Int'l Labor Standards And Their Human Rights Implications

2978 words - 12 pages

Research Paper
Cooperation with Labor Standards and its Human Rights Implications
In this increasingly globalized world in which we live in, it becomes more important for the international community as a whole to communicate and work together with each other to promote solidarity and order in the international realm. One of the more recent issues that have been discussed at the international level is that of labor standards and whether or not they are appropriate and/or necessary for the maintenance of our current global economic system. While there are a great magnitude of laws and organizations that protect the interests of corporations, there is very little to protect the world’s ...view middle of the document...

This fact shows that people have taken concern about their fellow man and his well-being well before the modern technological age arrived. In relation to contemporary times, the first international action to promote cooperation with labor standards occurred after World War I when the League of Nations created the ILO (International Labor Organization). The ILO was established in 1919, as part of the Treaty of Versailles that ended World War I, to reflect the belief that universal and lasting peace can be accomplished only if it is based on social justice (ILO). If you think critically about that statement, although it doesn’t directly state that the ILO promotes Human Rights, it is implied that it can serve a role in promoting cooperation with Human Rights based on its objective to find social justice through labor standards. This thought leads me to highlight that although the League of Nations failed; the ILO persevered and with the subsequent creation of the United Nations after World War II, and the discussion of international labor standards continued. It wasn’t until the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 where the first coordinated international legal link between Human Rights and Labor Standards Law arose. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights spawned two Covenants; One which covers Civil and Political Rights and another which deals with Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights. Both covenants deal with aspects of Human Rights in their framework, but the latter proves to be much more focused on the issue of labor rights in relation to human rights than its counterpart. All-together it can be said that both covenants provide a framework that works toward the progression and the development of cooperation with Human Rights for the people of the international community. After this period in history, the notion that human rights and labor standards are mutually beneficial began to take hold.
After looking at the historical origins of labor standards in relation to human rights, it is necessary to define and elaborate on the arguments that speak against cooperation with labor standards in global trade. By giving a broad definition of labor standards coupled with an explanation of the argument against following them, I will attempt provide a solid basis for my thesis which asserts that Human Rights development can be achieved by cooperating with international labor standards which promote the unity, the general welfare of workers, and the economic stability in the international community. So, according to the ILO, Labor Standards are widely defined as “the regulation of the hours of work including the establishment of a maximum working day and week, the regulation of the labor supply, the prevention of unemployment, the provision of an adequate living wage, the protection of the worker against sickness, disease and injury arising out of his employment the protection of children, young persons and women, provision for old...

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