Religion and Decent Work

Workgroup Information

Religions and Decent Work


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

Mr. Md Montasir Rahman, intern


Welcome to the "Religion & Decent Work" 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 speak out together 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 forward towards this goal, 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 participants 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 apporach and ethics work in each religious tradition
  • Labour standards and human dignity
  • Solidarity and social protection in each tradition: Who are the most vulnerable? How do communities engage in solidarity?
  • Social dialogue and the value of dialogue in addressing social justice issues: Who is to be included in the dialogue?
This platform, information sharing and follow-up for this reflection will focus on issues central to ILO work and part of the Decent Work Agenda in the following areas:
  • Youth employment
  • Child labour
  • Labour standard and human dignity
  • Social protection. 
Working Methods


These meetings include presentations from experts from a diversity of religious traditions as well as specialists from the International Labour Organization. There is opportunity for interventions, comments and a general debate.

This web based platform will allow us to continue the discussion between seminars and connect with other participants within the global series of interreligious seminars. We will share our presentations as well as additional thematic papers on " Religion & Decent Work." Additional experts will be asked to join us in an Open Work Group forum.

Expected outcome and impact


This Work Group will include participants from a similar seminar held in Dakar in December 2009, The Interreligious Seminar on Decent Work held here in Geneva and will include future participants as part of wider project on "Religion & Decent Work."

These efforts will document and categorize themes, participant contributions and recommendations that could be highlighted in a brochure or more substantially documented in a larger publication.

Participants and Access Policy

Membership in this working group is restricted to participants who have attended these interreligious seminars dialogue on decent work. The Work Group "Religion & Decent Work 1. 6"  will be the designated "open working group" for anyone interested in the topic.  Participants in these seminars are encouraged to join both Work Groups.


The Interreligious Seminar on Decent Work took place on 27-29 April 2011. It will be followed by another meeting end of June 2011 in Chile. 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 which was the basis for this series of meetings.