The ILO in Vanuatu

The Pacific Island nation of Vanuatu is an archipelago of 83 islands stretching over more than one thousand kilometers in the South Pacific Ocean. The 2009 census indicated a population of 245,000 inhabitants. Approximately 75 per cent of the total population lives in the rural areas. The country gained its political independence from Britain and France in 1980. A parliamentary system comprising 52 Members of Parliament and 13 Ministries governs the country, which is grouped administratively into six provincial areas. Subsistence agriculture remains a central element of the national economy. The tourism and hospitality sector is the major source of private sector formal employment. Since April 2007, Vanuatu has participated successfully in seasonal labour migration programmes with both New Zealand and Australia. Remittances from both schemes are increasingly important contributing factors in rural economic development.


2003: Vanuatu became the 176th member of the International Labour Organization
2006: Parliament ratified eight Conventions, including seven core (C138 pending) and C185 Seafarers Identity Documents
2009: First Decent Work Country Programme signed by constituents and ILO Country Office for Pacific Island Countries
2010: Port Vila hosts the historic ILO meeting entitled ‘Tripartite High-Level Meeting : Decent Work for Sustainable Development in the Pacific ’
2011: The country’s first Tripartite Labour Advisory Council launched in Vanuatu is launched by the Deputy Prime Minister and social partners