The ILO’s Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific covers one of the most diverse regions of the world – ethnically, culturally, religiously and economically. The population of more than four billion people includes some of the wealthiest countries on earth as well as two-thirds of the world’s poor.
In recent years the region has faced challenges that have seriously tested its social-economic infrastructure – natural disasters, economic crises and continuing conflicts. In addition, shifts in the international economic environment and the spread of globalization continually generate new challenges.
The ILO works with its members in the region to deal with these and other issues. Institution building and local economic development play a critical role in social and economic progress. Respect for fundamental principles and rights at work helps to ensure that all sections of society benefit.
Significant challenges remain, including increasing productive and decent employment opportunities, providing adequate social protection, and responding to crises. Other relief and development issues include human trafficking, bonded labour and child labour, the growth of the informal economy, labour migration, poverty alleviation, safety and health, skills and employability and youth employment.
The Regional Office in Bangkok supports work in 36 member countries, from Afghanistan to the Pacific Islands and from Mongolia to New Zealand. Two teams of decent work specialists, based in Bangkok and New Delhi, provide a range of technical services and expertise that support work throughout the region and provide assistance to the ILO’s constituents - Governments, workers and employers’ organizations. In addition, there are country, liaison or project offices in more than 17 countries in the region.
Among the donors supporting ILO’s work in the region are Australia, Canada, the European Commission, Ireland, Japan, Republic of Korea, the Netherlands, Norway, United States of America, the United Nations Development Programme and the World Bank.