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. Health, Safety and Dignity of Sanitation Workers: An Initial Assessment

    14 November 2019

  2. The Scope of Collective Bargaining in Public Administration

    08 November 2019

  3. Trade Unions in the Balance

    04 October 2019

    On the occasion of the ILO Centenary celebration, the Bureau for Workers’ Activities (ILO-ACTRAV) commissioned a research on the current state of the unions in the world. The research conducts by Professor Visser explores developments in union membership across the world in the past decades.

  4. Law and practice on protecting whistle-blowers in the public and financial services sectors

    09 September 2019

    This paper seeks to map out laws and practices and identify measures in place for the protection of whistle-blowers by analysing a representative sample of laws, regulations and international instruments.

  5. Promoting decent work in the rural economy: Lessons from Zimbabwe (2008–2018)

    02 September 2019

    This paper, a desk review, presents a documentation of ILO interventions in Zimbabwe’s rural economy during the period 2008–18 that also extracts lessons learnt.

  6. Skills shortages and labour migration in the field of information and communication technology in India, Indonesia and Thailand

    11 June 2019

  7. The Social Construction of Migrant Care Work At the intersection of care, migration and gender

    04 March 2019

    This publication examines the implications of migration in the care economy and its effects on women’s economic empowerment and gender equality. It focuses on the working conditions of women and men migrants performing care work in destination countries; how migration in the care economy affects gender equality at work; and areas for policy action. The paper highlights the need for effective and coordinated policies to help improve the governance of labour migration for health-care workers, address decent work deficits of care workers for better recruitment and reten­tion and improve skills recognition and certification.

  8. Decent work in the management of electrical and electronic waste (e-waste)

    28 February 2019

    Issues paper for the Global Dialogue Forum on Decent Work in the Management of Electrical and Electronic Waste (E-waste) (Geneva, 9–11 April 2019)

  9. Occupational Safety and Health in the Construction Sector in Serbia

    13 February 2019

  10. Occupational safety and health in the mining industry in Ukraine

    12 February 2019