Before coming to CDDRL, Miriam Abu Sharkh was employed at the United Nation's specialized agency for work, the International Labour Organization, in Geneva, Switzerland. As the People's Security Coordinator (P4), she analyzed and managed large household surveys from Argentina to Sri Lanka. She also worked on the Report on the World Social Situation for the United Nation's Department of Economic and Social Affairs in New York. Previously, she had also been a consultant for the German national development agency (Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit, GTZ) in Germany where she focused on integrating core labor standards into German technical cooperation.
She has written on the spread and effect of human rights related labour standards as well as on welfare regimes, gender discrimination, child labour, social movements and work satisfaction.
Currently, she holds a grant by the German National Science Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft) to study the evolvement of worldwide patterns of gender discrimination in the labor market, specifically the effects of international treaties. These questions are addressed in longitudinal, cross-national studies from the 1950´s to today.
This research builds on her previous work as a Post-doctoral Fellow at CDDRL as well as her dissertation on child labor for which she received a "Summa cum Laude" ( Freie Universität Berlin, Germany-joint dissertation committee with Stanford University). After discussing various labor standard initiatives, the dissertation analyzes when and why countries ratify the International Labour Organization's Minimum Age Convention outlawing child labour via event history models. It then examines the effect of ratification on child labor rates over three decades through a panel analyses. While her dissertation employed quantitative methods, her Diplom thesis (Freie Universität Berlin, Germany) builds on extensive fieldwork in South Africa examining the genesis, strategies, and structures of the South African women's movement.