About the Pact

Faced with the prospect of a prolonged global increase in unemployment, poverty and inequality and continued distress for enterprises, in June 2009 the International Labour Conference, with the participation of government, employers’ and workers’ delegates from the ILO’s member States, unanimously adopted a "Global Jobs Pact". This global policy instrument addresses the social and employment impact of the international financial and economic crisis. It promotes a productive recovery centred on investments, employment and social protection. The fundamental objective of the Global Jobs Pact is to provide an internationally agreed basis for policy-making designed to reduce the time lag between economic recovery and a recovery with decent work opportunities. It is a call for urgent worldwide action: national, regional and global.

What is the Global Jobs Pact?

The Global Jobs Pact is a set of balanced and realistic policy measures that countries, with the support of regional and multilateral institutions, can adopt to ease the impact of the crisis and accelerate recovery in employment. Adopted in June 2009 by the International Labour Organization, it calls on its member States to put decent work opportunities at the core of their crisis responses. It addresses the social impact of the global crisis on employment and proposes job-centred policies for countries to adapt according to their national needs. Guided by the Decent Work Agenda and commitments made by the ILO constituents in the 2008 Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalization, the Pact recalls that that respecting fundamental principles and rights at work, strengthening social protection, promoting gender equality and encouraging voice, participation and social dialogue are critical to recovery and development. It proposes a portfolio of policies aimed at:

  • Generating employment
  • Extending social protection
  • Respecting labour standards
  • Promoting social dialogue
  • Shaping fair globalization

In short, the Pact is about promoting jobs and protecting people, about responding to both the people’s agenda and the needs of the real economy.

Read the ILO Global Jobs Pact in full

Why the Pact?

The damage to employment created by the financial and economic crisis has caused hardship to many working women and men, families and communities, and worsened poverty. It has threatened the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, weakened middle classes, heightened risks to social cohesion and eroded the confidence of decision-makers. Recovery will not be sustainable unless jobs are created and maintained. With 45 million young people are entering the workforce annually, 300 million new jobs need to be created between now and 2015 just to keep up with the growth in the labour force.

It is now widely recognized that the model of growth prevailing before the crisis needs to change, that we cannot continue to overestimate the capacity of the market to self-regulate, undervalue the role of government, diminish the dignity of work and neglect the environment. Behind the grim unemployment statistics are people’s lives and their diminished capacity to support their families. Even as signs of recovery begin to appear in some countries and industries, millions are still without work or continue to lose their jobs. For them, the crisis is far from over.

How was it adopted?

The Global Jobs Pact was adopted unanimously on 19 June 2009 at the International Labour Conference (ILC), where ILO constituents – governments, employers’ and workers’ organizations - meet yearly to discuss challenges facing the world of work. The adoption of the Pact followed strong support voiced during a three-day special session, the ILO Global Jobs Summit, attended by heads of state and government, vice-presidents and ministers of labour, worker and employer representatives and other leaders. The Pact provides a crisis response framework designed to guide national and international policies and stimulate economic recovery.

Support for the Pact continues to grow with backing from global and regional organizations. The Economic and Social Council of the UN (ECOSOC) also endorsed the Pact at its 2009 High-Level Substantive Session by adopting the UN Resolution E/2009/L.24 and calling upon member States to make full use of the Pact in post-crisis plans. At the G20 summit in Pittsburgh in November 2009, world leaders welcomed it as an “an employment-oriented framework for future economic growth”.

Who will implement it?

The Pact calls for coordinated global action to maximize the positive impact of policy initiatives on jobs and sustainable enterprises worldwide. Its successful implementation depends on national and international decisions, by governments, business, labour, parliaments, local authorities and civil society, as well as by donors and multilateral institutions.

The strategic objective of the Pact is to put investment, employment and social protection at the core of stimulus packages and other relevant national policies to alleviate the crisis’ effects. The Pact and the tripartite global commitment it represents, offers a unique opportunity for countries and the multilateral system to apply its provisions, which are embedded in the ILO Decent Work Agenda. In seeking support and advice from the ILO, constituents are encouraged to apply the elements of the Pact that respond best to each country’s needs and priorities.

Follow the news feed on this website to see how the Pact is being implemented around the world.

For more information on the ILO Global Jobs Pact, please contact jobspact@ilo.org