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Focus: GS-III Indian Economy, Science and Technology, Prelims

Why in news?

The COVID-19 pandemic will significantly increase global unemployment, leaving up to 25 million more people out of work, and will dramatically slash workers’ incomes, the United Nations said on 18th March 2020.

Views of The International Labour Organization

The economic and labour crisis sparked by the coronavirus will have far-reaching impacts on labour market outcomes and income losses.

  • This is no longer a global health crisis, it is also a major labour market and economic crisis that is having a huge impact on people.
  • the world should prepare to see a significant rise in unemployment and underemployment in the wake of the virus.
  • Even in the best-case scenario, 5.3 million more people will be pushed into unemployment.
  • At the higher end – 24.7 million more will become jobless, compared to the 2008-9 global financial crisis increased global unemployment by 22 million.
  • Underemployment is also expected to increase on a large scale, as the economic consequences of the virus outbreak translate into reductions in working hours and wages.
  • Self-employment in developing countries, which often serves to cushion the impact of economic shifts, might not do so this time due to the severe restrictions being placed on the movement of people and goods.
  • Reductions in access to work will also mean large income losses for workers.
  • The number of people who live in poverty despite holding one or more jobs will also increase significantly.
  • The strain on incomes resulting from the decline in economic activity will devastate workers close to or below the poverty line.
  • Some groups will be disproportionately impacted by the jobs crisis, including youth, older workers, women and migrants, in a way that could increase already soaring inequality.

Recommendation of ILO

  • The ILO called for urgent, large-scale and coordinated measures to protect workers in the workplace, stimulate the economy and employment and support jobs and income, including through social protections, paid leave and other subsidies.
  • In 2008, the world presented a united front to address the consequences of the global financial crisis, and the worst was averted, We need that kind of leadership and resolve now.

International Labour Organization

  • The International Labour Organization (ILO) is a United Nations agency whose mandate is to advance social justice and promote decent work by setting international labour standards.
  • It was the first specialised agency of the UN.
  • The ILO has 187 member states: 186 of the 193 UN member states plus the Cook Islands are members of the ILO.
  • The tripartite structure is unique to the ILO where representatives from the government, employers and employees openly debate and create labour standards.
  • The International Labour Office is the permanent secretariat of the International Labour Organization.
  • It is the focal point for International Labour Organization’s overall activities, which it prepares under the scrutiny of the Governing Body and under the leadership of the Director-General.
  • Unlike other United Nations specialized agencies, the International Labour Organization has a tripartite governing structure that brings together governments, employers, and workers of 187 member States, to set labour standards, develop policies and devise programmes promoting decent work for all women and men.
  • The structure is intended to ensure the views of all three groups are reflected in ILO labour standards, policies, and programmes, though governments have twice as many representatives as the other two groups.

April 2024