MONITORING INTERNATIONAL LABOR STANDARDS
TECHNIQUES AND SOURCES OF INFORMATION
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001
NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.
This study was supported by Contract/Grant No. J-9-K-1-0021 between the National Academy of Sciences and the U.S. Department of Labor. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
National Academies (U.S.). Committee on Monitoring International Labor Standards.
Monitoring international labor standards : techniques and sources of information / Committee on Monitoring International Labor Standards, Center for Education, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education, and Policy and Global Affairs Division.
Includes bibliographical references.
ISBN 0-309-09134-9 (pbk.)—ISBN 0-309-52974-3 (pdf)
1. Labor laws and legislation, International. 2. Labor policy. I. National Research Council (U.S.). Center for Education. II. National Research Council (U.S.). Policy and Global Affairs. III. Title.
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Copyright 2004 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Suggested citation: National Research Council. (2004). Monitoring International La bor Standards: Techniques and Sources of Information. Committee on Monitoring International Labor Standards. Center for Education, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education and Policy and Global Affairs Division. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES
Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine
The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences.
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COMMITTEE ON MONITORING INTERNATIONAL LABOR STANDARDS
THEODORE H. MORAN (Chair),
School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University
JARL BENGTSSON, Consultant,
Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, Paris, France
Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania
MARIA S. EITEL, Vice President and Senior Advisor for Corporate Responsibility,
Nike Foundation, Beaverton, OR
KIMBERLY ANN ELLIOTT,
Institute for International Economics and Center for Global Development, Washington, DC
Department of International and Comparative Labor, School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Cornell University
Public Policy Department, AFL-CIO, Washington, DC
LISA M. LYNCH,
Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University
Environmental Justice, Globalization, Industrial Ecology Labor, University of California at Berkeley
Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania
U.S. Council for International Business and McGuiness, Norris & Williams, LLP, Washington, DC
S.M. (MO) RAJAN, Industry Consultant, Former Director,
Labor and Human Rights, Levi Strauss & Company, San Francisco, CA
GARE A. SMITH,
Foley Hoag LLP, Attorneys at Law, Washington, DC
Department of Economics, Yale University
AURET VAN HEERDEN,
Fair Labor Association, Washington, DC
Verité, San Francisco, CA
Africa Region Office, The World Bank, Washington, DC
NEVZER G. STACEY, Study Director
PETER HENDERSON, Deputy Study Director
MARGARET HILTON, Senior Program Officer
GEORGE REINHART, Senior Program Officer
CRISPIN RIGBY, Program Officer
JOHN SISLIN, Program Officer
MONICA ULEWICZ, Program Officer
CYRA CHOUDHURY, Research Associate (until February 2003)
STACEY KOZLOUSKI, Research Assistant
JOHN SHEPHARD, Research Assistant (until August 2003)
LINDA DePUGH, Administrative Assistant
ELIZABETH BRIGGS HUTHNANCE, Administrative Assistant
The past half century has witnessed growing attention to the treatment of workers around the world. The U.S. Department of Labor is committed to helping improve working conditions and ensuring compliance with international labor standards. The Bureau of International Labor Affairs (ILAB) of the U.S. Department of Labor has contracted with the National Academies to create a system to monitor international labor standards. The contract states:
The international labor standards that information will be collected on are those included in the 1998 ILO [International Labour Organization] Declaration of Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, with the additional of “acceptable conditions of work.” These are: Freedom of Association and the Right to Collective Bargaining, Forced or Compulsory Labor, Child Labor, and Discrimination.
To carry out this contract, the National Research Council (NRC) of the National Academies convened the Committee on Monitoring International Labor Standards to provide expert advice on how best to assess compliance with international labor standards. The committee has prepared a report and the structure for a web-based database that identify indicators of compliance or noncompliance, providing a framework for carrying out the assessment.
To carry out its task, the committee commissioned papers, held workshops, convened domestic and international forums, and consulted with experts from international, governmental, and nongovernmental organiza-
tions. The report and the database system it proposes examine existing sources of information on country-level compliance with labor standards, discuss their strengths and weaknesses, and integrate them into a system to serve the needs of ILAB’s day-to-day work. Further information about the committee’s activities may be found on the committee’s website at www.nas.edu/internationallabor.
The report is the result of the committee’s discussions at the public workshops and its deliberations in closed meetings. Such work is inevitably collaborative and the committee is deeply indebted to and appreciative of the participation of attendees at the workshops and forums. We would like to thank International Labour Organization (ILO) staff for sharing their knowledge and expertise on these important issues with us.
This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the NRC’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making the published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process.
We thank the following individuals for their participation in the review of this report: Jere Behrman, Population Studies Center, University of Pennsylvania; Leon Gordenker, Center of International Studies, Princeton University; Eivind Hoffmann, International Labour Organization, Geneva, Switzerland; Evance Kalula, Kramer Law School, University of Cape Town, South Africa; Phyllis Kritek, School of Nursing, Virginia Commonwealth University; Richard M. Locke, Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Elliot J. Schrage, Columbia University School of Business and Council on Foreign Relations; Prakash Sethi, Zicklin School of Business, Baruch College; Rudra Sil, Department of Political Science, University of Pennsylvania; Robert M. Stern, Gerald Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan; and J. Edward Taylor, Department of Agricultural Economics, University of California at Davis.
Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Douglas S. Massey, Department of Sociology and Public Policy, Princeton University, and Samuel
H. Preston, School of Arts and Sciences, University of Pennsylvania. Appointed by the National Research Council, they were responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.
We also thank Anne Zollner and Robert Bednarzik of ILAB for providing us with critical information that contributed to our understanding of relevant policies. Finally, we thank the staff for their hard work, and we particularly thank Crispin Rigby, Monica Ulewicz, and Margaret Hilton for their outstanding contribution to the study.
Theodore H. Moran, Chair
Nevzer G. Stacey, Study Director
Committee on Monitoring International Labor Standards