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Trade and decent work

New publications strengthen ties between trade policy and decent work

Two new publications aim to encourage a socially just, human-centred approach in the assessment of links between trade and the labour market.

Press release | 04 October 2021
GENEVA (ILO News) – Two new publications created to pave the way for a more comprehensive and realistic analysis of the effects of trade on labour markets, based on a human-centred approach, have been unveiled by the International Labour Organization (ILO).

The Trade and decent work: Indicator guide, provides analytical tools to support research on trade and decent work. It includes indicators on rights at work, employment, social protection and social dialogue – the four pillars of the ILO’s Decent Work Agenda – that can be used to assess the interactions between trade and labour markets.

The Trade and decent work: Handbook of assessment methodologies, evaluates methodologies for assessing the impact of trade on various aspects of decent work.

Speaking about the two publications, Martha Newton, ILO Deputy Director-General for Policy said, “For trade to deliver on sustainable development, decent work and social justice, it is fundamental that trade policies are designed in a way that strengthens their labour impacts and inclusiveness. This is why we must continue to integrate decent work objectives into our trade policy assessments across countries.”

The publications were authored by the ILO’s Research Department, in partnership with the European Commission (EC), under the ILO’s Trade, enterprises and labour markets: Diagnostic and firm-level assessment (ASSESS) project, which is part of a broader ILO research programme, Integrating trade and decent work (INTEGRATE). INTEGRATE aims to position decent work as a central objective of trade policy, as called for by the ILO’s Centenary Declaration for the Future of Work.

The two publications were published ahead of a high-level virtual event co-hosted by the ILO’s Research Department and the EC, on 5 October 2021 (14:00-16:30 CEST).