Research Handbook on Labour, Business and Human Rights Law
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Research Handbook on Labour, Business and Human Rights Law

Edited by Janice R. Bellace and Beryl ter Haar

Inquisitive and diverse, this innovative Research Handbook explores the ways in which human rights apply to people at work, through national constitutional provisions, judicial decisions and the application of rights expressed in supranational instruments. Key topics include evaluation of the role of the ILO in developing and promoting internationally recognized labour rights, and the examination of the meaning of the obligation of business to respect human rights, considering the evolution from international soft law to incorporation in codes of conduct and the emerging requirement of due diligence.
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Chapter 8: Business and labour, and human rights in New Zealand

Amanda Reilly and Jonathan Barrett


New Zealand, as a nation, has been slow to embrace the United Nations ‘Business and Human Rights’ agenda. This chapter contextualises this inaction within a wider discussion of the status of labour and human rights. It also uses the guidelines on government duty to protect human rights set out in Part One of the United Nations Guiding Principles as a framework for examining the government’s efforts. It is argues that New Zealand’s implementation of the fundamental ILO standards is unsatisfactory as is its constitutional recognition of human and labour rights. Human rights law is under-enforced and government has shown little interest in using tools such as public-sector procurement policies to encourage business to respect human rights. It is concluded that it would be desirable for government to adopt a more proactive approach to the protection of labour and human rights.

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