Promoting labour inclusion as a way to overcome inequalities and informality in Latin America and the Caribbean

Simultaneous interpretation spanish-english-spanish will be available.

Work is the master key to equality, the axis of social and economic integration and a key mechanism for overcoming poverty (ECLAC, 2010 and 2014). However, work is also an area that can produce and exacerbate inequalities. In this sense, and in line with what is stated in the 8th Sustainable Development Goal (SDG), not all types of paid work make it possible to overcome poverty and reduce inequalities. Undoubtedly, labour inclusion must occur under decent working conditions, i.e., employment -among other characteristics- must ensure sufficient income to overcome poverty and achieve a decent life.

The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) considers that labour inclusion entails improving working conditions, with broad participation in the labour market under decent conditions, which, together with social inclusion, would allow the full participation of the population in society and development. Thus, it is possible to speak of a continuum from very accentuated levels of exclusion, which reflect the situation of those whose rights are mainly violated, to full inclusion, a condition in which there are high levels of socioeconomic well-being and capacity to exercise rights (ECLAC, 2017).

The region's labour markets are undergoing a significant change, marked by technological innovations, organizational transformations and various environmental, demographic, political and cultural trends. In addition, the social and labour impacts of the pandemic, which have a countervailing effect on household welfare, are not diminishing. On the one hand, growth forecasts, although low, can imply an increase in employment and wages. But on the other hand, high inflation means a decrease in the purchasing power of households, especially the most vulnerable ones (ECLAC, 2022). Thus, public action must urgently innovate labour and social protection policies to face the current situation.

The objective of this third Regional Seminar on Social Development is to reflect on the promotion of labour inclusion policies that allow progress towards the reduction of gaps with experts from the United Nations and multilateral organizations, academics, and labour policy decision-makers in the region. In addition, we hope to provide a space to discuss and share strategies and innovations proposed in the field of labour policies as integral parts of the transformative recovery with equality and sustainability in the region and to highlight successful experiences.