Decent Employment and the MDGs

Towards a new role for the
private sector ?
Stakeholders meeting of the Belgian
development cooperation
Rudi Delarue
ILO Office for the EU and the Benelux countries
Towards a new role for the private sector ?
• The debate is timely and welcomed
• ILO brings together the actors of the real economy:
employers, workers, governments of 183 countries
• ILO covers the world of work in an integrated way
combining economic efficiency with social justice
• Social, employment, economic, financial and
environmental policies go hand in hand
• Not economic growth versus human development
and governance
Towards a new role for the private sector ?
• A fragmented and isolated approach will not work:
for instance MDGs should not be taken in isolation; part of a more
integrated approach involving also inclusive growth, income
opportunities, income distribution and rights
• Effective public- private partnership
(PPP)/cooperation is essential for promoting
inclusive growth and sustainable development
• Private sector has an interest in promoting
governance and capacity building of public
institutions and private actors
Towards a new role for the private sector ?
• Interest in having mechanisms/systems
transforming growth into jobs into income and vice
• Decent work including social protection floor
• Sustainable enterprises framework: includes CSR
but goes beyond (e.g. enabling public framework)
• Support for voice and representation of workers,
minimum wage fixing, minimum rules and
practices on health and safety at work, link
education with labour markets
• Promoting women entrepreneurship
• Role of private sector in fragile states
Support to private sector
• Not only classic private profit making organisations
• Social economy and cooperatives in Africa
• Capacity building of organisations of the private
sector such as employers and workers
organisations and of bodies promoting social
• Need for an actor based approach
• Not by general call for proposals targeting civil
society in general
• Donors should not create or support ad random/ad
hoc private sector organisations
• Potential in informal economy and rural sector
Towards a new role for the private sector?
• ILO helpdesk for business on international labour standards
• IFC and EBRD social and environmental guidelines for loans to
• Better work addressing decent work deficits in a sector, region,
country: ILO, IFC, companies, public donors
• Combating child labour in cacao sector going beyond formal
economy of the supply chain
• Suggestion: PPP on strengthening labour inspection and
administration (instead of private audits and certification only)
• Health coverage initiatives in rural, informal, semi-informal and
formal economy (mutuelles) that can become part of a more
comprehensive system (social protection floor)
• Apprentiship systems, skills development and green economy
Thank you for the attention
Useful references
ILO helpdesk for Business on International Labour Standards
Framework for sustainable enterprises
ILO reply to the EU Green paper on inclusive growth and sustainable development
Social economy and cooperatives in Africa
Women entrepreneurship in Africa
The UN social protection floor initiative (inspired by South-South cooperation,
involvement of experts from developing countries, from emerging economies and
from EU)