Labour market governance and working conditions in Asia and the Pacific

A garment factory in Viet Nam.

See more photos on working conditions in ILO Flickr photo library.
Labour market governance covers the range of policies, norms, laws, regulations, institutions and processes that influence the demand and supply of labour. Strengthening the capacity of and improving relations between those who demand labour (employers) and those who supply it (workers) is an integral part of labour market governance.

Developments linked to globalization – including the increase in global production systems, expanding cross-border trade, intensifying competition and rapid market integration – have affected the supply and demand of labour, leading to calls for labour market reforms.

In essence labour market reform seeks to balance the employers’ demand for greater efficiency and flexibility with the workers’ need for employment stability, increased social protection and expanded social security. Its overall goal is to ensure that reforms are seen by all as efficient, equitable and fair. Depending on national circumstances, areas that may be considered as requiring reform include regulatory frameworks, labour administration systems, industrial relations norms and practices, and the operation of various bipartite and tripartite institutions including employers’ and workers’ organizations.

Better and stronger labour market governance goes hand in hand with fair working conditions as one of the essential requirements of decent work, (hence labour market governance is one of the priorities of the Asian Decent Work Decade). Such working conditions include decent wages, hours of work, rest and leave periods, adequate social security, freedom of association, the right to bargain collectively, and an absence of discrimination, forced labour or child labour.

Key resources


    Asian Decent Work Decade resource kit: labour market governance

    16 September 2011

    This booklet is one of six parts to the kit, serving as a gateway into ILO expertise and knowledge on the regional priority area of labour market governance.

  2. NATLEX - database of national labour, social security and related human rights legislation

    Records in NATLEX provide abstracts of legislation and relevant citation information, and they are indexed by keywords and by subject classifications. Each record in NATLEX appears in only one of the three ILO official languages (English/French/Spanish). Where possible, the full text of the law or a relevant electronic source is linked to the record.

  3. NORMLEX - Information System on International Labour Standards

    Brings together information on International Labour Standards (such as ratification information, reporting requirements, comments of the ILO's supervisory bodies, etc.) as well as national labour and social security laws, includes the information which was previously contained in NATLEX, ILOLEX, APPLIS and LIBSYND databases.

  4. Guide for Secretariats of National Tripartite Consultation Bodies in English-speaking African Countries

    08 September 2008

  5. Social dialogue and labour market performance in the Philippines

    28 February 2003

    The paper examines the tripartite institutions which regulates the labour market. Through these institutions and processes, the social partners participate with government in policy-making and implementation addressing the social and labour market issues arising from globalization.

  6. Social Dialogue, Labour Law and Labour Administration

    10 September 2008

  7. Promoting democracy and peace through social dialogue : a study of the social dialogue institutions and precesses in Indonesia

    31 October 2002

    This study analyses the practice of social dialogue in Indonesia, with a view to identifying the areas where it could be improved and propose directions of possible reform.