Asymmetric Governance, Labour Standards, and

Asymmetric Governance, Labour Standards, and Migrants’ Rights
A Transatlantic Perspective on Migration, ‘Decent Work’, and the Role of Civil Society in
Fair Globalisation
(Forthcoming in Migracion y Desarollo – in English and Spanish/First presented at the
conference of the Peoples’ Global Action on Migration, Development and Human Rights,
Mexico City, 2-5 November, 2010)
Branka Likic-Brboric & Carl-Ulrik Schierup
REMESO, Linköping University
The emergence of a fundamentally reshaped global labour market regime during the last three decades has been
marked by increasing informalisation of employment and followed by precarious working conditions, most
seriously affecting irregular migrants. A range of social and political movements on transnational, regional and
national level have generated strategies and discourses of contestation that emphasize the prominence of
universal and collective rights. In connection with these initiatives the paper addresses the issue of accountability
and contingencies for the implementation of labour, migrants’ and human rights and the ILO’s decent work
agenda within the existing global governance architecture. It is argued that setting up a workable model for
codification and institutionalisation of labour standards, human rights and migrants’ rights cannot be left to the
currently asymmetric global governance regime. The essential role of global and regional trade union
confederations and other civil society organizations (CSOs) in repositioning the issue of a rights-based approach
to migration, labour standards and development onto the terrain of a fair globalisation is emphasized.
Key words: global governance, decent work agenda, migrants’ rights, human rights
First presented at the conference of Peoples' Global Action for Migration, Development and Human Rights (PGA), Mexico City, 2-5
November, 2010.