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. Destination Mutual Benefit A Guide to Inclusive Business in Tourism

    16 December 2014

    Tourism is one of the fastest growing industries worldwide, and it’s growing most quickly in emerging and developing countries. Currently, UNWTO calculates that tourism is responsible for 9% of global GDP, for over 1 in 11 jobs and for USD 1.3 trillion in global exports annually. Inclusive business in tourism can be defined as tourism that increases business linkages between people from low-income communities and tourism-industry actors for long-lasting mutual benefit.

  2. Tobacco Sector - Employment Statistical Update

    15 December 2014

    In 2003 the ILO organized a Tripartite Meeting on the Future of Employment in the Tobacco Sector. The meeting highlighted the importance of timely information in order to monitor significant changes in employment trends and working conditions in the tobacco sector and called upon the Office to undertake further research to keep ILO constituents informed about emerging changes affecting the labour market in this sector.

  3. Workplace Policy on HIV and AIDS, TB and other opportunistic illnesses for the Tourism Industry in Zimbabwe

    03 December 2014

    The objective of this policy is to set standards for the effective management of HIV and AIDS, TB and other opportunistic illnesses that apply to all stakeholders within the Tourism and Hospitality Industry.

  4. Measuring Employment in the Tourism Industries - Guide with Best Practices

    03 December 2014

    The Guide is one of the technical outputs produced under the joint ILO/UNWTO Agreement which completes a series of international references and methodological tools produced within the framework of the joint ILO/UNWTO Agreement.

  5. Las agencias de empleo privadas en Argentina, Chile y Uruguay

    21 October 2014

    Este estudio, escrito por Sandra Goldflus Wasser, trata sobre el marco legislativo y reglamentario para el funcionamiento de las agencias de empleo privadas y el impacto de la aplicación del Convenio sobre las agencias de empleo privadas, 1997 (núm. 181), en Argentina, Chile y Uruguay.

  6. Tackling informality in e-waste management: The potential of cooperative enterprises

    21 October 2014

    The present paper is the product of a joint effort by the Sectoral Activities Department and the Cooperatives Unit of the International Labour Organization (ILO). This initiative supports the ILO’s commitment to promote forms of employment that safeguard the environment, eradicate poverty and promote social justice through sustainable enterprises and decent work, as reinforced by the international Labour Conference (ILC), at its 102nd session in June 2013.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.