About the ILO in Ukraine

Facing a double challenge of a forgotten war and an incomplete economic transition

The Ukrainian economy is starting to recover from the sharp downturn of 2014-2015 caused by the armed conflict in the east (GDP declined by 16%). But the country is not yet back to the pre-crisis level of 2012. Achieving sustainable and inclusive growth requires solving the long-standing issues of low productivity, poor working conditions, weak labour relations, and lack of socio-economic recovery for conflict-affected or displaced population. Ukraine has embarked on ambitious economic and social reforms with strong reference to the International Labour Standards and EU acquis based on the EU Association agreement from 2014.

In 2016, the ILO and Ukraine signed a four-year Decent Work Country Programme with the objective of creating jobs, extending social protection, guaranteeing rights at work, and promoting social dialogue. The current ILO project portfolio focuses on the labour inspection reform, application of international labour standards, 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, and social dialogue.

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 government plans to ratify 8 more ILO Conventions to comply with the Europe Social Charter.

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.