Table of Contents

Global Governance of Labour Rights

Global Governance of Labour Rights

Assessing the Effectiveness of Transnational Public and Private Policy Initiatives

Leuven Global Governance series

Edited by Axel Marx, Jan Wouters, Glenn Rayp and Laura Beke

This insightful book incorporates perspectives from several disciplines to provide a unique systematic analysis of emerging public and private initiatives in global labour rights governance. The expert contributors explore the complexities of labour rights governance in a global economy characterized by transnational supply chains. They assess how transnational, intergovernmental and private initiatives aim to address the challenges of global labour rights protection before discussing the effectiveness of these initiatives and presenting new empirical findings. The book concludes with a detailed reflection on how to strengthen the global regime of labour rights governance.

Chapter 14: Conclusion: which way to enforcement?

Glenn Rayp, Axel Marx and Jan Wouters

Subjects: law - academic, human rights, labour, employment law, regulation and governance, politics and public policy, human rights, regulation and governance


The protection of labour rights is becoming increasingly complex in a world characterised by transnational supply chains, mobile capital and mobile people. In recent decades we have witnessed the development of an intricate web of political and legal initiatives on the issue of the global protection of labour rights, independent from established multilateral initiatives such as the International Labour Organization (ILO). These initiatives include trade-related initiatives, supply-chain oriented private initiatives by NGOs or firms, and unilateral actions by civil society actors. The contributions in this book provide an analysis of the present state of the most significant initiatives and how they impact global labour governance. A central question throughout the contributions concerns the enforcement of these initiatives. In this conclusion we aim to summarise, from a comparative perspective, the findings and proposals of the individual chapters around the issue of enforcement. In doing this we will make a distinction between state-driven public initiatives, mainly through trade-related measures, and private-driven initiatives. Before we proceed we would like to note, however, that the contributions are as relevant about the subjects they explicitly discuss as they are regarding at least one on which they remain silent. This we want to clarify first. No chapter indeed mentions, in whatever context, the possibility of automatic improvement of labour protection and the respect of core labour standards as a consequence of economic growth and development, an argument proposed by several free trade advocates.

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