Edited by Janice R. Bellace and Beryl ter Haar
Chapter 21: From workers’ rights to human rights at work
Since 1919, there have been international efforts to regulate working conditions. Traditionally, governments ratified conventions and then enacted laws obligating employers who were within their jurisdiction to abide by certain standards. In the 1970s there was the realization that some multinational enterprises (MNEs) could act in ways affecting workers quite differently than domestic employers. This led to a spate of soft law guidelines aimed at MNEs. By the 1990s, globalization and the phenomenon of global supply chains showed the inadequacy of this approach to regulating the corporate behaviour as companies (not necessarily ‘employers’) and brands sourced products from vendors in other countries, many of which did not adhere to international labour standards. This chapter traces the evolution of efforts to regulate the behaviour of companies, from soft law to hard law, and examines how notions of fundamental rights have evolved into acceptance that business should respect human rights, including the human rights of persons at work, and how this has affected the CSR stance of companies.
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.