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3 National Governments YADIRA DEL CARMEN ADAME~OFFICE OF STATISTICS AND CENSUSES, PANAMA Ms. Adames gave a brief overview of the ILO Conventions that have been ratified by Panama, adding that "permanent assessment" is required to guarantee that compliance is being achieved. Statistics are a fundamental element of this assessment, she said, and Panama has several agencies and instruments that provide information relevant to monitoring the labor mar- ket and working conditions. This information is made public through the publication of annual bulletins, and it is accessible on the website of the general controller's office. Box 3-1 shows the primary instruments and some of their data elements. Ms. Adames said that conceptions of how these statistics might be used to determine compliance with labor standards may vary from country to country and even within countries. For example, Panama considers as employed those people who worked at least one hour during the week-of- reference period, and this has been the subject of great debate internally. In an effort to reach consensus and harmonize the concepts used in the House- hold Survey, the Directorate of Statistics and Censuses meets regularly with employer and worker representatives. 15

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16 INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVES Statistical Instruments nd Data Eiements in Panama i: :: ~ :: ~ ~ i: ~ ~~ :: ~ ~~ i:: : ~ If: If:: :~: :~::: ::::::: ~ ~:~ : ::~ ::: i:: ::: :: :: :: :~ ~~ :: i::: :: : : : : :~ ~~Household~5urvey :~:(annual):~ ~~:~ :~: : i: :~: i- : ~~ :: ~ :~ ~ ~~ ::: ::: :: :: ::::: : ~ :::: : :~ ::: i:: :::: ::~: : ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ i: : ::: :::: :: : :::~: :::: : ::: ::::: : :: ::: : ::~ : :: :~ :: ::: ::: :: ::: ::::: ::: ~~ :: ::::::: :: :::::: : i:: i: :::: : . . ~:~:nco:me~ano I::: ~ : Expense ~ S~urvey (decer~nial) : : ~ :: :: :: : : : :::: : : : ~ :: :: ::: ::: : :: Child Labor Survey ~ ~ : : :: : : i: :::: . ~~economically~:aCtivee~.~populatio~n :~unem.ployment~.~ ~~ ~~ .~ : ~ visibl~e~:~underemp:l~oyment ::~ inform:al Employment a regularworkinghours~: ~net~e~arnings~ ~ ~:~:~ ~~ I: ~ ~~: :: stru~ure~and distribution of wages i: ::: :::::: :: : i: ~ ~ : ::: : :~::: ::::: i: :: ::: ::: : :: :: : : : : - ~ :: : : : : :: : : :~household expenses ~~ ~~:retail:~:and:consumer~p~eice indices :~::: go: :::: . : :: ::: : : : ~ renumber :of employed minors : :: barer : Be, ~ . ~ ~ :: ::::: ::: :~ ~act~vit~es : ~ ::~: ~~ i: :: aid: ~ - ~ ~ ~~ ~~ ~ - ~ ~~salarl~es~and~ncome ~~ i; :-: ~ : : :: : : ~ :- lAf~rl~-r~lst^~l in~il biro ~ ~ ~ ~ ~~ . ~ Administrative Records :: ~~ :Mini~$try Work: ::~ ~:~ ~~ ~~~ ~~lective~ba~rgaining ~{~nits: : ~ :~-laboro~rganiz~;ions .~ I: :: ::~::~ ~~ ~ ~ : ~ Ail: ~ ~~ :: ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~ ~ ~ Aft: ~ : ~~ ~ ~ ~~ ~ If: ~ ~:~ ~~ ~~ ~ ~~ :~ ~~,/ ~ ~ ~ ~ , ~ ~ ~~ and ~Labor: ~ :~ i: ~ ~ ~ i: ~~ : ~~ :~ : :: ~ ~:~ ;;~:~Deve~lopm~ent A; ~ ~ ~~:~ ~~.~ ~~:~ ~~ ~ :: :: :::: :: :: : : ::::: :: :: : :~ ERICK BRIONES MINISTRY OF LABOR, Cost RICA Mr. Briones discussed labor inspection in Costa Rica, a task that un- derwent significant changes several years ago. In 2000 Costa Rica's system of labor inspection was decentralized, and the task was assigned to six re- gional offices coordinated by the National Directorate, which is located in San Jose. The objectives of the new inspection system include a preventive approach, active participation of employers and workers in the inspection pro- cess, and a high level of productivity in relation to the available resources. Mr. Briones pointed out that in Costa Rica, the Ministry of Labor

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NATIONAL GOVERNMENTS 17 cannot issue fines or sanctions directly, as can be done in other countries, such as Spain. After identifying violations, the ministry must give the em- ployer a warning, which can be followed by an application to the Labor Court for a remedy. Mr. Briones explained that court rulings are monitored in order to evaluate the impact and efficiency of inspection activities. "Ifwe have accused 2,000 companies, and we only obtain 10 percent convictions, only 10 percent are sanctioned, something wrong is happening. We are failing to do our job Lbecause] we are not presenting enough evidence to the court." In 1999 the percentage of court rulings against an employer was 35 percent. The following year, that rate increased to 46 percent. Between 2000 and 2001, violations of occupational health standards were the most common in Costa Rica. Mr. Briones said, "We are talking specifically about companies that do not have occupational risk insurance and those that have the minimum coverage and don't want to increase it." HANS LEO C:ACDA~DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT, PHIOPPINES Mr. Cacdac discussed the roles of the Bureau of Labor Relations in the Philippines: serving as the central registry of unions and collective bargaining agreements; adjudicating, or assisting in the adjudication of, intra- or inter-union and representation disputes; acting as a secretariat of the Tripartite Industrial Peace Council; and . managing the workers' training and scholarship fund. He stressed the importance of administrative rule-making in the pro- cess of ensuring respect for workers' rights within political systems that seek a separation of powers. "The thin line separating enforcement and consti- tutional and statutory norms for compliance with Conventions 87 and 98 will be the vast body of rules and regulations issued by the Secretary of Labor." The Philippines has both a socially progressive constitution (drafted after the end of the Marcos era) and comprehensive labor legislation guar- anteeing the rights of association, which goes to the extent of criminalizing interference with the exercise of that right. However, "the real core of labor standards is enforcement, and the level of enforcement is in the executive branch of the government. ,,

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18 INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVES In addition to shedding light on compliance with international stan- dards for external assessors, the monitoring of the government's regulatory and enforcement efforts, through statistics and other means, can spur changes in national policies. "The inclusion of simplified procedures For registration of unions and collective bargaining agreements]," Mr. Cacdac saicl, "was born out of statistical data showing numerous delays." The pro- cess cycle for registration has now been reduced from 30 days to 10 days. Similarly, the petition process for certification elections is clown to 45 days from 90 days. Regional comparisons, Mr. Cacdac said, showed that in Singapore, this process only takes 15 days, and "that is our dream at this moment." Mr. Cacdac called for greater collaboration between administrative and judicial processes. "There have been a series of decisions Fof the Supreme Court of the Philippines] that appear to have undermined the right to self- organization . . . because they try to snuffthe life out of a labor union at the point of seeking a certification election." He said that departmental action at an administrative level "without being disrespectful of the Supreme Court"was required in order to "adjust and align ourselves with the Con- ventions." These adjustments came in the form of amendments to proce- dural rules, removing some of the requirements that had been so strictly interpreted by the court to the detriment of nascent unions. Mr. Cacdac's third key point was that "compliance with the core labor standards and a search for industrial peace go hand in hand." He said that one of the difficulties the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has encountered is "the mistaken notion that seeking compliance with the core labor standards means seeking rights for the workers or ensuring that the rights of workers are protected." He said that it is also important to emphasize the "obligations and responsibilities Ethat go] hand-in-hand with rights." Going beyond the rights-oriented approach is one way to "tran- scend the core labor standards." As an example, Mr. Cacdac said that DOLE is heavily involved in enforcing Article 241 of the Philippine Labor Code, which covers rights and conditions of union membership. "This entrenches a state policy to protect the worker from abuses that may be practiced by an oppressive and corrupt union leadership." Furthermore, DOLE engages in dialogue with the ILO "on principles that go beyond the mandate or the wording of the Convention" in the hopes that "maybe it would show our sincere desire to comply with the basic core Convention." Mr. Cacdac concluded by saying, "All told, assessing our country's com- pliance with core labor standards entails close attention to details~etails

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NATIONAL GOVERNMENTS 19 as to how we have carried out the constitutional and statutory policies relative to the right to self-organization; how we strive for industrial peace in our country; how we desire to go beyond the basic tenets of freedom of association and collective bargaining and into the realm of more intricate, . . .. .. comprenenslve compliance. EUGENIO SOLANO GALDER0N MINISTRY OF LABOR, Cost RIGA Citing the ongoing trade negotiations between Central America and the United States, Mr. Calderon, the director of labor affairs in Costa Rica, focused his presentation on the incorporation of workers' rights provisions into any future agreement. "There is no doubt that the increase in the liberalization of trade has to be accompanied by measures to protect the core labor standards," he said. "The explicit protection of labor standards in the letter and spirit of the free trade agreements should be the first step 1 1 1 ', taken in tnat direction. Mr. Calderon discussed the important role of the ministries of labor in the region, ''specifically in the areas related to the treatment and approach of labor relations, the verification of standards compliance through labor inspections, employment policies, and, in general, the administration of work within the new concepts that are part oftoday's labor activities." Given these critical and difficult roles, the provision of necessary human and teeh- nologieal resources is required so that the ministries of labor are no longer treated as "the Cinderella of national budgets." Returning to the issue of labor in the pending regional agreement, Mr. Calderon cited the criteria for free trade agreements developed by the Law- yers Committee for Human Rights (LCHR). LCHR, a U.S.-based non- profit human rights organization, states that free trade agreements must meet the following minimum requirements: Negotiations must be conducted in a transparent way. Only governments that comply with eve labor standards should be . . . ~ invited to sign. Basic labor rights must be an integral part of the agreement. Enforcement mechanisms for labor rights must be equal to enforee- ment mechanisms for any other rights and obligations embodied in the agreement. Trade remedies should be applicable to labor standards.

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20 . natory parties. INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVES Labor rights must be enforceable in the entire territories of the sig- A permanent labor standards monitoring body must be part of the agreement. Mr. Calderon said that following this approach would "strengthen the basic and legal protection of workers' rights in our region, having as a fun- damental premise that an increase in international trade should not be achieved at the expense of workers' rights." VICE-MINISTER JOSE ECHEANDIA MINISTRY OF LABOR, PERU Vice-Minister Echeandia discussed the divergent trends relating to capital and labor within the process of globalization. "Although there is an unprecedented volume of capital and technology mobilization across bor- ders," he said, "the utilization of labor is subjected to many obstacles. In other words, the asymmetry between capital and labor expands global in- equalities because the highly industrialized group of nations is in a position to control the capital while the other group developing countries such as ourscan only provide their labor force." Turning to labor standards, Vice-Minister Echeandia discussed the sig- nificant impact of unemployment and underemployment. While unem- ployment in Peru was 8.1 percent in 2002, underemployment was nearly 56 percent. The underemployed included "workers who have no social se- curity rights, no vacation rights, no overtime payment, no regulated work- ing hours, etc." For those who are employed, the quality of employment has steadily declined, he said, as part-time workwith reduced benefits- becomes more common. Employers in Peru have also been able to manipulate the rules appli- cable to trainees in the workplace, Vice-Minister Echeandia said. "The implementation of very extensive labor apprenticeship programs and preprofessional practicum has allowed companies to improve labor costs and to mock their legal labor obligations." The current administration has issued an order to reduce the percentage of these workers in each company from a maximum of 40 percent to only 10 percent. This has advantages as well as disadvantages. Although this reduces the number of workers-in- training who do not receive full benefits, small and medium enterprises

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NATIONAL GOVERNMENTS 21 that have fewer than 10 workers are now unable to legally hire apprentices or offer this method of skills development. The reduction of employment opportunities has led to an increase in labor migration and in the informality of the Peruvian economy, with con- comitant declines in job quality as the labor supply continues to outpace formal demand. In the face of these problems, which are exacerbated by "external debt, recession, and leniency of labor laws," Peru has undertaken several policy initiatives. First, the current economic policy is now oriented toward! controlling inflation and promoting economic growth. The govern- ment has also implemented a program called A Trabajar (Let's Work) that has given jobs to 125,000 workers in its first 20 months. The National Labor Council is revising labor legislation with the aim of"unifying and reorienting Ethe law] with the purpose of making it more viable and flex- ible." This includes a proposal for a law pertaining to micro- and small enterprises that would allow these enterprises, which have trouble comply- ing with labor law because of low competitiveness, to observe lower stan- dards than larger enterprises while still maintaining core ILO principles. GERMAN LEITZELARMINISTER OF LABOR, HONDURAS Minister Leitzelar said that international labor standards have been incorporated into the national legislation of Honduras since the 1 950s. He said that looking at the comprehensive protections found in the Labor Codeissued in 1959 following a strike in the banana sector might make us say "that we live in a labor heaven because everything regarding the minimum standards is duly regulated, but when we compare this situation with reality, we find that the legislation is not sufficient to be able to talk about the application of these labor standards." He pointed to "enormous problems" in two areas: (1) the control, supervision, and monitoring of child labor and (2) the health of the economy. Minister Leitzelar linked these problems to the growth of the informal economy, where 1.3 million of the 2.4 million economically active people in Honduras now work "outside every legal framework of social security, occupational safety, and, above all, with no compliance to the minimum labor standards of ILO Conventions." He added that this problem is likely to continue to grow; every year 80,000 people ages 14 to 24 seek to enter the Honduran job market, which provides only 20,000 formal-sector jobs annually.

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22 INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVES Addressing these problems will require bridging the gap between the framework of labor rights and current economic policies because "decisions in the economic arena are almost exclusively taken totally divorced from a national social policy." This challenge may be particularly difficult, Minis- ter Leitzelar concluded, without the involvement of the union movement. Currently, only 7 percent of the economically active population is affiliated with trade unions, down from an estimated 15 percent in the 1960s. As a result, the union movement "is constantly losing legitimacy in the frame- work of defense of social and labor rights." HONORABLE ASHRAF QURESHI HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR PAKISTAN IN SRI LANKA, PAKISTAN Mr. Qureshi gave an overview of the Pakistani government's commit- ment to compliance with core international labor standards. In 2002 Paki- stan announced a new labor policy based on the premise that "industrial growth, higher productivity, competitiveness, and decent working condi- tions can only be achieved through harmonious industrial relations." He referred to the formation of the Workers-Employers Bilateral Council of Pakistan (WEBCOP)~iscussed by Mr. Siddiqui in Chapter 5 as a "pio- neering and positive development" in terms of encouraging dialogue and building trust among the social partners. Pakistan is also in the course of consolidating its labor legislation. Re- flecting a point made by several speakers throughout the three regional forums, Mr. Qureshi explained, "The existing labor legislation unfortu- nately is voluminous, overlapping in its coverage, and anomalous in defini- tion and scope." The result of the planned changes will be a consolidation of laws into six categories: 1. industrial relations 2. employment conditions, 3. wages, 4. human resource development, 5. occupational safety and health, and 6. labor welfare and protection. Acknowledging that Pakistan has often been the subject of criticism- which he said has been "unfair to a large extent" for child labor, Mr. Qureshi discussed the work the country has been doing with the ILO's

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NATIONAL GOVERNMENTS 23 IPEC (International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour). The national action plan consists of several interrelated strategies: progressive elimination of child labor from all sectors of employment; immediate elimination of the worst forms of child labor; coordination of child labor eradication efforts with other policy measures such as provision of universal primary education, poverty allevia- tion, and expansion of social safety nets; awareness-raising and dissemination of information related to child labor; and regular monitoring of implementation of the national action plan. . Since Pakistan signed a memorandum of understanding with the ILO- IPEC in 1994, 25,000 children have directly benefited from the action plan. Progress has also been made, he said, in developing a national consen- sus list of hazardous occupations through tripartite consultations and plan- ning research studies and baseline surveys to gauge children's involvement . . 1 in various employment sectors. As for forced and bonded labor, Mr. Qureshi said that the scale and scope of the problem "has not been determined in a very consistent man- ner," but current programs may give more accurate measurements. With ILO support, the Ministry of Labor has convened a Bonded Labor Re- search Forum, and researchers have been conducting rapid assessments throughout the country. Mr. Qureshi cautioned that "without taking a ho- listic approach to tackle Child labor and forced labor], there is little chance of success. Prescriptive solutions coupled with punitive action often create more problems than they ... solve." Mr. Qureshi conduded by discussing human resource development as an important part of Pakistan's labor policies. To improve the provision of traders,, there has been a restructuring of the National Training Bureau and decentralization of vocational training to the provinces where employer-led skill development councils are being supported and encouraged. BRIGADIER GENERAL M. MOFIZUR RAHMAN- BANGLADESH EXPORT PROCESSING ZONES AUK HORITY, BANGLADESH Mr. Rahman described the Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Au- thority (BEPZA), an autonomous government body responsible for the

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24 INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVES promotion of investment and generation of employment within its zones. Currently, there are 174 industries operating in the Export Processing Zones (EPZs) of Bangladesh, employing more than 120,000 workers and produc- ing almost 18 percent of the country's exports. Mr. Rahman noted that 61 percent of the EPZ workforce is female; certain industries, such as electron- ics and camera lens production, prefer women because "they concentrate more, and the quality of work is better, and rejection Of products because of quality control issues | is less." In the early 1980s, as EPZs were being established in Bangladesh, all labor laws were made applicable to these zones. However, in the late 1 980s, workers "carried out strikes and other unruly activities," Mr. Rahman said, and the flow of foreign direct investment was "seriously interrupted." He attributed these events to the "instigation of the outsiders." As a result, the government suspended the application of certain labor laws within the EPZs, including the Factories Act of 19ti5, the Employment of Labor Act of 1965, and the Industrial Relations Ordinance of 1969. As an alternative measure, the BEPZA issued a series of regulations covering working condi- tions in the EPZs, which Mr. Rahman described as the best approach for ensuring "reasonable wages, fair treatment of workers, and provision of reasonable facilities for workers." He added, however, that the government of Bangladesh has agreed to reapply the national labor laws to the EPZs as of January 2004. The challenge is to make that transition smoothly as cer- tain rights such as freedom of association and the right to organize are introduced. Currently, workers are not allowed to form unions, but Work- ers' Welfare Committees (WWCs) are being formed at the enterprise level, Mr. Rahman said. Five workers from each factory represent the workers in resolving disputes with management, and a Labor Relations Tribunal has been established to handle disputes that cannot be settled by the WWC. After his presentation, Mr. Rahman was asked to identify the "outsid- ers" he had referred to as instigators of the problems leading to the suspen- sion of labor laws in the EPZs. He responded by saying that he believed that the majority of workers, whether inside or outside of the EPZs, are "very good, very docile, very gentle. They don't want to lose their jobs." However, he added, the problems were caused by a "small group of people who want more than they deserve" and were "multiplied because of the instigations from the people outside, including the unions outside."

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NATIONAL GOVERNMENTS EDITHA RIVERA- DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT, PHIMPPINES 25 Ms. Rivera's presentation complemented that of her colleague, Leo Cacdac, providing additional information on labor standards in the Philip- pines in a paper titled "Labor Statistics as Indicators of Compliance to International Labor Standards." She gave an overview of the coverage and sources of labor statistics in the Philippines. In general, she said, DOLE gathers information on manpower development and employment promotion, workers' welfare and protection, and . maintenance of industrial peace. The sources for these statistics include censuses, surveys, administrative reports, and research reports and studies. Ms. Rivera noted that the administrative records supply the largest portion of the available data. There are two types of these records: manda- tory reports and transaction records. Mandatory reports are required of DOLE's "clients," which include establishments and labor organizations. The transaction reports are submitted by DOLE's 16 regional offices throughout the archipelago; they include statistics from inspection reports, accident investigations, labor relations cases, and registration of unions and collective bargaining agreements. The data collected from the various sources are included in the Statisti- cal and Performance Reporting System of the DOLE, which is "conceived to be the Edepartment's] mechanism ... Efor monitoring] the implementa- tion of its programs." Statistics have been used to assess compliance rates in certain establishments or sectors, Ms. Rivera said, as well as to determine the allocation of departmental resources. The data received have also been used, for example, to identify regions in which labor inspection targets are not being met so that the department can redeploy inspectors from other regions as necessary. EMILIA ROGA MINISTRY OF LABOR, ARGENTINA Ms. Roca said that Argentina shares the common concerns of the re- gion, such as the deterioration and informalization of the employment market. In this context, she discussed the impact of policies recommended

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26 INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVES by international financial institutions, such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. She referred to several fundamental laws that were passed in the 1990s in order to restructure the Argentinean labor market. Although legislation covering terms of employment, contracts, oc- cupational safety, and family welfare was adopted, the results were ques- tionable. The National Law of Employment of 1992 incorporated more lenient rules for hiring ant! firing and reduced employers' compensation programs and contributions to social security. Ms. Roca said that two serious issues arose from this: First, there was a great deal of employment turnover as ''fixed-time'' contracts became more prevalent, and, second, "there was also a change in the pension regime that meant a transfer of important resources to private capitalization that, to a certain extent, had an impact on the public deficit problems that led to the crisis in Argentina." Other changes affected occupational safety and labor inspection as monitoring of work- place accidents fell increasingly under the purview of insurance companies rather than the state. Ms. Roca said that data for Argentina in the 1 990s raise many ques- tions about the impact of these efforts at reform. Unemployment rose from 6 or 7 percent in the early 1990s to 21.5 percent in 2002; more than 50 percent of Argentina's population live in poverty, and approximately 25 percent suffer from malnutrition even though Argentina is a food- producing country. With 3.5 million Argentineans continuing to receive pensions, reductions in employer contributions represented about 50 per- cent of Argentina's new debt in the 1990s. Ms. Roca concluded her presentation with a description of a government-sponsored program called Jefes y Jefas die Hogar Desocupados (Unemployed Heads of Households). This program currently provides fi- nancial assistance to more than 450,000 workers who have lost formal- sector jobs. However, Ms. Roca added, the benefits offered to these work- ers intended to be the income equivalent of what they would have earned in the labor market are decreasing. She also discussed an interesting find- ing from this program: Providing this income only served to reduce the poverty rate by eight percentage points. "This means that poverty is not due to unemployment; it is due to poor quality of employment. It is a problem of the precarious jobs people in the poor sectors have. It is a problem of the constant transition between employment and unemploy- ment, which does not allow them to have enough money to support their r 1. '' tamllles.

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NATIONAL GOVERNMENTS 27 SERGIO BECERRIL SEGOVIADEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND SOCIAL SERVICES, Mexico Mr. Segovia presented an overview of Mexico's adoption of interna- tional labor standards and the information sources available to assist in monitoring compliance with those standards. Mexico has ratified six of the eight fundamental ILO Conventions, and in order to comply with report- ing requirements, information is drawn from a variety of surveys the Na- tional Employment Survey in particular and from administrative records. While these sources provide a great deal of information for ILO reporting, Mr. Segovia said that there have been difficulties in responding fully to areas of concern, "especially those that have to do with the observations from the ECommittee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations (CEACR) I about very specific issues." In 2003, for example, the CEACR asked for additional information on reports of discrimination against pregnant women including preg- nancy testing prior to recruitment or denial of benefits particularly in the EPZs (maquiladora industry3. The CEACR also requested additional infor- mation on child labor, citing estimates providecl by the International Con- fecleration of Free Trade Unions that there are approximately five million working children in Mexico, two million of whom are under 12. On these two issues, Mr. Segovia said that the National Employment Survey "does not deal with issues such as discrimination toward job applicants, Land] there are no sources aimed at obtaining information about the worst forms of child labor because they are illegal." Mr. Segovia noted several data problems that impact compliance as- sessments more generally: Some sources of information do not include variables of interest or don't do so with the detail required to draw conclusions about situations as required by the Conventions. Some other sources of information have the problem that their coverage is temporary and insufficient, which causes a lack of data that does not allow making comparisons over time. In addition, no com- parisons can be made at an international level because of methodological differences. Mr. Segovia provided several examples of Mexico's "methodological differences" in studying the labor market. One divergence from interna- tional recommendations is to include people who are "about to start a new job and those suspended temporarily from their jobs and ... expecting to return" among those classified as employed. He conduded by saying that

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28 INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVES employment and unemployment indicators are being revised through a technical committee on labor statistics and that the Secretariat plans to implement a "labor information service that can be accessed easily and that has a flexible consultation process that will make the information more transparent." Responding to a question from the audience about the impact of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) on the levels and quality of employment, Mr. Segovia said that the National Survey on Salaries, Tech- nology and Training in the Manufacturing Sector may be useful for this purpose. The most recent survey, which was carried out in 1999, "will con- tribute important information" for carrying out such an analysis. JUSTICE BERNARI)O VAN DER LAATSUPREME COURT, Cost RICA Despite the proliferation of law schools in Costa Rica (over 50 institu- tions for a population of four million), Justice van der Laat said that knowl- edge of international labor standards is lacking. "We assume that all justice operators know about them Lbut] I seriously doubt this is the case." In his 30 years of teaching law, Justice van der Laat has found that "students would probably not consider labor law as an economically rewarding pro- fession," and the curricula of law schools reflect this; very few courses deal- ing with labor lawparticularly international standards are available on Costa Rica's campuses. According to Justice van der Laat, Costa Rica's 1943 Labor Code in- cluded the provision that ratified ILO Conventions were equivalent to na- tional law. This was followed by a 1968 amendment to the constitution that stipulated that Conventions approved by Congress would have a higher standing than national law. While Justice van der Laat attributes this amendment to Costa Rica's desire to join the Central American Common Market, rather than a desire to elevate ILO standards, the amendment did provide "important support for Conventions such as those ofthe ILO to be legally enforced." However, this legal framework has not necessarily provided results, as Justice van der Laat explained. For instance, Convention 87 and Convention 98 were ratified in 1960, yet I am sure that for about 30 years, the Costa Rican union movement has com- plained about persecution against trade unions and about the fact that the provisions in the Conventions were not being complied with. Something

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NATIONAL GOVERNMENTS important was happening. We had regulations, we amended the constitution, we ratified important Conventions, but they were not being enforced. 29 One milestone in the effort to improve enforcement, Justice van der Laat said, was the creation of the Constitutional Court in 1989. In a fa- mous 1993 ruling, the court held that persons dismissed as a result of anti- union persecution must be reinstated with full payment of lost salaries. AcIditionally, the court established the presumption that union workers laid off with severance pay were fired for anti-union reasons, and conse- quently the action was nullified. Since that ruling, the Constitutional Court has applied that line of thought in numerous cases. Justice van der Laat's Second Chamber of the Supreme Court has also applied these stan- dards, ordering payment of lost wages for up to four years after an unlaw- ful dismissal. Justice van der Laat sail! that the higher courts have an important role to play in training other judges and lawyers on international labor stan- dards. Application of these standards in the higher courts "will surely force lower courts to make similar decisions because of the risk of having their rulings overturned." Similarly, these standards will be conveyed to the at- torneys handling the cases. In this way, Justice van der Laat said, the "judi- cial schools" complemented by occasional ILO seminars for judges will be able to offer the training that law schools are not currently providing. Following his presentation, Justice van der Laat responded to a ques- tion on the mechanisms available in Costa Rica for workers or unions to file complaints alleging labor standards violations. He noted that the Labor Code allows workers to petition the court, either hiring a lawyer oras is most often the case representing themselves to pursue the case, but there is a limitation on the direct intervention of unions. This approach differs from that of Panama, which was described by Luis Leon of the General Independent Worker's Union of Panama. When Panamanian workers pur- sue a case with the tripartite Conciliation and Decision Boards, an attorney will be assigned free of charge or if the worker belongs to a union the union will assume the fees. Given the complexity of legal procedures in Costa Rica, Justice van der Laat said, without legal assistance "a worker will probably lose." Therefore, reforms are being considered in Costa Rica that would allow more direct involvement of unions in individual labor dis- putes. Additionally, after a recent dispute that affected 120,000 public- sector workers, the Ministry of Labor and the Supreme Court are engaging with unions to study possible reforms that may pave the way for class ac- tion suits to be filed in Costa Rica.

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30 INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVES :: , : :: :: :: : \ ~:~ ~ :: ~ aft: all: ~ ~ ~~ ~ ~~ ~~::~ :: ~~ ~:~ :: ~~ ~~ ~~:~ :~Box:~342:~ ~~ : ~~ ::~ if; ~~ : ~ ~~ ~~:~ : Data on: Chi~ldren~(Ages~ 5 Extol ~1~8):~from~ Multipurpose ~Permanent~:~Household~:Survey'~Honduras~(2002;)~:: :~:: ::~ : :: :::: :: ::~ ::: :~: :::: :: ~~;~ ;~;~;~ ;;: ~ ~~ ~~ ~;~ ;~::~ ~ - ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ I. Tothl population of ~~HondLi~ras ~~ Number of ~~c~hildre~n~ages: into 1~B :P~ercentage of ch~ildren~rking Percentage of children No attending School: : ~e~rage~n:umbe~r~of~schooling yearly fur Working ch ildren: (ages ~ 1 :6~to ~1~8) ~ If: ~ ~~ ~~ Merge :~schooiing years~for nonworking ~~.~: ~~ ~ I, ~7 ~ ~~ ~-:~ch:i~Idren ~~ ~~ ;~ ~6~697~91~6: 2,54483 ~ ~15:~: ::: ~~ ~~ :; :: :~ :~34~:~:; :~ ~ ~ ~~ :~ :::~: 5.6 ~:::~8.6: : ::: GLORIA LIZZETTE VEI~QUEZ~ NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STATISTICS, HONDURAS : ~ Ms. Velasquez focused her presentation on monitoring child labor in Honduras through the use of the Multipurpose Permanent Household Sur- vey (MPHS). The overall purpose of this survey is "to produce a flow of integrated, timely, and reliable statistical data to prepare policies, formulate plans, and execute projects for the economic and social development of Honduras." In addition to providing general information on population characteristics, poverty, housing, employment, and education, the MPHS has been used to analyze the nature and extent of child labor. Selected statistics on child labor are provided in Box 3-2. Ms. Velasquez emphasized the detrimental effects on children, as well as on the future of the labor market, when they sacrifice education for early entry into the labor force. "This is of great concern because if this situation continues, we will not have children trained for the new demands, and they will be young adults who will work in nonproductive activities or activities with little production Land] will not participate in the country's growth." TATIANAVELAZCOMINISTRY OF LABOR, PERU Ms. Velazco said, "One of the most outstanding characteristics of EPeru'sl labor market is the relative importance that the private salaried

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NATIONAL GOVERNMENTS 31 worker has." Private salaried workers represent 40 percent ofthe labor force, public-sector employees account for 10 percent, and "independent work- ers, self-employed persons, and workers who work for relatives without pay, which almost reaches 8 percent," make up the remaining 50 percent. As in other countries, about half of Peru's workers are not covered by national labor legislation. This reality, Ms. Velazco said, is an important consider- ation when one is trying to understand the application of standards in Peru. To gather information on the labor market in Peru, the Ministry of Labor conducts several surveys, the "most important" of which is the Na- tional Household Survey. Ms. Velazco said that this survey is applied "di- rectly," that is, no information is accepted from third parties. Each member of the household who participates in the labor market must fill out the survey form independently. Ms. Velazco said, "This is an important issue because the information is usually biased when the mother or some other relative responds for the person who should be doing so." Other valuable sources of information, Ms. Velazco said, include com- pany surveys and the ministry's administrative records, which cover items such as strikes, lockouts, and collective bargaining agreements. One of the fundamental issues measured through the company surveys is the labor turnover, which is analyzed by looking at indicators on hiring rates, dis- missals, and contract modes. This information on transitions within the labor market is supplemented by the household surveys. Ms. Velazco said that her office has noticed "very interesting results" when workers' activities are analyzed over a one-year period. Only 50 percent of the population remains employed throughout the year, while 25 percent are "always inac- tive," and the remaining 25 percent move in and out of employment, with some (8 percent) managing to avoid becoming "unemployed" as officially defined. For those who do become unemployed, the duration is "very short [and] informal employment is like a refine for thn.se neonle who art Inok- r ~ ,, 1ng tor a loo. -ODE - r--r- During the discussion period following her presentation, Ms. Velazco elaborated on the statistics that are gathered concerning union membership and the efforts to ensure consistency of the information received from ad- ministrative records and that collected from company surveys. She noted that the data from both demonstrate that only 8 percent of salaried em- ployees are affiliated with a trade union. In terms of salaries, she said, the statistics indicate that workers who are covered by collective bargaining agreements receive higher pay. Additionally, 96 percent of workers in for-

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32 INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVES mal establishments with 10 or more employees receive more than the mini- mum wage. In smaller companies "where precariousness is the norm"- Ms. Velazco recommends the use of mixed surveys, "not only for issues related to contracts, salaries, but also to understand the context in which the companies operate Including examination ofl labor costs, company's sales, and labor productivity." A.P. WICKREMASINGH~ DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR, SR! LANKA Mr. Wickremasinghe, the deputy commissioner for labor standards in Sri Lanka, presented an overview of that country's experience with core labor standards. Sri Lanka has ratified all eight fundamental ILO Conven- tions, but issues of implementation particularly with regard to the na- tional legal framework remain before full compliance is achieved. He said that Sri Lanka's Trade Unions Ordinance has "a lot of small problems" with freedom of association; for example, judicial and prison officers and mem- bers of agricultural cooperatives are prohibited from forming trade unions. Earlier problems of freedom of association in Free Trade Zones have been resolved, Mr. Wickremasinghe said, explaining that restrictions on the en- try of trade union representatives were only being imposed "for security reasons." Additionally, because the Trade Unions Ordinance stipulates that union members must be at least 16 years of age and the minimum age for employment in Sri Lanka is 14, amendments are being considered that would enable these young workers to join unions. As for forced labor and compliance with Convention 29, Mr. Wickremasinghe acknowledged that the government needed to address the lack of a penal sanction for the illegal imposition of forced labor and that legal amendments would be completed "very soon." Additional issues of concern identified by Mr. Wickremasinghe were restrictions on resignation of military officers and the use of certain types of prison labor, but these too, he said, have been the subject of recent legislative and administrative action. Mr. Wickremasinghe also noted legislative measures relating to the worst forms of child labor and an amendment to the Industrial Disputes Act, making it mandatory for employers to recognize for collective bargain- ing purposes a union representing 40 percent of the workers. Following his presentation, Mr. Wickremasinghe was asked whether labor inspectors may enter the Free Trade Zones unannounced. He re- sponded by saying that in all establishmentswhether inside or outside

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NATIONAL GOVERNMENTS 33 the Zones prior notice is requires! "in order to avoid problems at the workplace and not to interrupt their business systems." Anton Marcus of the Free Trade Zone Workers Union asked Mr. Wickremasinghe to com- ment on a new law that extends overtime from 100 hours per year to 60 hours per month. Mr. Wickremasinghe responded by saying that overtime is voluntary in Sri Lanka and that disciplinary measures could not be taken against a worker who refused to work the additional hours. These matters, he saicl, were often handled through mutual understanding and coopera- tion between workers and employers. Mr. Marcus disagreed on whether this provision was mandatory and could result in termination of workers. During the open forum, William Conklin of the Solidarity Center in Sri Lanka returned to this issue, saying, "What happened! was that the phrase 'with consent of the workers' was taken out Lof the legislation], which can lead to ~ facto mandatory overtime." Mr. Conklin also challenged the as- sertion that there were mutual unclerstandings between workers and em- ployers, noting that there were very few unions in the garment industry to engage in any meaningful negotiations.