in work and the right to adequate social protection.
The right to decent work is not confined to wage employment, but extends to self-employment, home working and other income-generating activities. It demands the creation of a social, economic and physical environment in which all people have fair and equal opportunities to prosper by virtue of their own endeavour and in a manner consistent with their dignity. Thus, the right to decent work carries with it the responsibility to promote the personal capabilities and expand the opportunities for people to find productive work and to earn a decent livelihood.
Accordingly, the right to decent work implies the availability of both employment opportunities and the preconditions for income generation such as the availability of assets, credit and a favourable regulatory environment.
Rights in work include the right of everyone to the enjoyment of just and favourable conditions of work, including fair wages, equal remuneration for work of equal value, equal opportunities, safe and healthy conditions of work, and reasonable hours of work and rest, as well as the rights to organize and bargain collectively.
Various forms of “exploitative” work, such as bonded labour and other forms of slavery-like practices are prohibited. All employment opportunities and income-generating activities must be of acceptable quality i.e. culturally appropriate and consistent with the dignity of the individual.
The right to decent work also requires that well-designed and adequate social safety mechanisms are put in place for those occasions, such as economic and political crises, when regular employment becomes unavailable to some individuals.

Worldmap - regional implementationRegional Implementation
This right is addressed by our projects in the following regions:
  • Africa - 4 projects
  • Arab States - 3 projects
  • Asia and the Pacific - 4 projects
  • Latin America and the Caribbean - 4 projects
  • Europe and North America - 1 project

Field Projects

 Breaking the poverty cycle of women: empowering adolescent girls to become agents of social transformation in South Asia
Empowering marginalized adolescent girls in Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan to become agents of social transformation

 Cultural and ecotourism in the mountainous regions of Central and South Asia
Poverty eradication through sustainable tourism development in Central Asia and the Himalayas

 Enhancing the socio-economic skills of deprived youth in the Arab States
A comprehensive skill training and capacity building program to improve the socio-economic opportunities for marginalized youth in four Arab countries

 Forging innovative and interdisciplinary approaches to the Aral Sea Basin
Contributing to poverty eradication through innovative approaches in an ecological disaster area

 Handicraft as a socio-economic and cultural development factor
Fighting poverty by developping handicraft in Africa, the Arab States, Asia and Latin America

 Integrating science and technology into micro-finance schemes: from subsistence living to small-scale enterprises
From subsistence living to small-scale enterprises to eradicate poverty in Eastern and Southern Africa

 Small-scale mining and sustainable development in Latin America
Economic and social development to improving the lives of artisan and small-scale mining communities in the fragile ecosystems of Latin America

 Strategy for the sustainable development of tourism in the Sahara
Fighting against poverty through sustainable development of tourism in the Sahara

 Technology and Poverty Eradication - TAPE -
Employing technology to address basic needs, access resources and to promote sustainable livelihoods globally

 Technology-related vocational training for marginalized girls : schools and learning centres as community catalysts for poverty reduction
Integrated approaches using formal and non-formal education as catalysts for poverty reduction among young girls in Cambodia, Indonesia and Nepal

 Youth development and poverty reduction through sustainable community tourism in the Caribbean - YouthPATH -
Involving youth in community tourism, cultural and natural heritage preservation for poverty eradication in the Carribean (YouthPATH)

  Email this page     Printable version

Eradication of Poverty,
especially Extreme Poverty

UN Millennium Development Goal 1

   UNESCO's Strategy
 UN Development
     Goals in focus

 UN Millenium Declaration
 UN Millennium Campaign
 Universal Declaration
     of Human Rights

  Research Projects
 Pilot Projects

  Who's who?
  Press Kit [ PDF format ]

  Poverty Team Area