Labour Rights

Wages do not cover basic needs including food, shelter, and education


A living wage is critical to ensuring a number of key human rights including the right to education, food, health, nutrition and shelter. Without a living wage, workers are more likely to engage in excessive overtime hours and put their children into work instead of school. Workers may also be more vulnerable to debt bondage and forced labor conditions. Article 23 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights provides that “Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and for his family an existence worthy of human dignity.”

Relevant Human Rights Instruments

Universal Declaration of Human Rights



SDG 8.5

Providing for a living wage supports the achievement of SDG 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.