Decent Rural Employment

Unleashing rural development through productive employment and decent work


The ILO Governing Body at its March 2011 session issued a Report confirming ILO’s mandate and capacity in rural areas, calling to strengthen further ILO’s work targeting decent work deficits that impede rural communities to realize their potential as engines of growth, good jobs creation, sustainable and equitable development, and crisis resilience.

The discussion document Unleashing development through productive employment and decent work: building on 40 years of ILO work in rural areas synthesized ILO’s considerable rural development work,  particularly since the 1970s, highlighting its rich legacy and lessons; evidenced gaps and barriers to ratification and implementation of labour standards; provided highlights of ILO’s recent work to implement the  Conclusions of the ILC discussion on Promoting rural employment for poverty reduction; and proposed a strategy for the coming years, built on those over 40 years of ILO rural development work and those Conclusions.

Government, employer and worker delegates strongly supported the strategy proposed; consisting of a combination shared responsibility across the Organization for rural work, and two mechanisms to ensure coordination: a core Team to maintain an ILO vision and general direction, prompt and facilitate action, knowledge management (including through an ILO rural webpage and a platform), coordination, synergies and external partnerships; and eight thematic clusters to achieve focus and joint work – on agribusiness value chains, career guidance and skills acquisition, tourism, food security, the social protection floor, occupational safety and health, labour standards coverage, and on giving a “voice” to rural employers and workers.