Terms of reference

Call for papers on ending racial discrimination at work

In June 2021, the International Labour Conference adopted the Resolution concerning a global call to action for a human-centred recovery from the COVID-19 crisis that is inclusive, sustainable and resilient. The Global call to action commits ILO members to “execute across the public and private sectors a transformative agenda for equality, diversity and inclusion aimed at eliminating violence and harassment in the world of work and discrimination on all grounds”.
In its 2021 Resolution concerning inequalities in the world of work, the Conference stressed that promoting equality and inclusion requires “strengthening actions and policies to end racial and all other forms of discrimination”.
As a contribution to a global reflection on a transformative agenda for equality, diversity and inclusion, the ILO is launching a call for papers exploring key areas of importance for addressing racial discrimination in a world of work that is undergoing rapid transformations. The call is addressed to academic researchers, practitioners and activists engaged with these issues, particularly from the groups affected by racial discrimination.

Thematic focus

The Discrimination (Employment and Occupation Convention), 1958 (No. 111), one of the ILO fundamental Conventions, is approaching universal ratification. This reflects a strong global commitment for ending discrimination at work. Nevertheless, racial discrimination continues to affect millions of people around the globe, denying them dignity, respect and equal opportunity. Those affected include people of African descent, migrants, indigenous and tribal peoples, ethnic minorities and others. The impacts of intersectional discrimination based on gender, race, disability, HIV status, social origin and other grounds are increasingly being recognized.

The call is therefore seeking submissions that explore the different facets of racial discrimination and inequalities faced by those affected, including in the informal economy; use quantitative and/or qualitative data; present innovative strategies, practical experiences, lessons learned and recommendations for ending racial discrimination in the world of work.

Papers may address topics such as:
  • Measurement and monitoring the extent of racial discrimination (based on primary or secondary data);
  • Policies and regulation, including equality legislation, affirmative action policies, employment policies, and enterprise-level policies;
  • Enforcement, access to justice and developments in jurisprudence;
  • Discrimination in recruitment, remuneration and other terms of and conditions of employment, including discrimination emanating from the use of artificial intelligence;
  • Tackling discrimination in the context of self-employment, including in respect of access to capital or credit;
  • Harassment and violence in the world of work as form of racial and intersectional discrimination;
  • Systemic, structural and intersectional discrimination in the world of work;
  • COVID-19 impacts on groups vulnerable to racial discrimination in the world of work;
  • Racial discrimination, climate change and just transitions to environmental sustainability; and
  • Voice and participation from an intersectional approach.

Approach and methodology

In addressing these and related topics, papers may focus on conceptual aspects, empirical analysis and policy design and impact adopting different methodologies, including surveys or case studies or focus group discussions.
Papers should feature a final section presenting lessons learned, conclusions and concrete recommendations for innovative measures and strategies and their implementation through appropriate economic and social policy and legal frameworks.

Papers should engage with the particular and interconnected roles of ILO constituents – governments, employers’ organizations and workers’ organizations - in tackling racial discrimination in the world of work and may identify areas for future research.

Length of papers

Papers should be appropriately referenced and not be longer than 3500 words (excluding references).  

Submission deadline

Papers should be submitted to EndRacialDiscrimination@ilo.org in English, French or Spanish no later than 31 December 2022.


Authors of up to 20 selected papers will receive an award of 500 USD. Selection criteria for award winning papers include: (1) grounding in data, research or practical experience; (2) clarity of reasoning; (3) originality and innovation; (4) quality of methodology and analytical rigour; (5) policy relevance. Papers must be appropriately referenced. Authors of selected papers will be invited to ILO on-line symposium on ending racial discrimination in the world of work.


All intellectual property and other proprietary rights, including copyrights, (Intellectual Property) related to the papers submitted to the ILO in response to this call for submissions will be the sole property of their respective authors. By submitting a paper, the author grants the ILO a perpetual, royalty-free license to make unrestricted use of the Intellectual Property (including to reproduce, adapt, publicly perform, display, distribute and publish on the ILO website the Intellectual Property or any part thereof).