United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Major Group: Workers & Trade Unions

Comments from Workers and Trade Unions Major Group on Indicators Proposals
(WTUMG proposals formatted in red, bold, italic)
The limitation of indicators to two per target presents a major challenge for adequately monitoring the commitments and corresponding set of targets under the SDGs. Ignoring this limitation the Workers and Trade Union Major Group wishes to propose some changes and additions to the list of indicators shared by the UN Statistical Commission secretariat with National Statistical Offices.
Goal 1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere
Target 1.3 Implement nationally appropriate social protection systems and measures for all, including floors, and by 2030 achieve substantial coverage of the poor and the vulnerable.
Support both proposed indicators
Proposed Indicator 1.3.1: Percentage of population covered by social protection floors/systems, disaggregated by sex, with break down by children, unemployed, old age, people with disabilities, pregnant women/new-borns, work injury victims, poor and vulnerable, including one or more of the following: a) Percentage of older persons receiving a pension; b) Percentage of households with children receiving child support; c) Percentage of unemployed persons receiving unemployment benefits; d)Percentage of persons with disabilities receiving disability benefits; e) Percentage of pregnant women receiving maternity benefits; f)Percentage of workers covered against occupational accidents; and g) Percentage of poor and vulnerable people receiving benefits
Proposed indicator 1.3.2: Average social protection transfers as % of income / or poverty line
Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
Target 4.1 By 2030, ensure that all girls and boys complete free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education leading to relevant and effective learning outcomes.
Add to proposed indicator 4.1.1:
Relevant learning outcomes should be broader and understood as those defined by national policy and standards, and may go beyond reading and mathematics, though important, are not sufficient indicators of quality.
Proposed Indicator 1: Percentage of children who achieve minimum proficiency standards in core subjects as nationally defined: (i) primary (ii) lower secondary
Additional indicators:
Participation as well as completion rates at primary and secondary level necessary are important measures of equitable access to education and the basis for any further education.
Participation rates (primary, lower secondary, upper secondary)
The target requires an indicator on the necessary measures at system-level to ensure access, quality and equity.
Legislation and financing to guarantee free education for i) 9 years ii) 12 years
Target 4.2 By 2030, ensure that all girls and boys have access to quality early childhood development, care and pre-primary education so that they are ready for primary education.
Add to proposed indicator 4.2.1:
The indicator should monitor equitable access to early childhood education and care, from 0 to compulsory school age.
Participation rate in early childhood development, care and pre-primary education (one year before the official primary entry age)
Additional indicator:
The target requires an indicator on the necessary measures at system-level to ensure equitable access.
Legislation and financing guarantee at least one year of pre-primary education
Target 4.7 By 2030, ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including, among others, through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development.
Replace proposed indicator 4.7.1:
The target requires an indicator on the integration of sustainable development across education systems.
Education for sustainable development is incorporated in education policy and curricula
Target 4.a Build and upgrade education facilities that are child, disability and gender sensitive and provide safe, non-violent, inclusive and effective learning environments for all
Additional indicators:
Legal framework defining minimum norms and standards for safe learning environments
Pupil-qualified teacher ratio
Pupil per classroom ratio
Target 4.b By 2020, expand by [x] per cent globally the number of scholarships available to developing countries, in particular least developed countries, small island developing States and African countries, for enrolment in higher education, including vocational training and information and communications technology, technical, engineering and scientific programmes, in developed countries and other developing countries.
Replace proposed indicator 4.b.1 with:
Total volume of ODA directed to education
Percentage of total ODA to education directed to scholarships (by sector and type of study)
Target 4.c By 2030, increase by [x] per cent the supply of qualified teachers, including through international cooperation for teacher training in developing countries, especially least developed countries and small island developing States
Add to proposed indicator 4.c.1:
Proposed Indicator 1: Percentage of trained and qualified teachers by level of education according to national standards
Additional indicator:
Teacher training is a continuum based on the life-long learning approach and includes both pre- and in-service training.
Percentage of teachers that receive free continuous professional development and support
Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
Target 5.2 Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation.
Additional indicator:
Existence of legal frameworks and/or allocation of resources aimed at prevention gender based violence
Target 5.4 Recognize and value unpaid care and domestic work through the provision of public services, infrastructure and social protection policies and the promotion of shared responsibility within the household and the family as nationally appropriate.
The ultimate purpose of the target is to achieve gender equality in the labour market by recognising, valuing and reducing unpaid care work, through provision of public services, social protection policies and household responsibility.
Additional indicator:
Proportion of children under the age of 7 in affordable formal childcare arrangements
Ratification and implementation of the ILO Convention No. 183 on maternity protection, No. 156 on workers with family responsibilities and No. 189 on domestic workers and compliance in law and practice
Goal 8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
It will be very difficult to capture the richness of the targets in this goal with only two indicators per target. We support many of the existing employment related indicator proposals, but feel the overall package needs strengthening. Decent Work included under target 8.5, for example, has four mutually reinforcing dimensions which necessarily need to be assessed through a series of dedicated indicators. The ILO Social Justice Declaration refers to these four dimensions as equally important and so indicators proposed do not adequately or sufficiently respond to the goal and targets. Further, the draft refers to outcome indicators and makes only superficial references to structural indicators concerning legal and institutional reforms which are key for sustainable policies.
Target 8.5 By 2030, achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men, including for young people and persons with disabilities, and equal pay for work of equal value
Additional indicators:
To measure under employment which is particularly important in the context of the SDGs
Working poverty rate disaggregated by gender
Open unemployment rates in developing countries are not very helpful because of the size of the informal economy. Therefore it is important to also assess
Share of informal employment in total employment disaggregated by gender
There is no indicator aimed at assessing gender pay gap (i.e. equal pay for work of equal value). We therefore propose:
Ratio of average hourly earnings of female and male employees by occupations
Target 8.7 Take immediate and effective measures to secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour, eradicate forced labour and, by 2025, end child labour in all its forms, including the recruitment and use of child soldiers
8.7.2 Statistics on forced labour are highly insufficient, in particular in countries where there’s a high prevalence. This indicator should therefore address government policy/legal reforms rather than a quantitative target.
Target 8.8 Protect labour rights and promote safe and secure working environments for all workers, including migrant workers, in particular women migrants, and those in precarious employment
Add to Proposed Indicator 8.8.1
Ratification and implementation of fundamental ILO conventions, as defined in the 1998 declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, and assessed vis-à-vis the ILO supervisory system
Additional indicators:
The number of trained labour inspectors as a ratio of workforce, with sub-indicators look to number of complaints received, number of inspections undertaken, number of enforcement actions, number of cases where the violation has been fully remediated, and perhaps fines/sanctions imposed
With respect to migrant workers’ rights it will be important to monitor issues such as ratification of migrant workers conventions, migrant workers access to fundamental rights and wage, hours and occupational health and safety under law compared to recognized citizens, resources dedicated to enforcement action on unlawful recruitment practices
Labour migration indicators, including wage gap between migrants and nationals
We also miss an indicator to measure the aspect of social dialogue under any targets in this goal, and propose to have it captured under the MOI target 8.b for this goal.
Target 8.b By 2020, develop and operationalize a global strategy for youth employment and implement the Global Jobs Pact of the International Labour Organization
Add to proposed indicator 8.b.1
Total government spending in social protection and employment programmes as percentage of the national budgets and GDP and Collective bargaining coverage rate
Goal 9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
Target 9.2 Promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and, by 2030, significantly raise industry’s share of employment and gross domestic product, in line with national circumstances, and double its share in least developed countries
Support indicator proposed 9.2.2: Manufacturing employment (share of total employment and % growth)
We are not aware of a readily available indicator but it will be important to assess the sustainability dimension of this target by measuring:
Employment in environmental activities and percentage of establishments using green technologies
Goal 10: Reduce inequality within and among countries
Target 10.4 Adopt policies, especially fiscal, wage and social protection policies, and progressively achieve greater equality
Support existing proposed indicators under this target, but wish to add the following proposed indicators:
Wages share of Gross National Income
Average real wage index compared to productivity
Minimum wage as % of the median wages
Trade union density and collective bargaining coverage rate
Goal 16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
Target 16.3 Promote the rule of law at the national and international levels and ensure equal access to justice for all
Add to Proposed Indicator 16.3.1
Percentage of people who have experienced a dispute, reporting access to an adequate dispute resolution mechanism and effective remedies
Target 16.7 Ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels
Comment on Proposed indicator 16.7.1
Diversity in representation in key decision-making bodies (legislature, executive, and judiciary)
How do you define diversity of representation?
It is important to also assess whether elections are free and fair.
Target 16.10 Ensure public access to information and protect fundamental freedoms, in accordance with national legislation and international agreements
Add to Proposed Indicator 16.10.2: Number of journalists, associated media personnel, trade unionists and human rights advocates killed, kidnapped, disappeared, detained or tortured in the last 12 months
Additional proposed indicators:
Number of assemblies, strikes or demonstrations held during the reporting period and, where applicable, proportion of applications to hold assemblies, strikes or demonstrations granted/ refused/receiving no response within X weeks during the reporting period, by type of assembly and grounds of decision
Number of arrests of demonstrators/trade unionists, and proportion of arrests leading to detention of longer than X, criminal charges or conviction of a criminal offence