The Sectoral Activities Department is the ILO’s repository of knowledge on sector-specific labour and social issues. Research and studies conducted, in line with the ILO’s research policies, deal with emerging and priority issues of strong interest for ILO’s sectoral constituents.

Working Papers, vehicles for disseminating information on a range of topics related to the world of work and the evolution of social and labour policies and practices for a given sector, are regularly published and widely disseminated. Background reports and issues papers, which provide more in-depth analysis on specific issues, are also published for discussion at international tripartite meetings and global dialogue fora.


  1. Synthesis report: Skills shortages and labour migration in the field of information and communication technology in Canada, China, Germany, India, Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand

    22 September 2020

  2. Skills shortages and labour migration in the field of information and communication technology in Canada, China, Germany and Singapore

    18 September 2020

  3. © WaterAid 2020

    Hand hygiene at the workplace: an essential occupational safety and health prevention and control measure against COVID-19

    08 September 2020

  4. UN Policy brief: COVID-19 and Transforming Tourism

    28 August 2020

  5. COVID-19 and accommodation and food service activities: Prevention and control checklist

    26 August 2020

    This checklist is designed as a practical and participatory tool to help implement and continuously improve practical action to prevent and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in accommodation and food service activities.

  6. COVID-19 and health facilities: Checklist of measures to be taken in health facilities

    15 July 2020

    This checklist applies the ILO-WHO HealthWISE participatory, action-orientated approach to prevent COVID-19 infection in health facilities and protect health personnel. HealthWISE is a practical, participative method for improving the quality of workplaces and practices in health facilities. This checklist with a focus on how to protect health personnel during the response to COVID-19 has been drawn up by the ILO (International Labour Organization) in consultation with WHO (World Health Organization) and with the support of the Multi-Partner Trust Fund of the joint ILO-OECD-WHO programme Working for Health (version 1, June 2020).

  7. © Murdani Usman/CIFOR 2020

    Impact of COVID-19 on the forest sector

    14 July 2020

    The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting public health and causing unprecedented disruptions to economies and labour markets, including for workers and enterprises in the forest sector. It has exacerbated existing challenges, with many enterprises and workers suffering as a consequence. In response, governments, employers’ and workers’ organizations, and other forestry stakeholders around the world, are collaborating to mitigate the impact of the pandemic with a view to protecting businesses and livelihoods, including through social dialogue and the promotion of international labour standards.

  8. © (C) Estebandrf 2020

    COVID-19 and the media and culture sector

    10 July 2020

    This brief highlights the impact of COVID-19 on the media and culture sector, hit hard by unemployment and closed productions. It analyses how the sector’s diversity in terms of contract types and occupations creates challenges in accessing social protection, safety and health, and economic relief programmes. The brief also offers policy options, drawing from countries’ examples and initiatives from workers’ and employers’ organizations, to mitigate the economic impact of the pandemic on the sector.

  9. © PJeganathan 2020

    COVID-19 and the health sector

    26 June 2020

    The COVID-19 crisis is drawing attention to the already overburdened public health systems in many countries, and to the challenges faced in recruiting, deploying, retaining and protecting sufficient well-trained, supported and motivated health workers. It highlights the strong need for sustainable investment in health systems, including in the health workforce, and for decent working conditions, training and equipment, especially in relation to personal protective equipment and occupational safety. Social dialogue is essential to building resilient health systems, and therefore has a critical role both in crisis response and in building a future that is prepared for health emergencies.

  10. COVID-19 and mining: Prevention and control checklist

    18 June 2020

    This checklist is a tool to help implement and continuously improve practical actions to prevent and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in mining.