A journey through Yemen’s labour market

A new collection of ILO photos captures Yemeni workers and employers at work, demonstrating their struggles, perseverance and optimism for a better future.

Article | 05 March 2023
Click on the photo-gallery and view the pictures
First showcased at an exhibit at the 5th UN Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDC5), the photos also highlight some of the key issues affecting the country's labour market, including employment opportunities for women and youth, working conditions and safety and health at work.

The photos shed light on world of work issues that often go unnoticed by the global public, and take the audience on a journey through the lives of ordinary Yemenis, who show remarkable resilience and resounding hope in the face of conflict and challenges.

The images provide rarely seen snapshots of the lives of working women and men in urban and rural Yemen, as well as glimpses into age-old artisanal industries in this culturally rich and vibrant country. They were taken during December 2022 and January 2023 across various workplaces in the governorates of Aden, Sanaa, Lahj, Hajjah, Taiz, Abyan and Hodeidah.

Some of the employers and workers depicted in the photos are beneficiaries of the ILO’s involvement in the joint UN programme “Supporting Resilient Livelihoods and Food Security in Yemen joint programme (ERRY II),” funded by the European Commission and the Sweden International Development Agency, and of the ILO’s “Economic Empowerment for Yemeni Young Men and Women at Risk” project, funded by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Since 2014, Yemen has suffered from violent conflict and political instability, which have given rise to one of the world’s most severe humanitarian crises, thereby adding pressure on the country’s mounting challenges, including frail institutions and insufficient public services. The crisis in Yemen was further exacerbated in 2016 by the cholera outbreak and again in 2020 with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The livelihoods of Yemenis have been profoundly disrupted, resulting in mass-scale unemployment and the closure of enterprises across Yemen.

The ILO’s interventions in the country have focused on building resilience and enhancing the livelihoods of the most vulnerable persons and communities, through the creation of short- and long-term sustainable employment, building the capacity of national institutions and access to basic services and decent work.

Yemen has been a member of the ILO since 1965 and has ratified 30 ILO Conventions, which establish basic principles and rights at work, including eight fundamental Conventions.

Launch of the photo exhibition at the 5th UN LDC5 Conference