Before joining the ILO in 2014 I’d heard this remarkable fact about Chinese migrant workers: at some 274 million, they represent the greatest population movement in human history. But what I didn’t realize is, I’m actually one of them.
Could a robot replace your job? Fears about technology’s impact on the labour market are nothing new. Way back before the International Labour Organization (ILO) came into being in 1919, the Luddites were one group of early-19th century English workers who destroyed the labour-saving textile machines which were replacing their jobs.
The anxiety that machines could kill millions of jobs in our globalized workplaces is real – and it comes at a time when the world economy is already facing a major employment crisis. The jobs gap in G20 countries stands at about 54 million and could expand to over 60 million by 2018 unless current growth trends improve.
After completing high school, I left Kathmandu for the United States to pursue a higher education. That was around 15 years ago and back then, most young people who left Nepal went to similar destinations in the “developed world.”
Not my cousin. He dropped out of high school and went to work in the Middle East. Close to two decades later he still works there, having just left Nepal for another two-year stint.