ILO calls on G20 to protect jobs amid global crises

ILO Director-General Guy Ryder has called on G20 Labor and Employment Ministers to support the Global Accelerator on Jobs and Social Protection for Just Transitions, a UN initiative coordinated by the International Labor Organization. 

The one-day meeting, which was hosted by Indonesia on September 14, took place against the backdrop of multiple and interrelated crises leading to sharp rises in the cost of living, particularly regarding the prices of food and energy, and spiraling levels of global debt. 

Over the course of the meeting, Ministers said they would strengthen labor protections to increase resilience for all workers, in the light of the new challenges created by digitalization and the climate crisis. 

Equipping workers with the skills they need to harness opportunities in the digital and green economies was also at the center of the Ministers’ preoccupations, and they welcomed the updated G20 Skills Strategy. The Ministers also reaffirmed their commitment to accelerate and monitor the progress made in including more people with disabilities in the labor market. 

Ryder updated Ministers on global labor market developments, as well as progress made towards the achievement of the G20 Brisbane goal to reduce the gender gap in labor force participation, and the Global Accelerator on Jobs and Social Protection for Just Transitions, an initiative originally launched in September 2021. 

“A renewed collective effort is called for to better manage and eventually exit these crises, ensure that the benefits of globalization are more equally shared, within and across countries, and address the looming structural economic transformations that we know we must confront,” said Ryder. 

The Global Accelerator on Jobs and Social Protection for Just Transitions, coordinated by the ILO as part of an UN-wide effort, aims to ensure the necessary policy support and financing to create 400 million jobs and extend social protection to the four billion people currently without coverage. 

The initiative brings together the whole of the multilateral system to pro-actively anticipate and manage the different transitions that are pending – environmental, social and economic. 

Ryder said that much work still needed to be done to reduce the gender gap in labor force participation by 25 per cent by 2025, in line with the goal set by the G20 at their 2014 Brisbane meeting. 

“It is urgent to implement a gender transformative policy effort to create more and better jobs for women. This must translate into long-term policy efforts to accelerate progress towards the achievement of the Brisbane Goal and better employment quality for women,” said the Director-General. 

Talking about the current labor market situation, Ryder emphasized that “with global inflation expected to remain high, the prospects for the purchasing power and standard of living of workers across the globe are very worrying,” and that the situation could “evolve into broader instability.”

Photo credit: Shutterstock/ Triawanda Tirta Aditya

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