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% contraction of GDP and an internal displacement of 2.3 million persons. An additional challenge of recent years has become the strong outward labour migration (about 2.5 Mio people work abroad). The past two years (2018/19) were characterized by promising economic growth of 3.3 percent over two consecutive years.
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:
- application of International Labour Standards,
- labour inspection reform,
- EU approximation in the areas of employment and social policies,
- occupational safety and health in the mining sector,
- reforms of public employment services,
- modernization of technical and vocational training,
- entrepreneurship development,
- addressing workplace stigma and discrimination, and
- social dialogue.
The current programme also includes collaboration on the ratification of eight additional ILO Conventions. The last convention ratified by Ukraine –the Social Security (Minimum Standards) Convention, 1952 (No.102) was signed in 2016.
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.