Labour Markets, poverty and inequality in selected countries of Latina America
Apr 12, 2018 | Dr. Miguel Santiago Reyes Hernández
The present Regional Report about labour markets, poverty and inequality, analyses the poverty
issue from a joint perspective of rights and necessities. The essential contribution of this work is
the linkage of the labour markets to the analysis of the poverty and inequality in Latin America
since the human and social rights approach that, in their broadest approval and acceptance on an
international level, they are framed in the denominated Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
The human rights approach is based upon the point that every person counts with a set of
indispensable realizations in the pursuit of human dignity, un-renounceable and irreplaceable
based on compliance with the principles of universality, non-discrimination, participation,
interdependence and progressiveness. In that purpose, the compliance of economic and social
rights, given their nature, is indispensable to guarantee the human being dignity and integrity, as
well as other fundamental rights.
To guarantee food, health, education and work, implies the broadest exercise of the liberties of
association as individuals and organized social groups. Likewise, to assure the full adherence to
the principles of human dignity and satisfaction of the material, social and cultural necessities of
a household, and this may occur by the complete exercise of the economic and social rights. From
this perspective, rights and necessities are indissoluble.
Failure to comply with the ESCR in the matter of labour human rights has implications for
poverty, including the existence of labour markets where the official minimum wage is lower
than the poverty line and, therefore, the persistence of labour markets with a high number of
workers who, although they have a certain level of qualification (education), are found in poverty.
The lack of growth (and its link with social productivity) and the accentuated inequality (and its
deepening) are obstacles to the non-exercise of economic and social rights.
The Regional Report "Labour Markets, Poverty and Inequality in Selected Countries of Latin
America" from AUSJAL, gathers the experiences of six Latin American countries. Analyses
labour markets, poverty and inequality from a rights perspective. For its analysis, poverty is seen
through a conjunction of the rights approach with that of necessities from a multidimensional
perspective, using the innovative Method of Socioeconomic Wellbeing (MBS, for its initials in
Spanish) developed by Reyes and López (2016). The WSM methodology provides the
construction of a welfare index that allows, in addition to the analysis of poverty in its multiple
dimensions, to deepen about the level of socioeconomic wellbeing of the population. With the
WSM it can be obtained, besides the measurement of the poverty by income, the degree of
deficiencies in other dimensions, of multidimensional general poverty and of inequality in the
income distribution, granting besides the possibility of evaluating the changes in the distribution
scale in the long run. (Social Mobility).
The use of the WSM in the AUSJAL Regional Report on labour markets and poverty, has as its
central subject an analysis of the socioeconomic wellbeing of the employed population, classified
into categories or classes, to locate where in the welfare distribution -not only income - each one
of them is found, if they are below or above the minimum thresholds of welfare by dimension
and in general, and, this included, the level of deficit or social debt that exists in the matter of
labour human rights in force in each country.