Developing sustainable population policy

Developing comprehensive population policies
Population growth can be so rapid that it prevents sustainable development. Yet sustainable development is necessary to slow down growth rates. As the understanding of the multi-sectoral nature of population has widened, so has the scope of population policies. Such policies now often address one or more of the following population trends and characteristics: population growth; morbidity and mortality; reproduction; population distribution; internal and international migration; and population structure. Heightened levels and imbalances among these interrelated demographic trends, combined with pervasive poverty and primitive technology, are compelling many communities in developing countries to over-exploit local resource bases. This, in turn, is contributing to serious environmental damage ([eg] desertification, deforestation, pollution) in many areas and localities.
ILO assists governments to adopt policies and programmes to deal with the economic and social problems arising from population growth, structure and distribution. Planners and policy-makers are furnished with information about the relations between employment and human resource development policies on the one hand and demographic variables on the other, to provide them with operational tools to integrate population and human resources issues into employment and development planning and issues.

ILO also seeks to integrate population and family welfare considerations into national economic, social and labour policies, and to introduce and institutionalize population education and family welfare concerns in work-related education, welfare and health services.

The urgency for an effective, comprehensive population policy that can be integrated with social, environmental and developmental aspects, reflective of collective responsibility, respectful of human rights, and enjoying the support of the community, can only be expected to gain momentum in the future as the majority of developing countries increasingly face important population and related issues. It is for these reasons that the formulation of comprehensive population policies to help achieve sustainable development must be pursued as a goal in the 1990s.
Sustainable development
Type Classification:
C: Cross-sectoral strategies