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Global Call to Action for a human-centred recovery from the COVID-19 crisis that is inclusive, sustainable and resilient

January 2022

The ILO urges that worldwide we should all be creating a recovery that is inclusive, sustainable and resilient and most of all it must become a top priority for public policy everywhere.

Guy Ryder, ILO Director-General’s Global Call to Action provides a clear and comprehensive way forward that will enable countries to convert the moral and political aspiration of leaving no one behind and that everywhere in the World we should all work together to recover from the covid pandemic.

Many lessons have been learned during the past two years and now is time to put new ideas into action to get the World to focus on the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the world of work. The pandemic’s impact on the world of work has been both devastating and far-reaching. It has:

A big agenda to tackle, but can be done if we all work together and grasp the opportunities presented.

The COVID-19 crisis has affected certain population groups and workers in specific sectors disproportionately, in particular:

There are serious concerns that workers and businesses hit hard by the crisis will benefit less from improving economic conditions, with some parts of the economy or labour market benefiting strongly from the recovery, while others are left behind.

There is wide variation across country income groups in the response and recovery packages relative to the labour market damage that has occurred. The relative size of fiscal stimulus compared with working-hour losses is much smaller in developing countries.

Access to treatment and vaccines remains highly unequal, resulting in much uncertainty for the global recovery. Low access to vaccines means that fighting the pandemic will continue to rely on measures such as workplace closures and lockdowns. This will therefore continue to have a negative impact on employment.

This also threatens to undo hard-won achievements in poverty reduction and widen the gap between developed and developing countries, reversing the trend of global economic convergence.

A Global Call to Action

At the International Labour Conference in June 2021, government, employer and worker delegates from 181 countries unanimously adopted the Global Call to Action for a Human-centred Recovery. The Call to Action:

The Global Call to Action combines two sets of actions, at the national and the multilateral levels.

National action

The first set of actions covers measures to be taken by national governments and their employer and trade union social partners, to achieve an inclusive job-rich recovery that substantially strengthens worker and social protections and supports sustainable enterprises.

Multilateral action

A second set of actions covers ILO leadership in promoting increased policy coherence at the multilateral level to achieve a human-centred recovery that is inclusive, sustainable and resilient, and support for its implementation.

Some answers are already written and can be found in OSH UPDATE + FIRE.