Action Area 4.2 Eliminating Worker Exploitation and Ensuring Decent Work in Food Systems
Action area 4.2 on “Eliminating Worker Exploitation and Ensuring Decent Work in Food Systems” focuses on ensuring equitable livelihoods based on promoting labour /human rights, economic and social justice, and the right to adequate and nutritious food for all food systems workers – as listed in the following paragraph – and increasing opportunities for decent and productive employment within the agri-food sector. This involves guaranteeing effective implementation of international labour/human rights standards by governments and businesses and improved functioning and governance of labour markets, in particular in the rural economy, underpinned by policies and practices that guarantee rights at work, empower workers and their organisations, and deliver decent working and living conditions, including the right to health and safety, living incomes and wages, social protection, food security and adequate nutrition for all food systems workers. Particular attention is paid to eliminating exploitation and discrimination in the workplace, ensuring equal rights for women and men workers, and in access to productive assets among groups of workers particularly exposed to socio-economic vulnerability. Among vulnerable groups more susceptible to abuses and rights violations are: workers in precarious employment, which include the majority of food-systems workers both waged and self-employed; migrant workers, who increasingly provide vital skills and labour to agri-food sectors in many countries; women, who face gendered barriers in accessing productive and financial resources; and groups who are marginalized on grounds of ethnicity, race, religion, social or indigenous origin. Effectively addressing the decent work deficits for all food systems workers is key to advancing equitable livelihoods, economic and social justice, resilient food supply chains, and sustainable transformation of our food systems.
Focal Points: Peter Hurst, Vasanthi Venkatesh, Elvis Beytullayev, Lana Weidgenant and Sharon Bligh.
Game Changing Propositions Wave 1
4.01 Strengthen Labour Regulations by Placing People’s Dignity and Rights at the Centre through a rights-based framework for regulations that is intersectional and includes labour rights, social protections, incorporates UN human rights conventions, builds people power, and challenges any forms of neo-colonisation of Indigenous peoples.
4.02 Improve Governance of Labour Markets in Food Systems by addressing decent work deficits and upholding and protecting labour rights in the agri-food sector, through ratification and effective implementation of relevant labour standards, in addition to being an important objective in itself, is key to facilitating agricultural growth and inclusive food systems, with potential significant multiplier effects on other sectors.
4.03 Promote Ratification and Effective Implementation of International Labour Standards to use companies as a strategic lever to connect to their employees and supply chain workers, providing access to and information about good nutrition through four inflexion points: healthy food at work, nutrition education, nutrition-focused health checks, and breastfeeding support.
4.05 Institutionalize and Mainstream the Anti-Discrimination and Labour Rights of Migrant (Foreign) Workers in Agriculture and Across the Food Chain using a right-based anti-discrimination and labour rights framework including greater access to open work permits and permanent residency for migrant (foreign) workers.
4.18 Promoting Social Protection in Coherence with Agri-Food Systems Related Sectors by promoting the expansion of social protection, in coherence with agri-food systems related sectors in order to boosting economic growth; enhancing the productivity of families and supporting them to diversify their source of income; achieving food security and nutrition, and building the resilience of poor rural families.
1.09 Scale up a Workforce Nutrition Alliance to use companies as a strategic lever to connect to their employees and supply chain workers, providing access to and information about good nutrition through four inflexion points: healthy food at work, nutrition education, nutrition-focused health checks, and breastfeeding support.