Human Rights and International Labour Law Missing link in human rights Labour Rights usually omitted from International HR study Most human rights textbooks mention rights at work in passing or not at all. But this is a vital and useful part of human rights study and human rights work. A tool that should not be ignored. Are workers’ rights human rights? Some try to classify them differently Collective aspects of workers’ rights trouble some theoreticians Work-related rights merely a specialized aspect of human rights more generally Often have a more practical relation to everyday life than broad statements of human rights principles Integral part of broader HR instruments All basic UN instruments include workers’ rights directly or by implication But attention under these instruments has almost always focused on civil and political Even bringing in ESC rights has usually left detailed treatment to ILO. Human rights emerge during WWII Atlantic Charter, 1941: ... they respect the right of all peoples to choose the form of government under which they will live; and they wish to see sovereign rights and self government restored to those who have been forcibly deprived of them; ... desire to bring about the fullest collaboration between all nations in the economic field with the object of securing, for all, improved labor standards, economic advancement and social security Labour law developed for centuries Together with political rights, rights as workers began emerging With changes in working relations came increased awareness and need for protection First international human rights subject: slavery International agreements on workers’ rights from late 19th century Standards on workplace rights preceded others League of Nations had excluded rights from its work. ILO, also created in 1919, referred only to ‘right’ of workers to organize to protect their interests. Standards adopted up to beginning of World War II were based on theories of social utility, not rights. ILO Declaration of Philadelphia 1944 Believing that experience has fully demonstrated …that lasting peace can be established only if it is based on social justice, the Conference affirms that (a) all human beings, irrespective of race, creed or sex, have the right to pursue both their material well-being and their spiritual development in conditions of freedom and dignity, of economic security and equal opportunity; … (c) all national and international policies and measures, in particular those of an economic and financial character, should be judged in this light and accepted only in so far as they may be held to promote and not to hinder the achievement of this fundamental objective; UN Charter, 1945 WE THE PEOPLES OF THE UNITED NATIONS DETERMINED: ... to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small, and ·· to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom, ILO´s HR standard-setting Before WWII, ILO adopted only Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (No. 29) After WWII, began adopting series of HR Conventions from 1948 – 1958 UN began adopting HR Conventions only in 1965 (except Supplementary Convention on Slavery, 1956) Then CERD in 1965, Covenants in 1966 – and split subjects Other Human Rights Subjects relating to workplace See Arts. 6 to 8 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: Right to work (art. 6) Just and favourable conditions of work (art. 7) Fair wages and equal remuneration for work of equal value; Safe and healthy working conditions; Equal opportunity for everyone to be promoted in his employment to an appropriate higher level; Rest, leisure and reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay, as well as remuneration for public holidays. Also indigenous and tribal peoples, migrants, HIV/AIDS, etc. Similar in regional standards, etc European and Inter-American systems have strong protections, Africa, Arab world and Asia much less Increasingly incorporated by international financial institutions, and in multi-bilateral trade agreements, inter alia. Part of Ruggie business and human rights framework. At origins of ILO ILO was created for the adoption of labour standards Earlier standards adopted under aegis of Switzerland in 1906, for European States – Night work for Women – Conditions of work for sulphur match makers Outbreak of World War I put a stop to this effort ILO did not identify itself as a human rights organization When ILO was established, human rights was not on the agenda Attention turned to UN with Universal Declaration in 1948 Adoption of the Convenants made a conceptual division in human rights which ILO did not share And an ”under the radar” approach … ILO is a different institution from other IGOs Older – approaching 100 years Coherence of vision Two distinguishing features: – Tripartite structure – Adoption, supervision, promotion of standards Tripartism as fundamental ILO originality to have non-governmental organizations alongside governmental delegates Responded to contribution of workers and employers in World War I Everything in ILO is tripartite – lends realism, democracy Also influences governmental representation ILO Structure International Labour Conference – Annual – over 4,000 delegates – Supreme body, sets standards and overall policy Governing Body – Manages details of policy – Supervises Office, adopts budget, elects DG International Labour Office International Labour Conference Annual (except Maritime) Adopts standards, other instruments, budget, sets major policy All Members: 2G, 1W, 1E In committees 1:1:1 division Governing Body 28 governments – 10 permanent 14 workers 14 employers Plus deputies Constitutional reform: double size, no permanent seats, but not yet in force Manages the International Labour Office International Labour Office Secretariat of ILO Geographical distribution Close to 3,000 staff around world Oath to ILO, not nations Technical work, research, statistics, assistance ILO as a rights institution Origin: established to adopt labour standards No rights agenda for ILO or League of Nations – functional – social justice=peace League and ILO up to 1939 adopted only Slavery and Forced Labour Conventions that are rights instruments, and neither framed as such Only in 1944 did rights appear in any international instrument: ILO Declaration of Philadelphia (incorporated into ILO Constitution 1946) Followed in 1945 by UN Charter, in 1948 by UDHR Rights as instrument of peace-keeping and peace-building ILO gets back to human rights End of Cold War 1993 World Conference on Human Rights 1995 Social Summit Mid-1990s « social clause » discussion, WTO 1998 adoption of Declaration of Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work Basic Human Rights at Work Subjects (a) freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining; (b) the elimination of all forms of forced or compulsory labour; (c) the effective abolition of child labour; and (d) the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation. (Declaration of Fundamental Principles and Rights, 1998) Purpose of standard setting ILO was created to continue the standard-setting work on labour and social matters already undertaken before the First World War by European states and the International Association for Labour Law. To regulate conditions of work and prevent exploitation of workers Has evolved with time also to encompass broader goals of social policy Forms of ILO standards Conventions: International treaties, capable of ratification, which upon ratification carry obligations of implementation and of reporting for supervision. – Protocols supplementing or modifying Conventions. Recommendations: A form of international instrument unique to the ILO, ”to meet circumstances where the subject, or aspect of it, dealt with is not considered suitable or appropriate at that time for a Convention”. (Constitution, art. 19(1)(b)). ILO Standards for Human Rights Principal instruments: 189 Conventions, 203 Recommendations Regular reporting, with input from employers’ and workers’ organizations Unified supervisory body – detailed comments Complaints procedures Supervision basis of assistance Subjects of Standards Freedom of association, collective bargaining and industrial relations Forced labour Equality of opportunity and treatment Elimination of child labour and the protection of Children and young persons Labour administration and inspection Tripartite consultation Employment policy and promotion Vocational guidance and training Social Policy Subjects (continued) Wages Working time Occupational safety and health Social security Maternity Protection Seafarers Dock work Migrant workers Indigenous and tribal peoples Domestic workers HIV and AIDS Other particular categories of workers Some numbers – November 2014 Members States: Conventions: 185 189 – Plus 6 protocols Recommendations: 203 Ratifications of Conventions: nearly 8,000 Other ILO instruments Declarations: adopted to express the commitment of Members to a principle, idea or procedure, e.g.: – Fundamental Principles and Rights 1998 – Social Justice/Globalization 2008 Resolutions: instructions by the International Labour Conference to the Office to pursue action Codes of practice: to provide guidance and best practices ILO Supervisory System Three tracks The regular supervisory system (articles 19, 22 and 35), supplemented by: Constitutional complaints Freedom of Association procedures Article 22: ratified Conventions & procedural requirements Government reports Employers and workers (art. 23) Committee of Experts observations Conference Comittee Direct requests All ratified Conventions: general report every year (except shelved Conventions) 12 priority Conventions: 3-year cycle for detailed reports All other ratified Conventions: 5-year cycle for detailed reports Cycle can be altered by: workers’/employers’ comments Experts/Conference comments failure to report Constitutional Complaints ratified Conventions only Representations (art. 24) workers’/employers’ organizations Governing Body Complaints (art. 26) State or Delegate or GB Commission of Inquiry Committee of Experts Freedom of Association special procedures regardless of ratification Workers’/employers’ organizations GB Committee on FA Governments GB Conference Fact-Finding and Conciliation Commission If Conventions ratified, returns to Committee of Experts after complaint examined - if not, followed up by CFA Progressive supervision Examination by Committee of Experts - direct requests remain in CE - observations published, submitted to: Conference Committee - may decide to discuss individual cases Representation or complaint - then back to Experts Article 33 to follow up complaints Core Labour Standards Widely Ratified 8 CLS by between 153 and 179 countries (2014) Over 7,900 ratifications in all Ongoing ratification campaign: letters, Conference discussions, assistance Campaign recently expanded to « governance » Conventions Bases of ILO HR action All action based on ILO standards and Constitutional principles Strong supervision Supplemented by promotional activities Continuous follow-up Continuous review Assistance for implementation ILO and UN Supervisory Systems ILO United Nations 189 Conventions Unified technical committee 2,000 reports/year Conference review Complaints system built in 9 Conventions Different committees elected by parties 15-25 reports/year each No review Complaints systems by protocols Basic ILO HR Standards Freedom of association and collective bargaining: (a) Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organize Convention, 1948 (No. 87) Right to Organize and Collective Bargaining Convention, 1949 (No. 98) (b) Special procedures for FAS Complaints by employers’ or workers’ organizations Even if the country has not ratified a relevant Convention – based on Constitution Examination by Committee on Freedom of Association Basic ILO HR Standards The elimination of all forms of forced or compulsory labour Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (No. 29) - - Protocol 2014 to expand action Abolition of Forced Labour Convention, 1957 (No. 105) Basic ILO HR Standards The effective abolition of child labour (a) Minimum Age Convention, 1973 (No. 138) Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999 (No. 182) (b) Basic ILO HR Standards The elimination of discrimination in employment and occupation (a) Equal Remuneration Convention, 1951 (No. 100) Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention, 1958 (No. 111) (b) Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work Adopted 1998 Response to globalization Promotional approach, geared to non-ratifying States Assistance to implement principles and standards, for all States Declaration of Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work ‘an obligation, arising from the very fact of membership in the Organization, to respect, to promote and to realize, in good faith and in accordance with the Constitution, the fundamental rights which are the subjects’ of the eight ILO Conventions recognized as fundamental. Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalization (2008) Response to uneven distribution of benefits in globalization Brings human rights more fully into ILO thinking, including ”Decent Work” strategy Repeats emphasis on fundamental rights, adds stress on ”governance” instruments: labour inspection, employment policy, tripartite consultation Importance of human rights Not only for promotion of principles: ‘ensuring respect for fundamental principles and rights at work results in undeniable benefits to the development of human potential and economic growth in general and therefore contributes to global economic recovery’ (General Survey 2012) There can be no lasting peace without social justice. (ILO Constitution) International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour ILO’s largest assistance programme Based on time-bound programmes Large number of countries (nearly 90) Significant results Other subjects of ILO human rights standards and assistance Employers’ and workers’ organizations Gender Indigenous and Tribal Peoples (C. 169) Social finance Labour legislation and administration Employment promotion Corporate social responsibility ……et al.