Voluntary codes and the impact on human rights & labour rights

Research output: Conference Papers (RGC: 31A, 31B, 32, 33)33_Other conference paperpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPresented - 12 Sep 2019

Conference

TitleGlobal Business & Human Rights Scholars Association Annual Conference
LocationUniversity of Essex
PlaceUnited Kingdom
CityColchester
Period12 - 13 September 2019

Abstract

Voluntary codes on business and human rights and/or corporate social responsibility, as one form of private regulation of labour standards, have grown at an astonishing pace and yet labour standards, especially collective labour, are absent or unevenly treated. In 1998, the ILO conducted its own research on more than 200 codes, finding only 15 percent even mention freedom of association and/or collective bargaining.
We catalogued nearly 100 codes with explicit labour sections at international, national (Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Vietnam) and sectoral (agriculture, electronics and garments) levels to identify broad patterns of labour concerns. We then examined selected codes to explore similarities and difference between the codes and ILO core conventions, with a focus on collective labour relations practices. The paper will detail the dilemma in the interplay between respecting and protecting human rights and the problems of wording which strays from ILO conventions themselves.
The potential for codes to extend human rights relating to labour beyond the traditional ILO approach is dependent on ensuring the codes both understand the nature of the ILO conventions and respect the voluntarist nature of employment relations. This last issue potentially complicates the respect-protect-fulfil approach to human rights and the respect-protect-remedy framework of BHR, as well as their interactions (or lack thereof) with the underpinning of ILO conventions.

Bibliographic Note

Information for this record is supplemented by the author(s) concerned.

Citation Format(s)

Voluntary codes and the impact on human rights & labour rights. / Wong, Stella Shu Ting; Taylor, Bill.

2019. Global Business & Human Rights Scholars Association Annual Conference , Colchester, United Kingdom.

Research output: Conference Papers (RGC: 31A, 31B, 32, 33)33_Other conference paperpeer-review