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ILO programme implementation 2020-21

ILO programme implementation 2020-21

This report offers detailed information on the impact of ILO work on people’s lives and on the realization of the ILO’s social justice mandate throughout the 2020-21 biennium, amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Keep scrolling for an overview of the main contents or download the full report. 

An ILO-Japan project brought access to clean and safe water to communities in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), Philippines. © ILO/R. Pablo
Report (PDF)

The enduring effects of the pandemic in 2022–23 and beyond will continue to confront the world of work with great uncertainty and persistent decent work challenges.

Constituents’ priorities are shifting from immediate response towards longer-term solutions to the crisis. This calls for sustained progress to realize the ILO’s value proposition for a human-centred recovery underpinned by decent work, as underlined by the Global Call to Action.

Guy Ryder, ILO Director-General

Guy Ryder speaking at the ILO Global Summit on COVID-19 and the World of Work, July 2020. © ILO

The ILO in action

Leading the human-centred response to COVID-19 in the world of work


Following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, the ILO put together a policy framework for tackling the pandemic's economic and social impact, adjusted its operational workplans, carried out assessments of the impact of the crisis on jobs, businesses and livelihoods and provided platforms to share knowledge, tools and guidance to support governments, employers’ and workers’ organizations. 

At the 2021 International Labour Conference, government, employer and worker delegates from 181 Member States unanimously adopted the Global Call to Action for a Human-Centred Recovery, committing Member States to pursue a job-rich recovery that substantially strengthens sustainable enterprises, labour and social protection, with support from the multilateral system and under ILO leadership. 

Production of masks in the Meryem Women's Cooperative, supported by the ILO project “Decent Work Opportunities for Refugees and Host Communities in Turkey”, 2021. © ILO/Fatma Cankara

Key milestones in 2020-21

March-April 2020

Publication of the first ILO Monitor of the impact of COVID-19 on the world of work and launch of the COVID-19 knowledge sharing platform.

June 2020

The Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999 (No. 182) becomes the first ILO Convention ratified by all ILO Member States in the history of the Organization.

July 2020

The Global Summit on COVID-19 and the World of Work, addressed by 51 Heads of State and Government and attended by tripartite representatives from 98 countries.

December 2020

Publication of the Global Wage Report 2020-21: Wages and minimum wages in the time of COVID-19.

February 2021

Publication of the World Employment and Social Outlook 2021: The role of digital platforms in transforming the world of work.

June 2021

The ILO and UNICEF release a new edition of Global estimates on child labour.

June 2021

The ILO's Violence and Harassment Convention, 2019 (No. 190) enters into force. C190 was ratified by 10 Member States in 2020-21.

September 2021

Publication of the World Social Protection Report 2020-22: Social protection at the crossroads - in pursuit of a better future.

September 2021

The Secretary-General of the UN announces the launch of a Global Accelerator for jobs and social protection, led by the ILO.

December 2021

The first-ever virtual International Labour Conference concludes with calls for increased action on inequalities and skills.

ILO performance

The ILO contributed to the achievement of 896 results in 151 Member States and two territories in 2020-21, exceeding the target set for the biennium. More than 45% of the results were directly linked to the response to the COVID-19 crisis. 

All the results contribute directly to progress of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) linked to Decent Work. 

Visit the Decent Work Results Dashboard for detailed information on results by country and policy outcome. 

Young women teleworking in Peru. © ILO/Leslie Moscoso

Financial highlights

In 2020-21, the ILO spent $1,104.6 million on delivering the eight policy outcomes included in its programme, 41% from its regular budget and 59% from voluntary contributions. 

Voluntary contributions are channelled through extrabudgetary development cooperation projects or as core funding through the Regular Budget Supplementary Account. 

Viorica is a beekeeper in the Cahul district, Moldova. She is one of 882 beneficiaries of an ILO funded project that aims to create business opportunities for persons with disabilities. © ILO

ILO results: How the ILO has impacted people’s lives

Outcome 1

Strong tripartite constituents and influential and inclusive social dialogue

Coffee shop worker doing a home delivery in Peru. Olenka Marquina, a Peruvian entrepreneur who owns the business, assigned new tasks to her employees in order to survive the pandemic. © ILO

Outcome 2

International labour standards and authoritative and effective supervision

Outcome 3

Economic, social and environmental transitions for full, productive and freely chosen employment and decent work for all

Women in training promoted by an ILO-US Department of State project that aims to create jobs for refugees and host communities in Jordan. © ILO

Outcome 4

Sustainable enterprises as generators of employment and promoters of innovation and decent work

Outcome 5

Skills and lifelong learning to facilitate access to and transitions in the labour market

Paola Carosella, Argentine chef, leads a cooking class. She has been working with the ILO and the Brazilian Ministry of Labour to create jobs opportunities for vulnerable groups. © ILO

Outcome 6

Gender equality and equal opportunities and treatment for all in the world of work

Outcome 7

Adequate and effective protection at work for all

Former child labourers in class in Sikasso, Mali. ILO Project Clear Cotton. © ILO

Outcome 8

Comprehensive and sustainable social protection for all

Find out more

This InfoStory and the ILO programme implementation report for 2020-21 are the products of collaborative work involving all ILO departments at headquarters and offices in the regions.

Download the report and access the ILO Decent Work Results Dashboard for more information.

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