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.


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.


  1. © ILO 2021

    Briefing note

    COVID-19 and the port sector

    05 July 2021

    Ports provide key infrastructure in support of international trade and the global economy. They vary in size from wharves handling at most a few hundred tonnes of cargo a year to large international ports or multi-modal hubs combining a broad range of logistical services, from warehousing to total supply chain management. During the COVID-19 pandemic, ports have had to adjust to the reality of lower volumes, worker shortages, the implementation of occupational health and safety measures for dockers and shore personnel, and the adoption of teleworking and remote operations for office workers. In some countries, calls by cruise ships have come to a halt. This policy brief summarizes the issues relating to COVID-19 and decent work challenges in the port sector.

  2. Publication

    Les intermittents du spectacle

    25 June 2021

  3. Briefing note

    Is public sector employment a haven in the COVID-19 jobs crisis?

    14 June 2021

    It looks as if job opportunities in the public sector have provided a respite from the shrinking private sector during the dark days of the COVID-19 crisis, at least for some women.

  4. Publication

    UPU Guide to Postal Social Services

    11 June 2021

  5. Social Protection Spotlight

    Extending social protection to the cultural and creative sector

    13 May 2021

    Workers in the cultural and creative sector often lack effective access to social protection.

  6. Publication

    Digitalization in teaching and education in the context of COVID-19: United Republic of Tanzania

    27 April 2021

    The study involves collection and review of documents capturing COVID-19 prevention and response initiatives, relevant education policies and literature related to education, ICT and the COVID-19 pandemic.

  7. Publication

    Digitalization in teaching and education in the context of COVID-19: Rwanda

    27 April 2021

    The study involves, among other, the review of reports from quantitative surveys and other research studies carried out on Rwanda’s education system; national laws, policies and strategy documents; COVID-19 prevention policies and procedures as implemented in schools.

  8. Publication

    Digitalization in teaching and education in the context of COVID-19: Malawi

    27 April 2021

    The study, whose scope includes both public and private primary and secondary education, aims to document the education sector response to the COVID-19 crisis in Malawi, specifically focusing on activities towards providing continued learning opportunities for learners and actual or projected medium- and long-term implications of the pandemic in the education sector.

  9. Publication

    Digitalization in teaching and education in the context of COVID-19: Kenya

    27 April 2021

    The findings of this report are based on a review and analysis of documents to gain insights into the strategies and plans adopted by the Government of Kenya and education stakeholders to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic, including through technology-based solutions. The impact on existing digitalization initiatives and efforts are also assessed.

  10. Publication

    Digitalization in teaching and education in the context of COVID-19: Ethiopia

    27 April 2021

    This study assesses the impact of COVID-19 on the education sector in the immediate and medium term, and its effect on long-term planning in light of the challenges presented by the pandemic. The study also looks at the impact of the crisis on the teaching profession.