Work is one of the few experiences common to most of humanity. It not only plays an obvious and crucial role in the well-being of workers and their families but paves the way to the broader social and economic development of individuals, their communities and societies.
The primary goal of the ILO today is to promote opportunities for women and men to obtain decent and productive work, in conditions of freedom, equity, security and human dignity."Juan Somavia, former ILO Director General (1999-2012)
But progress depends not just on enough work being available but on its quality too. Work that traps people in bondage or poverty (rather than releasing them from it), or exposes them to hazards, discrimination or insecurity, does not allow individuals – or the economies they are part of - to advance and fulfil their potential.
Decent work therefore sums up the aspirations all people have for their working lives;