World Day for Decent Work

Brick-kiln Workers

Since 2008, every October 7th has been World Day for Decent Work (WDDW). The main focus of this year’s WDDW is raising awareness about the issues surrounding precarious work, which refers to non-permanent, temporary, casual, insecure and contingent forms of work. In such economically turbulent times, “decent work must be at the centre of governments’ actions” to “build a new global economy that puts people first” in the words of the ITUC.

Some of us may think that a decent day’s work is just a hard day in the office with a lunch break at noon, but for some it means a lot more. For them, it means not having to wonder if they will be able to earn money that day to be able to feed their hungry families. Workers employed in ‘precarious’ jobs are not covered by labour laws and social security protection and encounter difficulties in law.

Here at FYF, we strive to help those employed in ‘precarious work’, working with the marginalised to realise their rights and achieve more job security. For example, we are currently engaged in working with brick-kiln workers in Utter Pradesh, India. A previous project from 2006 to 2010 saw the establishment of a Brick-kiln Association that represented the rights of local workers, resulting in improved labour conditions, timely payment of wages and non-formal education for the workers’ children. The continuation of this project, funded by DFID, aims to empower 9,483 marginalised people from brick-kiln communities in four districts of Utter Pradesh to realise their civil, economic, political and social rights by March 2015.

That is only one example of how FYF promotes decent work among the marginalised. The story of Sumitra Devi is another. Over the next month, I will be sharing Sumitra’s story with you. Through our local partners, FYF trained Sumitra in sustainable farming techniques to ensure that she would be able to grow crops other than just wheat, on which she had previously relied. This meant an improved healthy diet for her and her family, as well as an improved harvest. This improved harvest created a surplus that Sumitra could sell and earn a higher income for her family. Find out how else FYF helped Sumitra in our next blog.

Inspired to help people like Sumitra to build a better future? Get involved in Curry for Change and you can have fun with food and friends while helping to make real changes to people’s lives.

Find out more about this initiative at our website:

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