Social Justice

Promoting social justice is among the core missions of FES. Social balance is an important requirement for genuine sustainable development, more so in the case of emerging economies like India. Further, social inclusion in political and economic processes is key to reducing inequalities. Our activities aim to promote decent work, labour and social standards as well as fair social protection systems and gender justice.

Labour and Social Dialogue

Trade liberalisation and competition with and among national economies have put increased pressures on businesses to be prudent. Since the 1990s, India, too, has been facing enormous challenges to modernise the economy to attract investments that will create millions of jobs for its young population; jobs with decent work conditions, adequate income and security. However, India is predominantly an informal economy and, as of now, more than 20 percent of all Indians live in extreme poverty.

The FES, together with its project partners, believes that constructive cooperation among workers, employers and government representatives is pivotal to strengthening the social dimensions of development and modernisation. Accordingly, we are endeavouring to promote the concept as also the instruments of ILO’s Decent Work and Social Dialogue, as tools for sustainable development.

The FES India Office organises dialogues and expert meetings, trainings and consultations to address the topics of national as also global concerns, such as:

  • Decent work as also Decent Work Country Programme of India
  • Labour rights and responsibilities as defined by national laws and international conventions
  • Enhancing understanding of labour markets and their trends
  • Social dialogue and its structure at state, national and global levels
  • National concerns vis-à-vis global challenges and trends
  • The impact of digitalisation and global supply chains on industry, labour and labour relations

Social Protection

Over 90 percent of jobs in India are in the informal sector which provide for little or no social security towards health risks, unemployment and retirement. Even though India has, quite successfully, put in place various welfare schemes, much is desired at the implementation level.

The FES supports a progressive discourse on social protection, defined as an instrument to manage the risks to life, to promote a fair distribution of income, social cohesion, political stability, and to drive growth by boosting productivity and domestic demand. We regard social protection as a human right as well as an economic necessity, and believe that an effective social protection system would create an enabling environment for achieving decent work conditions.

We want to support stakeholders, ranging from local governments and the administration to labour and civil society organisations, to improve the systems in place and provide for viable solutions to missing gaps. The FES believes in the concept of Social Protection Floors and seeks to promote this universally, including in the small and medium enterprises [SMEs].

Gender Equality

The FES India supports women and men in their struggle for gender equality. In cooperation with our partners, we seek to create equal opportunities for all genders, in order to enable equal political, economic and social participation for all members of society; to reduce structural poverty; and promote socially just and sustainable development.

With FES Genderlogues we provide a platform for nationwide deliberations on the issues that matter to men and women. Understanding, challenging and churning gender norms to move towards gender equality at the political, economic and societal level is the touchstone for these events.

The FES wants to build bridges between the “established” activists and “new-generation” movements, ranging from “elite” to grassroots activists, integrating people regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity and expression. By learning from each other, accepting differences, embracing the common goals and reaching out to new allies, the FES hopes to contribute to creating a new narrative for social equality in the country.


Monday, 10.06.19 - New Delhi | Event

Workers strive for work life dignity through fulfillment of decent work agenda

Decent work is what the workers’ organisations are striving for globally. The everyday struggle of an individual worker is about getting gainfully...


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Call-to-Apply - Designing for Socio-Ecological Transformation – Workshop Series Part 2

How can we best achieve a sustainable model for living? This question will be tackled by 25 designers and changemakers from across India, in the...


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Practical Guide to Design Thinking : A collection of Methods to rethink Social Change

The use of creative concepts and innovative methods, often referred to as Design Thinking, was for a long time a niche practice for nerdy innovators,...



Gekeler, Moritz

A practical guide to design thinking

a collection of methods to re-think social change
New, 2019

Download publication (1,8 MB, PDF-File)

Patel, Vibhuti; Khajuria, Radhika

[Political feminism in India]

[An analysis of actors, debates and strategies]
New, 2018

Download publication (910 KB, PDF-File)

Mehta, Udai S.; Bose, Pratim; Swain, Ashwini K.

In pursuit of a low fossil energy future

Interrogating social, political and economic drivers and barriers in India's energy transition
New, 2017

Download publication (360 KB, PDF-File)

India Office

K-70B, Hauz Khas Enclave
New Delhi 110016


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