08. Decent Work and Economic Growth and SRHR

The goal of  SDG 8 is to “promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all” (United Nations, 2016). This SDG is closely tied to SDG 1 on the eradication of poverty. Decent work and economic growth must be inclusive and based on equal opportunities. This requires a specific focus on the advancement of women. Integrating women into all sectors of the economy will contribute to the achievement of this goal for the benefit of whole communities. At the same time, ensuring that girls and women can access quality education and decent work opportunities helps to protect them against early marriage, gender-based violence and sexual abuse, and increases their autonomy in decisions around sexual and reproductive health.

There are various conventions and laws that support Decent Work and Economic Growth as envisioned in SDG 8. The sections relevant to SRHR can be found below.

You can see how SDG 8 – Decent Work and Economic Growth – relates to the SRHR of different groups below.

Women
Women SRHR of Women and Decent Work and Economic Growth
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According to UN Women, as of 2013 the employment-to-population ratio globally was only 47.1% for women while it was 72.2% for men. On average women devote 2-10 times the amount of child care hours per day compared to men (UN Women, 2015). In many households this creates dependent relationships, and makes women vulnerable to gender based violence.

Human Rights Conventions and agreements for Women and SRHR.
The convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women.
  • Article 6.0 States Parties shall take all appropriate measures, including legislation, to suppress all forms of traffic in women and exploitation of prostitution of women.
  • Article 10.0 States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in order to ensure their equal rights with men in the field of education.
  • Article 11.2 States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to prevent discrimination against women on the grounds of marriage or maternity and ensure their effective right to work.
  • Article 12.1 States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in the field of health care in order to ensure, on a basis of equality of men and women, access to health care services, including those related to family planning.
  • Article 12.2 States Parties shall ensure to women appropriate services in connection with pregnancy, confinement and the post-natal period, granting free services where necessary, as well as adequate nutrition during pregnancy and lactation.
  • Article 16.1 States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in all matters relating to marriage and family relations.
Convention against torture and other cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment or punishment.
  • Article 13.0 Each State Party shall ensure that any individual who alleges he has been subjected to torture in any territory under its jurisdiction has the right to complain to, and to have his case promptly and impartially examined by, its competent authorities. Steps shall be taken to ensure that the complainant and witnesses are protected against all ill-treatment or intimidation as a consequence of his complaint or any evidence given.
  • Article 14.1 Each State Party shall ensure in its legal system that the victim of an act of torture obtains redress and has an enforceable right to fair and adequate compensation, including the means for as full rehabilitation as possible.
The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
  • Article 12.0 The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health. This includes the provision for the reduction of the stillbirth-rate and of infant mortality and for the healthy development of the child.
  • Article 10.0 The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize that special protection should be accorded to mothers during a reasonable period before and after childbirth. During such period working mothers should be accorded paid leave or leave with adequate social security benefits. Absolute protection and assistance should be accorded to the family … particularly for its establishment and while it is responsible for the care and education of
United Nations Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS.
  • Section 54 By 2005, reduce the proportion of infants infected with HIV by 20 per cent, and by 50 per cent by 2010, by: ensuring that 80 per cent of pregnant women accessing antenatal care have information, counselling and other HIV prevention services available to them, increasing the availability of and by providing access for HIV-infected women and babies to effective treatment to reduce mother-to-child transmission of HIV, as well as through effective interventions for HIV-infected women, including voluntary and confidential counselling and testing, access to treatment, especially anti-retroviral therapy and, where appropriate, breast milk substitutes and the provision of a continuum of care.
  • Section 60 By 2005, implement measures to increase capacities of women and adolescent girls to protect themselves from the risk of HIV infection, principally through the provision of health care and health services, including sexual and reproductive health, and through prevention education that promotes gender equality within a culturally and gender sensitive framework;
  • Section 61 By 2005, ensure development and accelerated implementation of national strategies for women’s empowerment, promotion and protection of women’s full enjoyment of all human rights and reduction of their vulnerability to HIV/AIDS through the elimination of all forms of discrimination, as well as all forms of violence against women and girls, including harmful traditional and customary practices, abuse, rape and other forms of sexual violence, battering and trafficking in women and girls.
Children
Children SRHR of Children and Decent Work and Economic Growth
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According to UNICEF, the Southern and Eastern Africa region has the highest rates of child labour in the world. There is a very high variance between countries, however on average 36% of all children in this region are involved in child labour at some point in their life (UNICEF, 2017b). In many cases this prevents children from obtaining an adequate education and limits access to healthcare services, therefore reducing their knowledge of SRHR.

Human Rights Conventions and agreements for Children and SRHR
Convention on the rights of the child, on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography.
  • Article 1.1 States Parties shall prohibit the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography as provided for by the present Protocol.
  • Article 8.1 All state parties shall inform child victims of their rights, their role and the scope, timing and progress of the proceedings and of the disposition of their cases.
  • Article 9.2 States Parties shall promote awareness in the public at large, including children, through information by all appropriate means, education and training, about the preventive measures and harmful effects of the offences referred to in the present Protocol.
  • Article 10.3 States Parties shall promote the strengthening of international cooperation in order to address the root causes, such as poverty and underdevelopment, contributing to the vulnerability of children to the sale of children, child prostitution, child pornography and child sex tourism.
Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
  • Article 12.0 Each State Party shall ensure that its competent authorities proceed to a prompt and impartial investigation, wherever there is reasonable ground to believe that an act of torture has been committed in any territory under its jurisdiction.
  • Article 13.0 Each State Party shall ensure that any individual who alleges he has been subjected to torture in any territory under its jurisdiction has the right to complain to, and to have his case promptly and impartially examined by, its competent authorities. Steps shall be taken to ensure that the complainant and witnesses are protected against all ill-treatment or intimidation as a consequence of his complaint or any evidence given.
  • Article 14.1 Each State Party shall ensure in its legal system that the victim of an act of torture obtains redress and has an enforceable right to fair and adequate compensation, including the means for as full rehabilitation as possible.
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
  • Article 10.0 Special measures of protection and assistance should be taken on behalf of all children and young persons without any discrimination for reasons of parentage or other conditions. Children and young persons should be protected from economic and social exploitation.
  • Article 13.2 Secondary education in its different forms, including technical and vocational secondary education, shall be made generally available and accessible to all by every appropriate means, and in particular by the progressive introduction of free education.
United Nations Declarations of Commitment on HIV/Aids.
  • Section 65 By 2003, develop and by 2005 implement national policies and strategies to: build and strengthen governmental, family and community capacities to provide a supportive environment for orphans and girls and boys infected and affected by HIV/AIDS including by providing appropriate counselling and psycho-social support; ensuring their enrolment in school and access to shelter, good nutrition, health and social services on an equal basis with other children; to protect orphans and vulnerable children from all forms of abuse, violence, exploitation, discrimination, trafficking and loss of inheritance.
  • Section 67 Urge the international community, particularly donor countries, civil society, as well as the private sector to complement effectively national programmes to support programmes for children orphaned or made vulnerable by HIV/AIDS in affected regions, in countries at high risk and to direct special assistance to sub-Saharan Africa;
LGBTIQ+
LGBTIQ+ SRHR of LGBTIQ+ communities and Decent Work and Economic Growth
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The International Labour Organization has found that LGBTIQ+ people - particularly transgender people - suffer such extreme forms of discrimination in the employment system that many are unable to obtain adequate forms of employment simply due to their appearance. As a result, many are forced into the sex work industry (International Labour Organization, 2015: 2).

Human Rights Conventions and agreements for LGBTIQ+ communities and SRHR
The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
  • Article 1.1 All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.
  • Article 12.0 The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.
Universal Declaration on Human Rights
  • Article 1.0 Everyone is entitled to all of the rights and freedoms put forth in this declaration, without discrimination of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.
United Nations Resolution - Protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
  • Decides To address the multiple, intersecting and aggravated forms of violence and discrimination faced by persons on the basis of their sexual orientation and gender identity; to conduct, facilitate and support the provision of advisory services, technical assistance capacity- building and international cooperation in support of national efforts to combat violence and discrimination against persons on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
  • Article 26.0 All persons are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to the equal protection of the law. In this respect, the law shall prohibit any discrimination and guarantee to all persons equal and effective protection against discrimination on any ground such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.
United Nations Human Rights Committee
  • UHRC has found that the treaty includes an obligation to prevent discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
Migrants & Refugees
Migrants & Refugees SRHR of Migrants and Refugees and Decent Work and Economic Growth
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Due to overall social, economic, and political discrimination, migrants and refugees struggle to access decent employment and are often pushed into the underground economy.

Human Rights Conventions and agreements for Migrants & Refugees and SRHR
Convention on the protection of the rights of all migrants and members of their families.
  • Article 28.0 Migrant workers and members of their families shall have the right to receive any medical care that is urgently required for the preservation of their life or the avoidance of irreparable harm to their health on the basis of equality of treatment with nationals of the State concerned.
  • Article 43.0 Migrant workers shall enjoy equality of treatment with nationals of the State of employment in relation to access to social and health services, provided that the requirements for participation in the respective schemes are met.
Convention to Eliminate All Forms of Racism
  • Article 5.0 States Parties undertake to prohibit and to eliminate racial discrimination in all its forms and to guarantee the right of everyone, without distinction as to race, colour, or national or ethnic origin, to equality before the law in the enjoyment of the following rights: the right to marriage and choice of spouse; the right to public health, medical care, social security and social services; the right to education and training.
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
  • Article 1.0 Everyone is entitled to all of the rights and freedoms put forth in this declaration, without discrimination of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.
People with Disabilites
People with Disabilites SRHR of People with Disabilities and Decent Work and Economic Growth
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Due to overall social, economic, and political discrimination, people with disabilities struggle to access decent employment and are often pushed into the underground economy.

Human Rights Conventions and agreements for People with Disabilities and SRHR
Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
  • Article 8.1 States Parties undertake to adopt immediate, effective and appropriate measures: (b) To combat stereotypes, prejudices and harmful practices relating to persons with disabilities, including those based on sex and age, in all areas of life; (c) To promote awareness of the capabilities and contributions of persons with disabilities.
  • Article 25.0 States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to ensure access for persons with disabilities to health services that are gender-sensitive, including health-related rehabilitation. In particular state parties shall provide persons with disabilities with the same range, quality and standard of free or affordable health care and programmes as provided to other persons, including in the area of sexual and reproductive health and population-based public health programmes.
  • Article 23.1 States Parties shall take effective and appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against persons with disabilities in all matters relating to marriage, family, parenthood and relationships, on an equal basis with others, so as to ensure that the rights of persons with disabilities to decide freely and responsibly on the number and spacing of their children and to have access to age-appropriate information, reproductive and family planning education are recognized, and the means necessary to enable them to exercise these rights are provided.
  • Article 24.1 States Parties recognize the right of persons with disabilities to education.
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
  • Article 1.0 Everyone is entitled to all of the rights and freedoms put forth in this declaration, without discrimination of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.