The “world of work” is being buffeted by multiple crises, says the ninth edition of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Monitor.


Key highlights of the report

  • After significant gains during the last quarter of 2021, the number of hours worked globally dropped in the first quarter of 2022, to 3.8 per cent below the pre-crisis benchmark (fourth quarter of 2019). This is equivalent to a deficit of 112 million full-time jobs.
  • Multiple new and interconnected global crises, including inflation (especially in energy and food prices), financial turbulence, potential debt distress, and global supply chain disruption – exacerbated by war in Ukraine – means there is a growing risk of a further deterioration in hours worked in 2022.
  • The gender gap in hours worked also grew during the pandemic.
  • The report spells out a series of measures as a way forward, which are in line with ILO’s Global Call to Action for a human-centred recovery, and the ILO-led UN initiative, the Global Accelerator for Jobs and Social Protection.


About the ‘International Labour Organisation’

  • The ILO, headquartered at Geneva, Switzerland, is a specialised agency of the United Nations (UN).
  • It was established in 1919, as part of the Treaty of Versailles.
  • It is responsible for setting labour standards, develop policies and devise programmes promoting decent work for all women and men.
  • It is the only tripartite agency which brings together governments, employers and workers of 187 member States.
  • Parent organisation: Economic and Social Council of the United Nations
  • The ILO has four strategic objectives –
      • Promote and realise standards and fundamental principles and rights at work
      • Create greater opportunities for women and men to decent employment and income
      • Enhance the coverage and effectiveness of social protection for all, and
      • Strengthen tripartism and social dialogue
  • It is also a member of the United Nations Development Group (UNDP), a coalition of UN organisation aimed at helping meet the Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Members – The ILO has 187 member states (186 Countries + The Cook Islands)
  • It publishes the ‘World Employment and Social Outlook’ and ‘Global Wage Report’.


India and the ILO

  • Recently, in June 2021, India completed its term as chair of the Governing Body of the ILO.
      • Governing Body is the apex executive body of the ILO which decides policies, programmes, budget and elects the Director-General.
      • India had assumed the chairmanship after a gap of 35 years. It held the position for the period October 2020- June 2021.
  • India has not ratified the two conventions (out of 8). These are —
      • Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention, 1948, and
      • Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Convention, 1949 (No. 98).
  • Reasons for not ratifying —
      • The statutory rules in India, for the government employees, prohibits certain rights such as right to strike, to openly criticise government policies etc.
      • After ratification, India would be forced to grant these rights to the civil servants. Hence, India has not ratified these two conventions.