A woman sits on the sidewalk with a boy besides her.

ILO’s WESO Trends 2021 projections highlight the danger of a COVID-19 labour market legacy of increased geographic and demographic inequality, rising poverty and fewer decent jobs.

smiling boys on beach forming a pyramid

12 June is the World Day Against Child Labour. Today, more than 152 million kids are stuck working, sometimes in hazardous conditions. It’s time for change. More than 300 global stakeholders, from governments to organizations, have made 2021 Action Pledges. These practical plans outline the steps each stakeholder will take toward ending child labour. Global celebrities are doing their part. Samuel Eto’o, A.R. Rahman, and Laura Pausini among others, have already raised their voices for children. And individuals are, too! Anyone can join the global campaign to make a difference for children. Are you in? Get started!

man with wheelchair at workstation

Jordanian Omar Abu Noa’aj has struggled to find work for years due to his physical disability. Last year, an ILO employment centre helped him secure his first formal job at a garment factory, giving him a new sense of independence and purpose. A year on since his employment, Abu Noa’aj says his life has been transformed. “Before I started working, I used to see people going to work in the morning and say: ‘What a great feeling that must be.’ Now, I know what this feeling is like,” Abu Noa’aj said.

A woman wearing a helmet looks at her phone.

After the COVID-19 outbreak, demand grew considerably. The government deemed delivery work as essential, next to key activities such as public health and transportation, among others. ILO features the challenges faced by digital platform workers, who have been contributing greatly during this crisis. It sounds nice to take part in essential work, but decent work would be better. Treated by the companies as independent contractors, most of us have no social protection benefits, such as pension coverage, health, or insurance plans.

portrait of young man on 50 for Freedom campaign poster

Fifty countries have shown their commitment to eradicate contemporary forms of slavery by ratifying the ILO Forced Labour Protocol. The ratifications have met an initial target set by the 50 for Freedom campaign, which urges governments to take action on forced labour. Sudan became the fiftieth country to ratify.

A group of smiling children in school uniform.

Child labour is work that deprives children of their childhood, their potential, and their dignity. It harms children mentally, physically, socially, and morally. It interferes with their schooling, preventing them from attending or concentrating. It may involve them being enslaved, separated from their families, and exposed to serious hazards and illnesses. Child labour has decreased by 38% in the last decade. But, 152 million children are still in child labour. ILO calls to accelerate the pace of progress. Take Action! Everyone can make a difference.

laptops seen from above

Digital labour platforms have increased five-fold worldwide in the last decade according to the ILO’s latest World Employment and Social Outlook 2021 report, presenting opportunities and challenges for workers and businesses and a need for international policy dialogue.

COVID-19 has shown that health, decent work and environmental sustainability are strongly linked. The principles of the circular economy – repair, re-use and recycle are key to achieving sustainable supply chains and can help promote decent work. 

Illustration of a child carrying a big bag reaching out for a microphone.

Musicians around the world are joining ILO’s Music Against Child Labour Initiative to join the fight for a better future by dedicating concerts and songs to raise awareness and drive change.

woman street cleaner

The latest analysis of the labour market impact of COVID-19 by the ILO, records massive damage to working time and income, with prospects for a recovery in 2021 slow, uneven and uncertain unless early improvements are supported by human-centred recovery policies. New annual estimates in the ILO report confirm the massive impact that labour markets suffered in 2020. The latest figures show that 8.8 per cent of global working hours were lost for the whole of last year, four times than in the 2009 global financial crisis. Women have been more affected than men by the pandemic’s labour market disruptions.

Portrait of a woman dressed as a chef.

Learning how to cook is about changing your life. This is just what Paola Carosella hopes to achieve with “Kitchen & Voice”. The joint initiative of the Brazilian Public Ministry of Labour and the ILO helps give the most marginalized people – the homeless, abused women, Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) people – the chance to have a real job. Paola Carosella is a world-renowned Argentine chef who lives in Sao Paulo. She has been working with the ILO since 2017 on “Kitchen and Voice”, a project that promotes labour market access for vulnerable groups in Brazil.

man working at computer and woman at sewing machine

Those working from home, whose number has greatly increased due to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, need better protection, says the International Labour Organization (ILO) in a new report. Since homeworking occurs in the private sphere it is often “invisible.” In low- and middle-income countries for instance, almost all home-based workers (90 per cent) work informally. 
They are usually worse off than those who work outside the home, even in higher-skilled professions. In the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 an estimated one-in-five workers found themselves working from home. 

The new ILO Global Wage Report 2020-2021 examines the evolution of real wages around the world, giving a unique picture of wage trends globally and by region.

A boy sitting dow.

ILO welcomes 2021 with a new multimedia platform that focuses on first person stories taking readers on a journey into the world of work and reflecting its human-centred approach.