Decent work and social justice in Pacific Small Island Developing States: Challenges, opportunities and policy responses

Paper prepared for the United Nations Small Island Developing States (SIDS) Conference, Apia, Samoa, 1-4 September 2014.

The report argues that decent employment, providing adequate livelihoods, social protection and respect for worker rights, is an essential element of environmental, social and economic sustainability.

The body of the paper is divided into three parts. Part 2 summarizes the geographic, economic, social and labour context of the Pacific, identifying some of the development challenges faced by the region. Part 3 sets out some of the key challenges in creating decent work, including constraints on employment and growth, the limited scope of social protection measures and schemes, insufficient social dialogue with key partners such as worker and employer organizations, impediments to labour rights protection, and the barriers to a socially inclusive workforce. Finally Part 4 provides thematic clusters of policy recommendations which the paper argues would help to increase decent work in the Pacific SIDS.