ILO is a specialized agency of the United Nations


The Sectoral Activities Department is the ILO’s repository of knowledge on sector-specific labour and social issues. Research and studies conducted, in line with the ILO’s research policies, deal with emerging and priority issues of strong interest for ILO’s sectoral constituents.

Working Papers, vehicles for disseminating information on a range of topics related to the world of work and the evolution of social and labour policies and practices for a given sector, are regularly published and widely disseminated. Background reports and issues papers, which provide more in-depth analysis on specific issues, are also published for discussion at international tripartite meetings and global dialogue fora.


  1. Non-standard work arrangements in the public sector: the case of South Africa

    29 September 2014

    This study is one of a series of country studies commissioned by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) on non-standard work arrangements in the public sector. Its aim is to understand, firstly, the implications of this trend for the decent work objectives and, secondly, to identify appropriate policy responses. In doing so, we have also endeavoured to identify the gender dimension of non-standard work arrangements, and obtain data that is disaggregated by sex.

  2. Wages and working hours in the textiles, clothing, leather and footwear industries

    15 August 2014

    Issues Paper for discussion at the Global Dialogue Forum on Wages and Working Hours in the Textiles, Clothing, Leather and Footwear Industries

  3. Employment relationships in arts and culture

    15 August 2014

    This sectoral working paper, written by Gijsbert van Liemt, considers the occupational characteristics of cultural workers and their employment relationships and income, the role of the State in cultural and creative industries, and to what extent arts and culture set the trend for the rest of the labour market. It provides an overview of technological, business and financial changes occurring in recent years in the live performance, arts and culture subsector in some OECD countries and how these have affected employment relationships.

  4. Employment relationships in the media industry

    18 July 2014

    This sectoral working paper, written by Andrew Bibby, discusses how the changes occurring in recent years in the media industry have affected employment relationships. He assesses whether media employment is becoming less secure, if freelance work is increasingly prevalent, and how effectively social dialogue is addressing the challenges of the industry.

  5. Sectoral Activities Programme 2012-13: The Biennium in Review

    16 June 2014

    This booklet features snapshots of SECTOR’s work in tackling specific challenges in different sectors in 2012-13.

  6. Private employment agencies and labour dispatch in China

    12 June 2014

    This paper, written by LIU Genghua, discusses the development of private employment agencies in China, highlighting some of the main issues of concern to the agency industry.

  7. Employment relationships in the media and culture industries

    08 April 2014

    Issues paper for the Global Dialogue Forum on Employment Relationships in the Media and Culture Sector

  8. Collective bargaining in the public service: Bridging gaps for a better future

    06 March 2014

    Issues paper for discussion at the Global Dialogue Forum on Challenges to Collective Bargaining in the Public Service (Geneva, 2−3 April 2014)


  1. Living and working conditions in inland navigation in Europe

    20 December 2013

    This study explores various aspects of the inland navigation in the European region, addressing all the essential aspects in relation to the working and living conditions of the crews, including relevant laws and regulations, occupational safety and health, social security and enforcement, etc.

  2. Promoting the employment of women in the transport sector - obstacles and policy options

    20 December 2013

    This study focuses on the working conditions and the HR policies of transport companies designed to mainstream gender, the opportunities for success and advancement, and the barriers faced by women who work in the transport sector.

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