Tuvalu is comprised of nine reef atoll islands and has a total land area of 26 square kilometers. The 2002 Census enumerated 9,561 people including 4,729 males (49 per cent) and 4,832 females (51 per cent). Around 75 per cent of Tuvalu’s labour-force work in the subsistence and informal economy with agriculture and fishing remaining as the primary economic activities. According to the 2002 census, of the 5,950 Tuvaluans aged 15 and over, 58 per cent were economically active and part of the labour force. A larger proportion of males (70 per cent) than females (48 per cent) were economically active and males made up 57 per cent of the labour force.
Tuvalu became a member of the ILO in 2008 and the tripartite partners and the ILO signed the Decent Work Country Programme (DWCP) on 19 May 2010. The Tuvalu DWCP is informed by international and regional development agendas including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) for the Pacific sub-region 2008 –2012, and the Pacific Plan as well as national development objectives as expressed in the Te Kakeega II National Strategy for Sustainable Development 2005-2015.
The priority areas for ILO technical assistance for 2010 – 2012 are:
- Priority 1: Capacity building of tripartite partners;
- Priority 2: Improvement of the labour market information and analysis system; and
- Priority 3: Improving overseas employment opportunities.