Every day, approximately 7,600 people die from occupational accidents or diseases, and around one million workers are injured on the job. Safety and health at work should be strengthened for all workers, but particularly for young workers, who are at risk of suffering up to a 40 per cent higher rate of non-fatal work-related injuries. With approximately 40 million young people entering the global labour market every year, a major challenge for the international community lies in creating safe and healthy work opportunities for all and especially for the younger generation, large numbers of whom work in the informal economy and in hazardous activities in sectors such as agriculture and construction.

Towards a Solution

The SafeYouth@Work Action Plan aims at improving safety and health for young workers, by proposing key actions to be implemented by Governments, employers and employers’ organizations, workers’ and workers’ organizations, and young people and youth organizations. Aligned to the strategy of the SafeYouth@Work Project these actions are organized in five priority areas: Compliance; Data and Research; Education and Training; Advocacy; and Networks. The Action Plan therefore provides a framework for collaboration and cooperation among all interested parties and South-South exchange to promote safe and secure working environments for all workers, including young workers and those in precarious employment.

The SafeYouth@Work Action Plan has been developed under the framework of the ILO Global Action Programme on Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) flagship programme that aims at reducing the incidence of work related-deaths, injuries and diseases. The SafeYouth@Work Action Plan will contribute to the achievement of targets 8.7 on ending all forms of child labour by 2025 and forced labour, human trafficking and modern slavery by 2035, and target 8.8 on protecting labour rights and promoting safe and secure working environment for all workers.

The Action Plan was developed starting at the XXI World Congress on Safety and Health at Work in September 2017. The ILO SafeYouth@Work Project organized a cross-generational and multi-national exchange among OSH experts, policymakers, employer and worker representatives, young workers and youth organizations on the subject of OSH vulnerability of youth. Approximately 125 Youth Champions, representing a wide range of regions and backgrounds, were invited to participate in the event, providing them with basic OSH knowledge, giving them a voice in the development of the SafeYouth@Work Action Plan and promoting peer-to-peer learning. Over the next six months, further consultations to gather inputs for the Action Plan were undertaken with Governments, employers’ organizations, workers’ organizations, OSH experts and young people during the A+A Congress in Düsseldorf, Germany; the IV Global Conference on the Sustained Eradication of Child Labour in Buenos Aires, Argentina; the ‘Labour Inspection Academy’ and ‘OSH in SMEs’ training programmes at ITC-ILO in Turin, Italy; and, at a Sub-Regional Consultation in Jakarta, Indonesia. These consultations were further supplemented by recommendations received from youth and other stakeholders via an online platform. Overall more than 670 inputs were collected and processed by the ILO SafeYouth@Work Project team, and considered for inclusion in the Action Plan. To bring together the inputs received, and finalize the SafeYouth@Work Action Plan, a tripartite plus Drafting Committee was convened in February 2018 comprised of OSH and hazardous child labour experts, and representatives of employers and workers. Fifty percent of the Committee were Youth Champions. The result of these efforts, representing extensive consultations, is launched as the SafeYouth@Work Action Plan.

The Action Plan methodology actively incorporated Southern demands for cooperation, capacity and innovation on OSH. In this specific action, the main methodology consisted of tripartite and tripartite-plus consultations. They were organized to have three components: (a) a technical presentation of the issue and selected good OSH practices; (b) facilitated small group work to clarify how the good practices actually worked, and how they could be enhanced; and (c) discussion among stakeholders on how the practices could be adapted in beneficiary countries. The Action Plan also makes clear that young people must be part of finding OSH solutions and it will help to ensure their voices are both informed and heard.

The Action Plan initiative therefore provides an excellent platform for scaling up South-South and triangular cooperation projects among member countries and other regions and has the potential for replication in other regions of the world. The conditions for replication include the following:

  • A conducive institutional environment exists at the national level;
  • Improving OSH national systems particularly for young workers is a priority in the national policy agendas and/or legal frameworks;
  • Member countries are committed to undertake similar initiatives and share results with others;
  • Member countries agree to apply the Action Plan framework document containing guidelines that can be followed or adapted during the process; and
  • Sufficient information technology is in place that allows for fluid, continuous communication among countries.

Contact Information

1) From SSN4PSI - Asad-Uz-Zaman, Secretariat, Focal person of SSN4PSI 2) From SafeYouth@Work - Nicholas J. Levintow, Chief Technical Advisor, SafeYouth@Work Project, International Labour Organization,Geneva, Switzerland

Supported by

International Labour Organization (ILO)

Countries involved

Indonesia, Myanmar, Philippines, Viet Nam

Implementing Entities

International Labour Organization

Project Status


URL of the practice

Primary SDG

08 - Decent Work and Economic Growth

Secondary SDGs

08 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
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