Chapter 1: The concept of Global Workers’ Rights
This chapter introduces the concept of Global Workers’ Rights and explains the history and functioning of the International Labour Organization (ILO) as the organization setting International Labour Standards (ILS). The prospects and challenges of the ILO approach to Global Workers’ Rights are debated, and you will learn about the mainstream economic arguments against ILS and how to assess them critically.
Chapter 2: Introduction to International Labour Standards (ILS)
Which types of International Labour Standards exist and how are they set? Which actors are involved and how are they interlinked? This chapter provides an overview on International Labour Standards and lays the foundation for understanding the standard setting mechanisms at the ILO. The role of trade unions in this process is illustrated through a concrete example of a recent and ground-breaking Convention for one of the most vulnerable groups of workers.
Chapter 3: Supervision of International Labour Standards (ILS)
This chapter aims at enabling you to understand and use the ILO supervisory mechanisms for the protection of workers’ rights. The elaborate process is illustrated in a concise and hands-on way. At the end of the chapter, the mid-term assignment invites you to apply your newly acquired knowledge to a practical case from your country. The assignment is due at the end of chapter 4, followed by a peer-review. The peer-review method will allow you to deepen your knowledge on other countries and to learn from each other.
Chapter 4: Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining
Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining are ‘enabling rights’ at the heart of decent work. But what is the legal concept of Freedom of Association under Convention 87 and what makes it fundamental to the implementation of International Labour Standards? This chapter will also provide you with an overview on the current debate on the right to strike.
Chapter 5: Access to rights for workers in informal and precarious employment
This chapter focuses on the challenge of realizing rights for workers in informal and precarious employment. We will explore the specific dynamics in the informal economy and innovative approaches for increasing workers’ protection in this challenging field.
Chapter 6: Instruments and initiatives beyond the ILO
What are instruments and initiatives beyond the ILO in the struggle for workers’ rights? What is the role of Corporate Social Responsibility and what can we learn from Global Framework Agreements? How can the OECD Guidelines and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights be used; and what about social clauses in trade agreements? This concluding chapter provides both practical skills and space for discussion on the governance of workers’ rights in a global economy.
Final exam: Multiple-choice-test
Students choosing the certificate track will have one week study time before taking a multiple choice test on the course content.