ILO Global Report on Equality at Work 2011


The new International Labour Organization (ILO) Global Report on Equality at Work 2011 has found that the global economic crisis opens up new space for discrimination at work.

The study, undertaken by the ILO, notes that in spite of continuous positive advances in anti-discrimination legislation, the global economic and social crisis has led to a higher risk of discrimination against certain groups such as migrant labour.

The report, entitled “Equality at work: The continuing challenge”, cites equality bodies which receive increased numbers of complaints, showing that workplace discrimination has become more varied, and discrimination on multiple grounds is becoming the rule rather than the exception.

It also warns against a tendency during economic downturns to give lower priority to anti-discrimination policies and workers’ rights in practice. “Austerity measures and cutbacks in the budget of labour administrations and inspection services, and in funds available to specialized bodies dealing with non-discrimination and equality, can seriously compromise the ability of existing institutions to prevent the economic crisis from generating more discrimination and more inequalities”, the report says.

According to the report, the lack of reliable data in this context makes it difficult to assess the exact impact of these measures. It therefore calls on governments to put into place human, technical and financial resources to improve data collection on discrimination at the national level.

The report also notes that new forms of discrimination at work arise while the old challenges remain at best only partially answered.

The ILO Global Report recommends a series of steps to combat discrimination. These include four priority areas, including the promotion of the universal ratification and application of the two fundamental ILO Conventions on equality and non-discrimination; the development and sharing of knowledge on the elimination of discrimination in employment and occupation; development of the institutional capacity of ILO constituents to more effectively implement the fundamental right of non-discrimination at work; and strengthening of international partnerships with major actors on equality.

Find out more about the ILO Global Report here or download the Report in PFD format from the right-hand panel.

General Information

Submitted by: Francesca Casciato
Author(s): ILO
Publisher: ILO
LHAC Languages: EN