Religion and Decent Work OPEN WORKGROUP

Religion and Decent Work OPEN WORKGROUP

Workgroup Information

Religions and Decent Work

Open Workgroup


Mr. Pierre Martinot-Lagarde, Special Advisor for Socio-Religious Affairs, ILO

Mr. Md Montasir Rahman, intern



Welcome to the "Religion & Decent Work" Open Work Group! 

In today's world people continue to yearn for social justice. Women and men, families and communities want to live in a world where the values of human dignity, respect and security, of freedom and equality have meaning in their society.

Churches and religious communities can together speak out with a strong voice for peace, justice and care for creation. The World Council of Churches helps churches and religious communities work together with and for people who are left aside in today's world.

The ILO shares this quest through all the dimensions of its Decent Work Agenda: respect for fundamental rights at work, the search for opportunities for full and productive employment, the need for social protection, and a continuous process of dialogue between social partners. To lead the way towards these goals, we can contribute to the "material well-being and the spiritual development of all in conditions of freedom and dignity, of economic security and equal opportunity" (ILO, Declaration of Philadelphia).

A set of interreligious seminars on Decent Work are currently being organized in the framework of a partnership between the World Council of Churches, the ISESCO and the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.

The working group aims to facilitate exchange among everyone interested  in the topic . Contributions from participants, supporting documents and relevant materials will be shared in this forum.


Identifying possible convergences between religious traditions and the Decent Work Agenda on the following topics:

  • The meaning of work in each religious tradition
  • Rights based approach and ethics concerning work in each religious tradition.
  • Labour standard and human dignity
  • Solidarity and social protection in each tradition: Who are the most vulnerable? How do communities engage in solidarity?
  • Dialogue and the value of dialogue in addressing social justice issues? Who is to be included in the dialogue?

Other themes central to ILO work and the Decent Work Agenda in this Work Group include:

  • Youth employment
  • Child labour


Working method

This Open Work Group invites diverse perspectives and engage the public in dialogue with experts from a diversity of religious traditions and specialists from the International Labour Organization. You may post comments on our web forum as well as create and subscribe to Wikis.

This web based platform will allow us to continue the discussion and share information as we hold future seminars. Members are currently sharing documents and inviting others to join this Open Work Group.


Expected outcome and impact

These efforts will facilitate discussion on themes to be highlighted in a pedagogical brochure and contribute more substantially to a larger publication.

Participants and Access Policy

This workgroup is designated as an "Open Work Group" to promote discussion. It is therefore open to all participants. Interested parties should request to join via this page and a moderator will verify his/her request.


While the discussion is ongoing, the time frame for the project is one year.


Milestones include the Interreligious Seminar on Decent Work held in Dakar, Senegal  December 2009 and an Interreligious Seminar on Decent Work held this past April in Geneva, Switzerland.Religion and Decent Work