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.
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:
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].
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.