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. Decent Working Time for Nursing Personnel: Critical for Worker Well-being and Quality Care

    19 December 2018

    This policy brief highlights the importance of decent working time arrangements for the quality of care, and provides practical information on addressing working time issues with a focus on nursing personnel.

  2. Does Piece Rate Pay Impact Perceived Occupational Hazards in Garment Factories? Evidence from Vietnam

    30 August 2018

  3. Employment terms and conditions in tertiary education

    14 August 2018

    Issues paper for discussion at the Global Dialogue Forum on Employment Terms and Conditions in Tertiary Education (Geneva, 18–20 September 2018)

  4. Social dialogue in the public service in selected countries of the European Union

    19 July 2018

    The aim of this paper is to analyse the regulation and practice of social dialogue in the public service at the European Union (EU) level and within a group of EU countries, with a focus on the forms of social dialogue other than collective bargaining and their evolution after the onset of the 2008 economic crisis.

  5. Occupational safety and health in public health emergencies: A manual for protecting health workers and responders

    26 June 2018

    This manual provides an overview of the main OSH risks faced by emergency responders during disease outbreaks and other emergencies, such as natural disasters, chemical incidents, radiological emergencies and emergencies involving conflicts.

  6. International Framework Agreements in the food retail, garment and chemicals sectors: Lessons learned from three case studies

    31 May 2018

    With a focus on three recent IFAs in three economic sectors, this working paper is a contribution to the growing body of knowledge on international framework agreements. It complements existing and ongoing research on national and cross-border social dialogue and international framework agreements by other international and regional organizations and by the ILO itself.

  7. Back to the Future: Challenges and opportunities for the future of work addressed in ILO sectoral meetings since 2010

    10 May 2018

    This working paper summarises how issues directly related to the future of work have been discussed by ILO constituents in sectoral meetings held since 2010, as further material for reflection by the Global Commission on the Future of Work, as it carries out its important and ambitious programme of work. It has also been prepared to inform and inspire ILO constituents in specific sectors, who in recent years have launched their own debates and exchanges at national, regional and global levels on the future of work.

  8. Sectoral Policies Department - Highlights 2016-17

    09 March 2018

    The Sectoral Policies Department (SECTOR) is responsible for providing support to ILO constituents in addressing employment and labour issues in specific economic and social sectors at the global, regional and national levels.

  9. The flexibility clauses of the Work in Fishing Convention, 2007 (No. 188)

    26 February 2018

    This sectoral working paper discusses the various types of flexibility clauses found in the Work in Fishing convention, 2007 (No. 188), with a view to assisting those considering making use of these clauses when ratifying and implementing the Convention. Working papers are preliminary documents circulated to stimulate discussion and obtain comments.


  1. Decent work for migrant fishers

    15 August 2017

    Report for discussion at the Tripartite Meeting on Issues Relating to Migrant Fishers (Geneva, 18–22 September 2017)