On 22 February 2020, the eighth list of books for the UN SDG Book Club was announced. The list of titles in all six official UN languages, aimed at children aged 6-12, focuses on the eighth sustainable development goal – decent work and economic growth.


Employment and decent work for all are still not a reality for many people around the globe. Roughly half the world’s population still lives on the equivalent of about US$2 a day with global unemployment rates of 5.7%. Having a job alone does not guarantee a decent living or even the escape from poverty in many places.

Decent work means work opportunities to get a job which is productive and generates a fair income for both men and women, a secure work environment as well as social protection for families and integration.

Economic growth points to the fact that although the average annual growth rate of real GDP per capita worldwide is increasing yearly, many developing countries still witness decelerating growth rates, making them digress from the 7 % growth rate target set for 2030 by the Sustainable Development Goals. Less labor productivity and less employment equal lower wages and lower standards of living.

Sustainable economic growth will require societies to create the conditions that allow people to have quality jobs that stimulate the economy while not harming the environment. Investing in the youth and women with training, education and opportunities will help the move towards “decent work for all”. Increased commitments to trade, banking and agriculture infrastructure will also aid in increasing productivity and reduce unemployment levels in the world’s most impoverished regions.

Our new reading list covers many of these topics. We hope the stories will inspire you to take action and explain to children what decent work and economic growth mean and which changes need to be made to make that goal a reality for everyone. Visit the SDG Book Club website to find out what you can do to make a difference, as well as tips for creating or participating in your own book club with friends and family.

You can share your comments, pictures and videos on social media by using #SDGBookClub or tagging @UNPublications. Happy reading!

Read the full lists here:

Sign up for all the latest SDG Book Club announcements here.

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