Social Panorama of Latin America 2002-2003

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The 2002-2003 edition of the Social panorama of Latin America explores issues related to many of the Millennium Development Goals. Three of the five chapters (on poverty, hunger and gender inequality) assess how likely it is that the countries of the region will succeed in meeting the targets in these areas agreed upon by the States Members of the United Nations for 2015.A chapter on social expenditure furnishes information on 18 Latin American countries and analyses trends in social spending over the last decade. The final chapter examines labour policy and singles out some interesting initiatives aimed at combating unemployment, poor job quality and underemployment.




The major changes that have taken place in employment patterns during the last decade point up the need for a re–examination of both the current regulatory framework in the labour sphere and the efforts of the governments of the region to address the challenges arising from globalization and a process of uneven development. The Latin American economies continue to grapple with the difficulty of generating enough productive, high–quality employment for all individuals entering the labour force. This situation translates into growing open unemployment and low–productivity jobs for a significant segment of the labour force. At the same time, new forms of labour insecurity have emerged: continued lack of social security coverage for the majority of workers, coupled with steady declines in formal employment, poor working conditions and low wages.


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