Une fille tient un cartable dans les mains. En arrière-plan, la même fille porte une meule de foin.

The COVID-19 pandemic presents unprecedented risks to the rights and safety and development of children. World Day Against Child Labour 2020 focuses on the impact of crisis on child labour and calls upon countries and organizations to protect the most vulnerable during crisis management and recovery. On 12 June, the International Labour Organization is organizing  an online high-level debate to  stimulate dialogue on the importance of protecting children from child labour in COVID-19 response and recovery plans. Get involved!

Man laying down while three people crouch over his leg, viewed from above.

The teaching of traditional cultural practices like tattooing not only preserves cultural identities but underlines the important role indigenous people can play in the modern world; that’s according to a practitioner of the art of tattooing in Hawaii.

A worker cleans finished wood flooring in a factory in Zhejiang, China.

Return to work policies should be informed by a human-centred approach that puts rights and international labour standards at the heart of economic, social and environmental strategies and ensures that policy guidance is embedded in national occupational safety and health systems. Two guidance documents for creating safe and effective return-to-work conditions during the COVID-19  pandemic have been issued by the International Labour Organization (ILO).

Woman wearing a facemask handing out a plastic bag at a market.

The COVID-19 crisis has exposed gaps in social protection coverage in developing countries, and recovery will only be sustained, and future crises prevented if they can transform their ad hoc crisis response measures into social protection systems, according to the ILO. While the virus does not discriminate between rich and poor, its effects are highly uneven. The brief also warns policymakers to avoid a singular focus on COVID-19 and not reduce access to care for other conditions.

Two women carrying containers and fruit on their heads.

The Director-General of the UN labour agency describes the task before us of building a future of work which tackles the injustices that the pandemic has highlighted.

Broadcast engineer works with mask on.

Collective efforts and solidarity between employers and workers organizations is critical to respond effectively to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the world of work. COVID-19 has in many parts of the world jeopardized the health and safety of millions of people, and put immense pressure on businesses, jobs, and livelihoods. In crisis settings, collaboration and dialogue between employers and business membership and workers’ organizations can boost accelerated recovery.

man with face mask carrying bags on both shoulders

The COVID-19 crisis is expected to wipe out 6.7 per cent of working hours globally in the second quarter of 2020 – equivalent to 195 million full-time workers. Huge losses are expected across different income groups especially in upper-middle income countries (7 per cent, 100 million full-time workers). This far exceeds the effects of the 2008-9 financial crisis. The sectors most at risk include accommodation and food services, manufacturing, retail, and business and administrative activities.

The world of work is being profoundly affected by the global virus pandemic. In addition to the threat to public health, the economic and social disruption threatens the long-term livelihoods and wellbeing of millions.

Street in Delhi

A new assessment by the International Labour Organization (ILO) shows the COVID-19 pandemic could increase global unemployment by around 25 million.

A close up photo of a wooden chess set.

More than 935 million* workers have jobs that don't match their educational level. In low-income countries, employment is concentrated in low-skilled occupations requiring a lesser level of education and workers are more likely to be under-educated for their jobs. In high-income countries employment is concentrated more in occupations requiring higher skill levels, and workers’ under-education is less common. In high-income countries almost all workers in low-skilled jobs are over-educated. (*actual global figures are probably higher since the ILOSTAT data covers 114 countries).

A woman working in a street print and photocopy shop

The lack of decent work opportunities exacerbates inequalities among societies. Not only are growing inequalities preventing people from achieving their full potential, they are also putting a burden on economies. The only way we are going to achieve social justice, tackle inequality, reduce poverty and address climate change, is if we put people and planet first, says the International Labour Organization (ILO).  On Social Justice Day 2020, under the theme “Closing the Inequalities Gap to Achieve Social Justice,” the ILO is asking you to tell policy makers around the world, why is important to you, using the hashtag #MyFutureOurPlanet.

gears and lightbulb animation

The ILO is calling on individuals and organizations to share innovative ideas and solutions to address the skills mismatch challenge. The ILO Skills Challenge Innovation Call will recognise and support the development of solutions that aim to address the different forms and dimensions of skills mismatch. Submission deadline for ideas: 13 April 2020 (midnight, Geneva time).


ILOSTAT data show that progress is needed in many areas and in every region to achieve gender equality in the labour market. While most of us are aware that women are often paid less than men in the same occupation, ILOSTAT data show where the gaps are largest. The median gender wage gap for 115 countries with available data is 14% in favor of men. And male-dominated occupations have even higher wage premiums for men.

Construction workers in Egypt.

The World Employment and Social Outlook is the International Labour Organization’s flagship report on world of work issues, focusing on a different theme each year. The 2020 edition will be launched in Geneva on Monday, 20 January. The report analyses key labour market issues, including unemployment, under-employment, labour underutilization, working poverty, pay inequality, and factors that exclude people from the world of work. It includes some new projections, as well as revised estimates of the share of labour income going to the world’s workforce.