Decent Work Research Prize Laureates address ILO

Decent Work Research Prize Laureates Professor Jayati Ghosh and Professor Eve C. Landau called for economic policy reforms based on decent work to meet current challenges in global labour markets at a ceremony held during the 312th session of the ILO Governing Body.

News | 11 November 2011

GENEVA (ILO News) -- Decent Work Research Prize Laureates Professor Jayati Ghosh and Professor Eve C. Landau called for economic policy reforms based on decent work to meet current challenges in global labour markets at a ceremony held during the 312th session of the ILO Governing Body.

ILO Director-General Juan Somavia presented the awards to both scholars, saying “Today the ILO pays tribute to two distinguished researchers for putting their enormous intellectual prowess at the service of an agenda for social justice through the world of work. Their work helps keep alive belief in the possibility of a more just world. Their work points to options, not inevitability”.

Prof. Ghosh of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (India) is also Executive Secretary of the International Development Economics Associates (IDEAS). She was commended by the jury for her scholarly contributions to the analysis of decent work in the context of globalization, as well as the inter-linkages between employment, gender and development.

“Any formulation of economic strategy for our times must rest on some increasingly evident realities: periods of “rapid growth” have been based on unsustainable bubbles; such growth has contributed little in terms of generating more decent work and has significantly increased inequality”, Prof. Ghosh said.

“Popular sentiment is now against accepting these outcomes as reflected by the waves of protest in many different countries. This requires a completely different approach to macroeconomic policy making, which will be more compatible with the increasingly more vocally expressed aspirations and expectations of the majority of citizens”, she added.

Prof. Landau, Director of Studies at the International Faculty of Comparative Law in Luxembourg, was cited for her contribution to the advancement of knowledge on ILO standards, labour law and social justice.

“A few days ago, we bid welcome to the seven billionth inhabitant of our planet. In purely economic and social concepts, the particular individual will in due course turn into a worker or an employer and I wonder whether he/she will enjoy or practice decent work”, Prof. Landau said. “Hopefully, that seven billionth cohabitant will have a smoother path 'to obtain decent and productive work, in conditions of freedom, equity, security and human dignity’, in the words of Dr. Somavia, the ILO Director-General”.

Professor Landau also expressed the wish to see the term “decent work” to be included in the Oxford Companion of Law and “travail décent” in the French dictionary Larousse.

The Decent Work Research prize has been awarded since 2007 for major contributions to the analysis of decent work, labour law and social justice, according to Raymond Torres, Director of the ILO International Institute for Labour Studies which administers the prize.