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- 6 Nongovernmental Organizations and Academics EDUARDO RICARDO DONZA UNIVERSITY OF BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA Mr. Donza described the difficulties encountered by Argentina and its workers over the past decade. Between 1992 and 2002, salaries dropped 8 percent in real terms for registered workers and almost 40 percent for non- registered workers. The percentage of people working 36 to 48 hours per week"the ideal number of hours" has decreased, and income inequality has reached such an extent that the highest-earning quintile is paid 13 times the earnings of the lowest quintile. As Emilia Roca of Argentina's Directorate of Statistics and Censuses pointed out earlier (Chapter 3), the decline in pension contributions as more workers are excluded from the social security system has been a fun- damental factor in the recent economic crisis in Argentina. Mr. Donza said, "These levels of exclusion bring about future problems as these people are not part of the system and, therefore, they will not have any protection when they reach their retirement age." Another issue that Mr. Donza identified as a growing problem in Ar- gentina is child labor. While child labor is currently "not a serious problem, we have to be alert because all this poverty is creating a new sector: children who are working to help their families or to have some pocket money." Increasingly, children are found begging or providing services such as shin- ing shoes or washing car windows. However, the Permanent Household 67

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68 INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVES Survey does not adequately identify child labor"especially because some- times people in the family do not consider these activities as a job" and Mr. Donza called for specific surveys to be developed to monitor child labor. HOMERO FUENTE~COMMISSION FOR THE VERIFICATION OF CORPORATE CODES OF CONDUCT, GUATEMALA Mr. Fuentes described the evolution of new contract modalities in the labor market. "First, the market was ruled by price, then by price and qual- ity, then by price, quality, and protection of the environment, and now by price, quality, environmental protection, and protection of social and labor rights." Each of these factors, he said, applies pressure in one way or an- other and is important to an analysis of the labor market. Other important factors include the growth of subcontracting and other impacts of the new international division of labor. For example, Mr. Fuentes said, in 2001 the top-selling item of a large American toy company was assembled in China with raw materials and manufactured components from 19 countries. Given this context, Mr. Fuentes said, enforcing international labor standards (ILS) is a great challenge and has prompted a range of responses. For its part, the International Labour Organization (ILO) has responded with the Declaration, the promotion of"decent work," and the continua- tion of its regular supervisory mechanisms for ratified Conventions. The private sector has proposed Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives, he said, while trade unions and other members of civil society are proposing a "social Cause" to be introduced into trade agreements. As for the measurement of compliance and the work of the Commis- sion for the Verification of Corporate Codes of Conduct (COVERCO) in researching working conditions in Guatemala, Mr. Fuentes said that statis- tical sources can be complex and unreliable and should be used only as a tool. COVERCO also analyzes national legislation and performs a socio- logical analysis, adapted to the different sectors. "It is not the same to do the analysis in the agriculture sector about coffee or bananas or flowers or vegetables," he said. "They are completely different labor markets." Mr. Fuentes said that case studies are also used to provide additional information on particular sectors, and investigation and follow-up of worker complaints have led to the identification of systematic violations of core labor standards and occupational safety and health standards in Gua- temala. Mr. Fuentes concluded by stating that it is necessary for labor stan-

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NONGOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONSANDACADEMICS 69 cards to be included in trade agreements, and he identified key areas for improvement including increased training for judges and inspectors, edu- cation about workers' and employers' rights and duties, and updating of 1 r statistical Information. JOSE G/(SMEZ~INSTITUTE OF NATIONAL STUDIES, UNIVERSITY OF PANAMA, PANAMA After a brief description of the Institute of National Studies, Mr. Gomez addressed several key issues relating to compliance with core labor standards in Panama. Regarding freedom of association, he said that several sectors have been explicitly prohibited from unionizing, and seeking judi- cial remedies has not guaranteed a timely resolution of the dispute. For instance, he said, the case filed by the banking sector more than a decade ago concerning that sector's right to organize is still unresolved. Similarly, unions have been discouraged in the Canal Zone. Mr. Gomez discussed the compliance problems related to the treat- ment of the country's estimated 35,000 domestic workers. Although these workers are covered by a specific law, he said, there is no obligation to pay the minimum wage. However, "neither the unions, nor the trade associa- tions, nor civil society as a whole has addressed this problem as seriously and attentively as they should" Other issues of concern identified by Mr. Gomez include increased labor flexibility allowing "interrupted" or "trial" contracts that can be manipulated to avoid paying employee benefits and unfair dismissals in the public sector. Mr. Gomez concluded by reiterating a point made earlier by Justice van der Laat in relation to Costa Rica: Including education about the stan- dards in the curricula of schools of law, business, economics, and industrial engineering is essential if effective implementation is to be achieved. ARNE GROENNINGSAETER FAFO SOUTH AFRICA, SOW AFRICA Mr. Groenningsaeter described Fafo, which consists of several interna- tional research institutes and was founded by the Norwegian Federation of Trade Unions.1 Fafo South Africa has carried out research in several Afri- ~Additional information on Fafo is available at ww~v.fafo.no/english/

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70 INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVES -: ~~::~ ~ ~~ :~Box~6-~1 :~ ~ ~~ :Fafo Agenda~to :~Eradicate~:Child ::Labor P ut ip rr ssu re o n n r ti on a I g overn~mo~ts ;tr p rouse ed ucaf~o n ~ Use the education system for~--redistrib~ution.~.~.,~ free~schoo:l ~ :~: . . ~ ~ n a so. ~ ~~ ~ : i: ~ : :~ ~~:~ :~ ~ :~ : ~~: ::: A: ~ :- it: : i- Provide ~:.international aid :~and :~debt relief To the ~~ Poorest ~~Gountri~es.~ ~ ~~ ~ ~~ ~~ ~ ~ ~ ~~ ~~ ~~ i; ~ ~ ~ ~~ Establish Stronger ~labor~:market~mgul~'on. ~lner~ase~the:~oppo~ttuni1:ies fo~r~adult~wo~0rs to~takb..:ho~me~a ~~ ~:~ living wage by improving :~labor m:arket regulations, e.~9., free- Mom ~~ asso G iati Q n, ~~colle~ive: bargaining, Ian: protection :~from ~~d~scr~m~na;~or,~.: ~ i: : ~ ::~: ~~ ~ ~ ~ ~~ ~:~ ~ ~~.~ ~ ~~ . ~~ ~~ ~ ~~ ~ ~~: Link:~m iro-ievel intentions pro -the Overt ~~devetop:ment agenda so that they do knot undermine he int~ro:du~ion ~of: ;;: education :~systems Liar; the position tiff adult~:~laborers: lathe :: : :: : : : : : Establish stronger~links~between the fight~:~against~the;~:wo~rst ~:~ forms ~~of-ch~ld Labor and the general ~~e~radicati-on of hid : : : : ~ : ~ : :: :: : i: '~ ore ~ :: ~ ~ ~ :~ : :: :~: ::: ~ ::: ~ ~ ~~ ~~. .. ~ :: :: I:: it: ~~ :: i: :: : :: : ::: : : : : : : : : : : ~ . ~~ can countries and has published reports on domestic child labor in Mo- rocco, tobacco tenants in Malawi, and poverty and institutional failures in Egypt and Zimbabwe. Mr. Groenningsaeter noted that the main causes of child labor in southern Africa are poverty and lack of access to education. There are three kinds of child labor: parent-controlled labor (household work), employ- ment of children who live with their parents but work outside the house- hold, and employment of children who have moved out of the household. Mr. Groenningsaeter said that Africa has the highest incidence of child labor in the world and that it is increasing, in large part because of the AIDS epidemic and armed conflicts. Responding to this growing problem, Fafo has attempted to develop a new agenda for eradicating child labor. These strategies are outlined in Box 6-1. Mr. Groenningsaeter discussed a Fafo labor force survey, which identi- fied a higher rate of unemployment at 32 percent than previous statis- tics from South African household surveys. This rate, he said, jumps to 45

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NONGOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONSAN'DACADEMICS 71 percent if the "expanded definition" is used; this definition includes people who are available for the labor market but may not be actively looking for work. In terms of health and safety, 54 percent of the respondents reported regular risks, but the availability of safety equipment varied widely by sec- tor. Mr. Groenningsaeter said that the relatively better sectors are manufac- turing, electricity, gas, water, and mining, while agriculture, construction, and fishing are the worst. OLUKUNLE WANDA VERSING OF BOTSWANA, BOTSWANA Professor Iyanda examined the extent to which ILO standards have been implemented in Botswana. The country has ratified all eight funda- mental Conventions, and these are monitored and enforced through sev- eral key pieces of national legislation, including the Employment Act (1984), the Trade Unions and Employers Organizations Act (1992), and the Trade Disputes Act (2000~. Professor Iyanda gave an overview of these pieces of legislation, point- ing out several significant points. By authorizing the commissioner of labor or any other labor officer to enter and inspect any premise where indiviclu- als are employed or where it is reasonably believed that they are employed or housed, the Employment Act extends coverage even into the informal sector. The Trade Disputes Act, he said, sets out procedures for settling disputes and establishes an Industrial Court but, significantly, denies the use of strikes, making it a "barking not biting dog." Turning to assessments of compliance with the core standards, Profes- sor Iyanda said that there are 22 unions in Botswana, and they are affilliated with the Botswana Federation of Trade Unions (BFTU). While offering an estimate of 25,000 union members in the country, he added that determin- ing the number of unionized workers is difficult as unions underreport their membership in order to reduce fees to the BFTU. Professor Iyancia cited several gaps between law and practice, as many employers prohibit unions and discourage collective bargaining. Tactics to weaken collective bargaining have included "poaching" in which capable union officers are recruited into management positions in order to remove them from union operations. He offered data from the Botswana Central Office of Statistics on working hours and equality of treatment. Studies of working hours be- tween 1993 and 1996 showed that overall average hours of work declined from 45.4 to 41.7 hours. Professor Iyanda said that the data showed signifi-

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72 INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVES cant differences in the monthly earnings within a range of occupations, and the differences were based on gender and citizenship, which may be an indicator of discrimination on these grounds. It is interesting to note that the wages of noncitizens are much higher than those of citizens. According to Professor Iyanda, the health and safety standards have the highest rate of noncompliance: "Fatalities, violations of hygiene standards, exposure to dangerous materials abound in many of the African countries." In Botswana, for example, the number of fatalities on construction sites exceeds those resulting from road accidents. Contributing to these prob- lems are the infrequency of inspections caused by a shortage of personnel (10 inspectors for nearly 7,000 establishments) ant! the lack of standards for repairs and maintenance (ill-maintained equipment poses "grave dan- gers"~. Additionally, he said, applications for licensing worksites are not thoroughly examined, and there is an abundance of premises unsuitable for their stated business purpose. Professor Iyanda discussed the role of multi- nationals, stating that they exhibit a positive effect on the enforcement of ILS. Even though there are violations, these larger enterprises are "much more compliant" than the smaller enterprises. He conduded with several observations on conditions that are condu- cive to the effective recognition and implementation of labor standards. First, good governance in the form of democratic and transparent systems is essential, and he cited the differences between Botswana and Zimbabwe as evidence of this. Second, there is a need for a strong union movement and building the capacity of enforcement officers, such as labor inspectors. Last, he said, there is a need to encourage the flow of foreign direct invest- ment and promote economic growth to "foster a good environment for the maintenance of standards." E VANCE KALULA UNIVERSITY OF GAPE TOWN, SourH AFRICA On behalf of Ann-Marie van Zyl from the South African Department of Labour, Professor Kalula gave a presentation on labor relations in South Africa and the role of the Employment Conditions Commission (ECC), of which he is a member. The main focus of the ECC is the setting of stan- dards within the regulatory environment of South Africa, which consists primarily of the following legislation: Labour Relations Act, 1997; Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA), 1997;

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NONGOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS AND ACADEMICS Employment Equity Act, 1998; Skills Development Act, 1999; Occupational Health and Safety Act, 1992; Employment Insurance Act, 1996; and Compensation of Injuries at Work Act, 1992. 73 In addition to this legislation, he saint, the South African Constitution is also "emphatic" in guaranteeing fair labor practices, freedom of associa- tion, collective bargaining, the right to strike, and nondiscrimination. The regulation at the heart of the ECC's work the BCEAautho- rizes the minister of labor to establish employment conditions for a par- ticular sector, area, or class of employees. These sectoral determinations supplement the legal framework and are "the main vehicle for putting the minimum labor standards into effect" because they focus on a wide range of issues, as shown in Box 6-2. The ECC consists of three independent experts appointed by the min- ister of labor ant! two representatives from organized business and labor. It has been given the charge of developing labor market policiespaying par- ticular attention to the most vulnerable workers and making recommen- dations to the minister for sectoral determinations. As South Africa does not have a national minimum wage, one of the main roles of the ECC is to ::: ~ : ::: ::::: :: ~ : i::: :::: : :: :: :: ::: : :~::; : i: :::: i: .. : ~ :~ ~: ~~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~~ ~ :~ ox ~:6~: ~~ ~ ~~ ~ ~~ ~::~ ~ ~~ : ~ :: : ~ Scope of ~~:Sectoral~:Determinations In; South Africa ~:~ ~ ~ ~ ~ : ~ ~ ~ ~~. : ~ i: : : ::: ~ : : :: ~ :: i: i: ~ :: : :~ : ~ :~: ~ ~ :~ ~ : :::: ~ i:::: : : : :: : :: ~ ~ i: :~: ::: .~:~Minimumwage~rates~and~adjustments ~:~ ~~ :: ;~Ad~m:ini~trathreobl;ig~tions~ ~~ ~ ~~ ~ ~~ ---it >-it ~---~sk-based~wor}t,~:p~ieceworkj~ homework, :and contract work :: ~Mir~im-um~-~ndards~for housing :antl~:s~it~ion~ ~~::~: ~~ ~ ~~ ~~ ~ ~:~:~;:~:~Mi~ni-m~m;:~te~rm~s~and ~condit~o~ris~ ~ ~~:~:~-~:~ ~~ :~: - ~~ -;~ ~ ~ ~~ - ~~ ;~: Payment ~f~traveli~ng~an~d~ dither worJ(-related allowances: If: ~ ~ : *-- Minimum con~drbons~:~f6~ persons other than -employees: ~~ : . ~~:~:ni~ng~::~and~:~edu~ion~sh~emes~ ~ i-- ~~ ~ ~ Pension, ~ ~p~rov~der~t, medical aid, sick prepay hold: :~pay i: and ::~:~:unempl~oyment~:~schem~es~and~:~funds~ ~~:~ :~ ~~ ~~ ~~ ~ ~~ ~ ~~:~:~:~:~:~ ~~: ~ ~~:~ Any ~~her~-matte~r~concerni~ng ~remune~is~n or other tef ms or onditions~--df~employment~-~'-~:~ ~~ ~~ ~~ ~ If: Hi: ~ : ~:~:~::~:;~:~M~Irli~m~u:m~Co~n~diti~ons:~fo;~$raInees ~~ ; ,~ ~~ Hi. If: .- :: ....

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74 INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVES help establish minimum standards for each sector and to address wage dif- ferentials and inequality between different sectors of the population. The ECC has been asked to monitor those gaps and develop policies to progres- sively reduce the differentials, taking into account the impact of these poli- cies on employment levels and other issues such as safety and health. The ECC conducts public hearings, often coinciding with investigations by the director general of the Department of Labor. Recent investigations and standard-setting have covered domestic workers, agricultural workers, and small businesses. An important task that remains, Professor Kalula said, is the develop- ment of a link between standard-setting and the monitoring and enforce- ment of those standards. The ECC has set minimum stanclarcis for 10 sec- tors, which has been "a good start." But there has been criticism of the ECC's lack of concern about monitoring and implementation. However, Professor Kalula said, this is not within the ECC's scope, and implementa- tion is a matter for the Department of Labor. And to its credit, he said, the department has taken a much more integrated approach, providing services to employers and workers in a "one-stop shop" rather than through sepa- rate offices. While the results of this system are not yet in, he said, with appropriate modifications for country conditions, it may serve as a model within the region. AlAY SINGH KARm RUGMARK FOUNDATION, NEW Mr. Karki described RUGMARK and its work to end illegal child labor in the carpet industry in Nepal. This industry began in Nepal in the mid-1960s as part of a resettlement program for Tibetan refugees in the Kathmandu Valley. By the beginning of the 1 990s, carpets had become the top export from Nepal in terms of foreign exchange earnings and employ- ment generation, attracting thousands of rural adult and child workers. In 1993-94 these exports were greatly reduced because of the negative pub- licity resulting from the airing of a European documentary on the presence of child laborers in the industry. Government figures at the time showed that children made up 9 percent of the workforce, while NGO estimates of child laborers were as high as 50 percent. As the industry tried to clean up its image, Mr. Karki said, many children were removed from the indus- try, "forcing them to end up in the streets or in other sectors." Since its founding in 1994, RUGMARK has put in place the following . . . . 1mtlatlves:

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NONGOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONSANDACADEMICS 75 RUG MARE licensing and workplace inspection, monitoring, and .^ certl~lcatlon; rehabilitation of removed/displaced children from the carpet industry; awareness-raising and advocacy; and . . preventive social programs. Mr. Karki explained that carpet manufacturers become RUGMARK licensees after initial inspections and signing of the RUGMARK license agreement, which commit them not to use illegal child labor. RUGMARK carries out regular inspections of licensed facilities, and although there are only four inspectors, their work is simplified by the fact that 95 percent of the carpet industries are located in the Kathmandu Valley. Licensees are eligible to certify their carpets with RUGMARK labels, which are coded to indicate the date and location of production. In cases of noncompliance, RUGMARK issues a verbal notice for the first offense (issued to 212 factories). A written notice, issued for additional offenses within the same year, asks for a written commitment from the factory stating that it will end the use of child labor (183 factories have received this notice). If the written reply is not received within 15 days, the matter is referred to the Executive Committee of RUGMARK for a final warning. For subcontractors, this may result in the factory being "out- listed." This means that the name and address of that factory will be circu- lated to all licensees within Nepal. Licensees are informed that if they place any circlers with these subcontractors, their license may be revoked. To date, six subcontractors have been out-listed, and two licensees have had their licenses revoked. To provide some details of the general characteristics of child labor in the carpet industry in Nepal, Mr. Karki presented the results from a 2002 ILO Rapid Assessment (Box 6-3~. When RUGMARK inspectors identify and remove children from la- bor, programs and support, based on the child's age and needs, are made available for formal education and vocational training, as well as for family reunification. In its monitoring of 470 licensed factories to date, RUGMARK has identified 979 child laborers, removing nearly 470 ofthose children. Rehabilitation programs have been offered to 367 children, and 83 of them are still receiving educational support from RUGMARK. Mr. Karki listed some of the continuing challenges facet! by RUGMARK, which include the declining export situation for Nepalese

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76 INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVES ~:~Resuits~from~t~he~Draft~Report~6fthe~:Rapid~Assessment Done~for~the~Carpet~Indust~ by ILO-Nepal ~(2002) ~~ 67,728 -... ~Esti~mated~:thtal number ~of~chi~ld~iaborers; ~ ~~ ~~ : ~~ ~ ~~ ~~ ~ ~8,096~: ~~ Percent~of~Mal:~child~l~abor: ~ : ~~: ~ ~ ~ :~ I: ~~ ~~:~ :~: .::: 1~1~.~95 ~~ I: - Less~than ~1~4 years (567 ~ch~iJd~ren -~7~) ~~ ~ ~~ ~ : ~~ ~:~ I: ~0.~84 : ~:7 ~:~3.~70~ If: ~5~3 I: ~96.30 : :- ~ :: - : ~l,'lCil~' ~ :CI.~=i Cap: TV ~ ~ I - ' ~ - ' :' 'lay ~ ~ ~ ~ ~i' ~ ~ t ~ V. ~ 1= \ ::~ : ::: ~::~: :~ :: i: :~ ~ ~ :: :: :: : : : ~ i:: : ~ : ~ ~ ::: ~ ~ ~ :~ ::: : i: ~ : :: : 1 :~ :~: :: ::::: :: : : ~~ :~ 1 ~ i: :~ :~ i: ~ :: ~ :: :: : : :::::: ~~-~ ~ :::: : ~ :~ 1 : ~ :~:: ~ i:: :: :: : :: ~ Hi: :::: :: 1 carpets, the high cost of rehabilitation programs (nearly $500 per year per child), and the fact that RUGMARK monitoring does not extend into the informal economy, where children removed from the formal carpet indus- try often end up. Ad KAUFMAN KENAN INSTITUTE ASIA, THAILAND Mr. Kaufman gave a brief introduction to the Kenan Institute, where he is the deputy manager of the Labor Standards Advisory Service. The LSAS has been concerned primarily with the implementation of voluntary labor standards and codes of conduct in the Thai garment industry. Mr. Kaufman explained that the codes of conduct used in Thailand have the following characteristics: The codes are a response to negative publicity regarding working conditions in developing countries. The codes represent multinationals' attempts to prove compliance with core ILO Conventions. The codes are created by multinationals and monitored by internal or external auditors.

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NONGOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS AND ACADEMICS 77 The codes typically cover little more than the Thai Labor Law (La- bor Protection Act of 1998~. Mr. Kaufman noted some of the key obstacles to labor standards com- pliance in Thailand (Box 6-41. Mr. Kaufman noted that working hours are a particular challenge within the voluntary stanclards because reducing hours without raising the wages can result in workers falling short of earning a living wage. The mini- mum wage in Thailand is the equivalent of $4, which represents only 60- 70 percent of what is required to earn a living wage. Many workers can reach that level only "by putting in lots of overtime, so most of the stan- dards in requesting a reduction of overtime hours are not coming up with a solution to the problem." In terms of health and safety another key area of concern in Thai factories Mr. Kaufman said that there should be a greater emphasis on ~ ~ ~ ~ Obstacles-to Compliance in Thailane' ~~ ~ , ~ ~ ~ ~ ~~ ; ~ ~ ~~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Common Abuses ~ Pay~dedu~ions~ : Unclear :pay stubs .~ :Un~onbu:sting ~ i: :~ . : ~ i: ~ ~~ ~~. :~ -I :: :: : : ~ ~=Ve - ^C'C!:~:~\I^~;~^ : ~~74;i,lY~ - ~~. PRIG : _ . : : : ~ . ~ ~~txposure~ lo: Hazardous c Mescals : : :: :: :: : :: :: :: : :: ~ : :: ~ :: Pregnancy issues : ~ ;: inadequate protective- equipment ~Fire~:~haza~ds ~ ~ ~~ If: :~ ~~:~ ~:~:~ ~ ~~ aft: i: :: ~ ;'- ~;~:~;~ . Enforcement Concerns ~~:~ ~:~k~of~ell~rai;~:ed ~co~nsultan~ I: Shortage of govemme~nt~in~spedtors ~:~ Misunderstanding elf ~~local~:~laus~ ~~ ~~ ~~ Ail; W6rkers'~lak~awareness::~{.egal :rights~and grievances ;~:~- ~:~p~roce~dures~:~ ~ ~ ~~ :: :~Fear~of worker movements,; unions flack of hurnan~resou~rce~p~olipy ; Lack Worker involvement :: :: i:: All. ~ ~ ~ ~ ~-~ : iiii:iiii:i:~::: ::::: :: i ~~ if i . i :~ :: ::: :: ::: :: . ~ ~ ~ ~ i . i i i i i ;;:;: ~~ :::: Hi:::: i: ~ :~ ~ ~~ :~: :: ~ ~ :: ~~::~ ~ :~ .- ~ i: :: ::~ ~ ~i:i: if..- ~ i-: :::: :: : ~:~ ::: :: :: ::: : :i: ::: :: :: : i: . : ~ : :::: : :: ::: : i: i:: ~ ~ :~: :: ~~ : : : : : ::::: : ~

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78 INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVES the prevention of accidents. This might be accomplished in part through stricter application of building codes; many Thai factories are old and fail to meet current standards. Training of workers, employers, and inspectors is also needed, he saint. To address the various compliance problems in Thailand, Mr. Kaufman recommends a "holistic approach" involving several stakeholders. At the center of this approach is the national government, which has the responsi- bility for enforcing the laws and providing regular inspections. These in- spections may be done in conjunction with the work of external auditors hired by multinationals. Mr. Kaufman also suggested the development of "internal monitoring teams," which could include members of the union and other employees "because the workers are the ones who really know and understand what's happening in the factory." Mr. Kaufman said one of the overall aims of implementing voluntary standards and codes of conduct is to raise the competitiveness of Thai in- dustry. This is of particular concern as the Multi-Fiber Arrangement Re- garcling International Trade in Textiles which allows importing countries to apply quantitative restrictions on textile products is scheduled to end in 2005. In light of this, Mr. KauEman's recommendations for improving the competitiveness of Thai industry included increasing direct foreign investment through transparency~em- onstrating not only the quality of products but the conditions in which they are produced; implementing management systems that create better communica- tion between workers and supervisors; and ensuring workers' health and safety to provide a long-term workforce, resulting in less turnover and absenteeism and a reduction in defective products and property damage. ERNESTO KRITZ~SOCIETY FOR LABOR STUDIES, ARGENTINA Mr. Kritz began by identifying ILS and, perhaps more important, compliance with those standards as a prerequisite for an ''efficient and egalitarian" labor market. "Specifically, in a globalization scenario, compli- ance with the international standards and protection of workers' basic rights are an unavoidable condition for workers to benefit from the integration and increase of trade flows." Considering some of the topics addressed throughout this forum, such as the escalation of unregistered and informal

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NONG O VERNMENTA L OR GANIZA TI ONS AND A CA DEMI CS 79 employment, Mr. Kritz noted that the protection of workers is an increas- ingly difficult task. Despite the many problems associated with the burgeoning unregu- latecl labor market, Mr. Kritz said that noncompliance is not found only in the informal economy. He cited the increase in the number of working hours without overtime pay, for example; this is a labor-cost reduction that violates standards on wages and endangers the health of the workers. Ex- ploitative labor practices such as this are "an expression of institutional weakness, especially of the ministries of labor and, in particular, of the labor inspectorate to enforce the law." With severe resource constraints, outdated equipment, and inadequate technical training, inspection depart- ments are unprepared to fulfill their mandates effectively, he said. Mr. Kritz suggested that labor administrations should focus their at- tentions on monitoring the basic rights and improving their capacity to deliver quality services. At the core of this, he said, is the need for improved information. "The availability of adequate, timely, and reliable information on labor standards compliance is ... a condition for the labor market to operate well. But it can also be an instrument to improve competitiveness, to take advantage of opportunities, and, of course, to achieve the goal of transforming these opportunities into benefits shared by all workers." Mr. Kritz said that the quality and reliability of information suffer in part because there is no mechanism for feedback from the ministries after they collect the data from private agents, such as companies. When the information system is seen "only as a flow from the private sector toward the public administration, an opportunity to provide agents and operators with guidelines to make their decisions is lost." Mr. Kritz concluded by saying that this information would include those sources discussed by other presenters household surveys, social security systems, company surveys, and administrative records but should also incorporate private sources. For example, the organization he directs, the Society for Labor Studies, conducts a monthly survey of 200 leading enterprises; these surveys gather information on salary policies, working hours, contracts, and bargaining practices. PRANAV KUMAR CONSUMER UNITY AND TRUST SOCIETY, INDIA Mr. Kumar focused on India's experience with the core ILO stanclards, especially child labor. He noted that India has ratified four of the eight

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80 INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVES fundamental Conventions,2 and he discussed some of the reasons for nonratification of the remaining Conventions 87 (freedom of associa- tion), 98 (collective bargaining), and 138 and 182 (child labor). Mr. Kumar attributed the nonratification of Conventions 87 ant! 98 to the "inability of the government to promote unionization of govern- ment servants in the highly politicized trade union system of the country." However, he added that the Indian Constitution guarantees freedom of association and expression for all citizens. As for child labor, he stated that fulfilling the requirements of the relevant Conventionsestablishing mini- mum ages of 14 for work in general and 18 for "work, which, by its nature or the circumstances in which it is carried out, is likely to harm the health, safety or morals of children"3 would entail creating the machinery to ensure compliance. "But at present for developing countries like India," he said, "it is not feasible to stop child laborers from coming into work." To demonstrate the extent of the child labor problem in India and the "poor enforcement" of applicable legislation, Mr. Kumar provided several statis- tics (Box 6-5~. He added that major exporting industries employing child labor include hand-knotte<1 carpets, gemstone polishing, brass and base metal articles, and fireworks. Mr. Kumar added that India's labor laws do not apply to the informal economy in India's rural areaswhere the vast majority of child laborers are found- and that "the issue of child labor does not receive much politi- cal attention." While there are a "hanclful of NGOs" working against child labor, Mr. Kumar said that political parties, trade unions, and the govern- ment have neglected the issue. Of particular importance, he said, is the "total failure of the government in the area of compulsory education of children up to the age of 14." Mr. Kumar discussed key conditions for eliminating child labor in In- dia. First, he recommends a time-bound program, with reasonable target dates for government action to combat child labor. Second, "as long as families face the cruel and stark choice between remaining hungry and putting their children to work, no amount of moral persuasion and threat of enforcement by the state can prevent these families from exercising the child labor option." Because child labor in India "is rooted in social tradi- 2India has ratified Conventions 29 (forced labor), 105 (abolition of forced labor), 100 (equal remuneration), and 111 (discrimination [employment and occupation]). Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention (No. 182), Article 3(d).

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NONGOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS AND ACADEMICS 81 .~:~::~: ~ ~~ ~~ go: :~ ~~ ~ :~ ~ :~;:~ ~ ~~ ~ it: ~~::~ :: i;: :: ~~ ; ~ ~:~ :~ ~:~ ;; ~ ~ ~~ Boxy I:: it: ~ :~ ~ ~ ~~ ~ :: ~~:~ ~ ~~:~ i:: : ~ : :~Child~Laborin India ~ : :: : : Scope and:Nature of GhIid ~Labor~in India Global Child labor:~250:~million :~ Child lakior~in :In~dia: ~40 44::~million: I: ~ : ~ : :: :: : : if: ~ ~~ All: :AgF'culture-rei~ed Activities account for mere ~than~%~sf: ~;~ i: i: ~~ child labor~in India Aft:: ~::~ :~ : : ~:~:~:~:~: i: A: :::: i: ~~:::: ~ ~ ~:::~ ~ ::: :~ i:::: : ~:lnd~ian-~E:nforcement~Efforts:~199~199:31 e ~Ce:ntmI~inspettions,carri;ed:o:ut:~base~d~on:~1~986~Chil~d~Labour ::: ~~ ~~ ~Act: 537 ~ Hi: ~ ~ ~ :~ ~~ ~~ ~ ~ Aft: ~~ i: ~ :: :~ ~ ~ ~ ~:~ Num~ber=~6f violations ~observed: ~1,203 ~~ Hi: ~ ~~. ~~Pr~secutions:~7~:~ : ~ ~~ ~ ~. State-level vialations~:abse~rved: 5,060 ~ ~~ ~ ~:~ i: ~ Ail:: ~ i:: ~~::~ :~: : ~~. Firosecutions: 772: ~~ ~ ~ : :: : :: ~ . :: : :: :~ : :: :::: ::::: ::: : ~ ::: ::: :: : : : ::: :::: : ~ i: :: : :: :: ~ ~ :: : / tion and economic compulsion," Mr. Kumar said, "coercive measures" can- not solve the problem. "Given a reasonable target date, Echild labor] can be eliminated progressively by consciousness-raising and the provision of so- cioeconomic infrastructure for the poor in the villages and rural areas." COLE'l~l'l; MULLERUNIVERSITY OF NATAL, SourH AFRICA Ms. Muller reviewed the challenges of identifying and measuring in- formal employment in South Africa. In her research, she examined nation- ally representative household data, identifying particular problems in col- lecting data on informal employment. The two main problems, she said, are capturing irregular work and distinguishing between informal and for- mal employment. She said, "The problem With capturing irregular work] arises due to the fact that the meanings of work and employment are open to interpreta- tion by the respondents." Challenges of capturing irregular work with household data include Survivalist activities: "Individuals involved in survivalist activities where job security is poor and very little (if any) income is generated may not regard themselves as employed," she said.

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82 INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVES Seasonal employment: Household surveys use a seven-day reference period when asking about employment activities, possibly excluding cer- tain temporary, casual, or seasonal activities. A one-year reference period, she said, may be more appropriate for capturing these activities. Child labor: Official employment data cover only those individuals of working age, defined as people between the ages of 15 and 65, thus excluding child labor from official statistics. A recent survey, she said, sug- gests that 26 percent of South Africa's 13.4 million children are economi- cally active. Secondary employment: While the South African household sur- veys may indicate whether persons hold a second job, details on that job are not collected, making it impossible to determine whether the secondary employment is formal or informal. Illegal activities: It is unlikely that these individuals will be reported as gainfully employed. In addition to these challenges of identifying irregular employment, Ms. Muller said, distinguishing between informal and formal employment poses another set of problems. A 1993 resolution of the ILO's 1 5th Annual Conference of Lab our Statisticians recommended that informal enterprises be identified by one or more of the following criteria: nonregistration of the enterprise, nonregistration of employees, or small size of the enterprise. Ms. Muller pointed out, however, that asking questions about registration may be subject to a high degree of reporting errors. First, she saicl, employ- ees may not know whether the enterprise is registered or not. And second, employers and the self-employed may knowingly give false information about registration status, concealing their failure to register in order to avoid taxation or other institutional regulations. Finally, even if the enterprise is registered, there may be employees working at the business who exhibit other characteristics of informality. For example, she said, approximately one-third of the employees of registered enterprises do not have a written contract or receive pension contributions. Because using a single criterion such as registration presents these chal- lenges, Ms. Muller said that additional questions must be posed in order to

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NONGOVERNMENTAL ORGANrIZATIONS AND ACADEMICS 83 examine labor standards. In addition to questions on earnings and work hours, the South African household surveys have asked respondents about the following items that may be useful for monitoring both formal and informal employment: number of regular workers in the enterprise; location of the business; availability of electricity at the workplace; source of water and toilet facilities for the enterprise; type of working conditions (e.g., is it hot, cold, dusty, noisy, smelly; are there dangerous conditions, such as poisonous substances, etc.?; ant! number of workers injured at the workplace in the past year and the cause of the injuries. Questions about these items may expand the range of information on work- ing conditions, but unfortunately, according to Ms. Muller, they have not been used since the February 2001 survey. Ms. Muller concluded by stating that the household surveys (in par- ticular the Labor Force Surveys) have been improved in their ability to obtain detailed employment information and are "likely to provide the best estimates of the extent of informal activities in our economy." However, there is still room for improvement in capturing information about child labor and illegal employment. V.P. TORUI~UNIVERSI1Y OF MAURITIUS, MAURITIUS Like other countries in the region, Mauritius has ratified most of the ILO's fundamental Conventions. After an overview of the labor rights pro- visions found in the Constitution and national legislation of Mauritius, Professor Torul discussed the "proliferation of unions" in the country. The requirement of a minimum of seven members to register a union, he said, has allowed the formation of many small unions, and Mauritius now has 350 unions for a workforce of 400,000. Professor Torul said that a survey of the role and image of unions, conducted by the University of Mauritius, found that the main reasons respondents gave for wanting to join a union were defense of wage increases and benefits, support during disputes, improvement of working conditions, and provision of welfare facilities, such as provident funds and low-rate

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84 INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVES loans. However, he said, responses also indicated a perception of unions as weak, lacking in seriousness, and corrupt. Professor Torul said that Mauritius faces several challenges if it wishes to develop more harmonious labor relations. First, there must be increased education and training for workers and the building of institutional capac- ity within the unions. Second, more inspectors need to be hired so that inspections can be carried out more frequently, particularly in the Eco- nomic Processing Zones (EPZs) where unions are prohibited. An increas- ing number of migrant workers from China and Sri Lanka are working in the EPZs, and serious attention is required to ensure that they are not being subjected to discrimination in their employment. Professor Torul turned to the "sore issue" of strike provisions in Mauritius. The EPZ Act has been a point of contention because it denies the right to strike. While there is a provision allowing strike activity outside the EPZs, "it is of no use" because the ultimate decision to permit or clisal- low the planned strike rests with the prime minister, who will deny permis- sion if the strike "may imperil the economy of the country." Professor Torul did not recall any strikes in Mauritius since 1972. Unfair dismissals have also been a problem as many employers fail to follow the appropriate pro- cedures for firing workers. He attributed this primarily to "ignorance," with more frequent unfair dismissals occurring in smaller companies that are not as familiar with the details of the legislation. Professor Torul stressed the importance of proper enforcement of labor laws. Also, he said, "Mauritius needs to review the Industrial Relations Act and revise the Remuneration Orders and amend important provisions of the Labour Relations Act and perhaps update and empower the National Research Bureau and the Pay Research Bureau." During the discussion that followed his presentation, Professor Torul responded to several comments concerning the multiplicity of unions and unlawfid dismissals in Mauritius. Mr. Ngcobo of the ITGLWF questioned Professor Torul as to whether the existing legislation allowing unions to form with so few membersor perhaps the failure to effectively imple- ment the law "encourages ineffective unions to exist." Professor Torul responded by noting that the Industrial Relations Act allows for unions to be preregistered if they do not comply with all aspects of the regulations. Professor Kalula joined this discussion by citing a study that he conducted several years ago that seemed to show that, despite the multiplicity of unions, they have been able to develop uniform positions and encourage

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NONGOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONSANrDACADEMICS 85 social dialogue in Mauritius. In contrast, Professor Kalula added, in Lesotho where there are only three or four trade union centers, the discord and problems seem to be worse than elsewhere in the SAD C (Southern African Development Community region. On the issue of unlawfill dismissals, Mr. Ngcobo commented that while employers may abide by the law in offering compensation, they are less likely to reinstate trample union activists. "That kills the organizations because the moment you dismiss the activist, then no one will be active anymore. That is the reason why the labor movement is not growing. The employers are willing to pay the price as long as they get rid of the long- term troublemaker." Professor Torul responded by saying that if proper compensation is given, the firing of"troublemakers" is legitimate and justi- fied because there has been an "irretrievable breakdown of the relationship" between the employer and the worker. EDWARD WEBSTER UNIVERSITY OF THE WI1WATERSRAND, SourH AFRICA Professor Webster discussed his recent research on the impact of glo- balization on work and employment in South Africa. In the city of Durban, for example, "new forms of work are emerging," including waste collection, guarding parked cars at the beach, and operating telephones on the street for a small fee. Professor Webster said that there is "quite a transformation of what we unclerstand by work and employment." Within the SADC re- gion, the large size of the informal economy and the population perhaps 50 percent who live in former "homelands" in South Africa and on com- munal land in Zimbabwe means that labor standards focus on only a "small slice of the cake." This prompted Professor Webster to raise the funclamen- tal question, "Do labor standards really matter in a developing country?" There are three positions on this question, he said. First, there are those who feel that standards make no difference, arguing that ratification of Conventions is merely rhetoric as evinced by the many violations that have been discussed over the course of this forum fin South Africa]. "It is interesting," he said, that "Kenya has signed all the Ecore] ILO Conven- tions, and the United States has not. But the wages in the United States, on average, are 184 times higher than in Kenya." The second position is one of hostility to labor standards. This is a result of the additional labor costs and the idea that "all you are doing Lby

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86 INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVES complying with labor standards! is giving your competitors down the road an advantage." Those opposed to the standards argue that the lack of stan- dardsor low standardsallows developing countries to enter world mar- kets with cheap labor costs, he said, and "bad jobs at bad wages are better than no job." The third position, support for the campaign to universalize core labor standards, is often based on social reasonsthe standards consist of basic human rights but it can also be based on economic reasons. The stan- dards can create economic stability, and that encourages investment in the country. In addition, a standard such as anti-discrimination "removes barri- ers to the full development of the skills and potential of people of color and women," and eradicating child labor facilitates the education of children, improving their ability to become productive adults and contribute to the economic health of the country. Professor Webster discussed the potential impact of socially respon- sible investing, as discussed above by Mr. Tekie and Ms. Ryklief. In addi- tion to the leverage gained through auditing for socially responsible behav- ior, the positive performance ofthese companies with higher than average returns on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange sends a signal that "labor standards are good for business." Another fundamental reason that labor standar~ls are important, he said, is their ability to reduce potential costs, such as those incurred by litigation arising from health and safety claims. Professor Webster noted that much of the literature on globalization focuses on the constraints and negative effects, but he added that globaliza- tion also presents opportunities. For example, technology and connectivity via the Internet and other means allow the conditions of workers and the nature of their problems to be cheaply and instantly communicated around the globe. This has facilitated efforts such as the global anti-sweatshop movement and, locally, the impact of European consumer groups in chang- ing the "feudal-type relations" on ZimbaLwe's cut-flower farms to a more conventional system of contractual employment. Professor Webster concluded by discussing the tension between the isle of universal labor standards and national sovereignty, as countries struggle to develop policies that can both generate employment and protect workers' rights. The uneven global economy and the widening of the "North-South divide" in terms of income exacerbate this tension. Univer- salizing standards, Professor Webster said, must be tailored to the specific context of the countries concerned. For example, he said, "in many com- munities, child work is at the center of economic activities, and imposing a

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NONGOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS AND ACADEMICS 87 set of standards could have unintended consequences." In the development and implementation of these standards, Professor Webster said, workers including those in the growing informal economy must have a voice. Organized labor must make inroads into the informal economy, he said, or it will face a loss of legitimacy.