Facing a double challenge of a forgotten war and an incomplete economic transition
Ukraine’s transition to a market economy faces serious political, economic, and security challenges. The country has not yet fully recovered from the sharp economic downturn in 2014/15. The war in the East caused a 16 percent contraction of GDP and an internal displacement of 2.3 Mio persons. The strong outward labour migration of recent years has become a major challenge (about 2.5 Mio people working abroad). 2018/19 were characterized by promising economic growth of 3.3 percent over two consecutive years, which was offset by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy and the labour market.
The key strategic framework for the ILO’s work in Ukraine is the Decent Work Country Programme, signed in 2020. The programme features support to Ukraine in the following areas:
- Rebuilding social dialogue institutions;
- Strengthening social partners;
- Improving collective bargaining at sectoral levels;
- Modernizing the employment services
- Reducing the skills mismatch among youth;
- Improving entrepreneurship skills;
- Strengthening compliance with International Labour Standards;
- Improving the protection, level, and equality of wages;
- Enhancing social protection; and
- Combatting workplace stigma and discrimination, violence and harassment.
Ukraine is a member state of the ILO since 1954 (as part of the former USSR) and since 1991 as an independent state. Ukraine has ratified 71 ILO International Labour Standards (Conventions), including the eight fundamental and four priority Conventions.
The ILO is part of the United Nations System in Ukraine. The United Nations Partnership Framework (UNPF) for Ukraine 2018-2022 prioritizes economic growth, employment, governance, and social protection as areas of strong ILO expertise, and assigned a lead role to the ILO in coordinating the UN’s work on employment creation.