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Sustainable development is an important part of the EU trade policy since it gets on meeting the needs of the present whilst ensuring future generations can meet their own needs. All EU FTAs include a Trade and Sustainable Development (TSD) chapter, which seeks to ensure that partners follow international requirements in the three pillars that compose sustainable development: economic, environmental and social. The adoption of the UN Agenda 2030 in 2015, which sets 17 Sustainable Development Goals ...

Article 21 of the Treaty on the European Union (TEU) affirms that the EU’s external action should be guided by the principle of ‘the universality and indivisibility of human rights’. However, economic, social and cultural rights (ESC rights) have received less attention than their civil and political counterparts within this sphere of EU activity. This study analyses the progress made by the EU in implementing its commitment to respect, protect and fulfil ESC rights in its external action, making ...

For China, striking the right balance between using its abundant, cheap workforce as a competitive advantage and protecting labour rights has been a major challenge. Although China has developed a considerable body of law governing labour relations, there is still a huge gap between the labour rights on the statute books and those enjoyed by workers in practice. Over-riding economic interests to attract foreign investors and to boost economic growth have seriously undermined effective labour rights ...

The European Union’s GSP+ scheme provides trade concessions to beneficiary countries and obliges them to ratify and effectively implement key international conventions on human rights and labour rights. The sectoral gains of GSP+ have thus far been concentrated on exports of apparel, textiles and processed fish. Such sectors are often located in Export Processing Zones (EPZs) where the governance of labour rights may differ from the rest of the country and fall below international legal standards ...

World Day Against Child Labour

Накратко 09-06-2017

The International Labour Organization (ILO) introduced the World Day Against Child Labour in 2002, as part of their efforts to eradicate this unacceptable phenomenon. The day is observed each year on 12 June, and this year the focus will be on the impact of conflicts and disasters. It is also an opportunity to consider what measures have been taken at international and EU level to prevent child labour, and with what success.

EU flagship initiative on the garment sector

Накратко 21-04-2017

After the 2013 Rana Plaza garment factory tragedy in Bangladesh, the European Commission pledged to table an EU-wide flagship initiative to boost responsible management of the garment industry. To date, this initiative has yet to be launched. A motion for a Parliament resolution, due to be voted at the April II part-session, calls on the Commission to put forward a legislative proposal and focuses, among other things, on introducing mandatory due diligence for the supply chains in the industry.

TTIP and Labour Standards

Проучване 14-06-2016

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) will follow EU and US recent trade policy practice to include labour provisions. These could limit the risk that liberalisation results in social dumping and promote upward change. This Policy Department A study concludes that the EU could take a precautionary stance and employ various instruments that increase the chances that TTIP will have positive social consequences. TTIP may combine the strengths of the EU and US approaches to labour ...

Global value chains, and the related trade in intermediate goods and services, dominate today's interconnected economy. Tragic events, such as the collapse of the Rana Plaza garment factory in 2013, have shed new light on the operation of these chains. Pressure is mounting on the various stakeholders involved at both national and international levels to prevent and mitigate the risks of the adverse effects linked to their functioning. Although a number of promising initiatives have been launched ...

The EU's trade policy does not exist in a vacuum. On the one hand, it is affected by international standard and rule-setting. On the other hand, the EU is itself an influential actor shaping the international trade agenda by participating in the work of international organisations and fora. This short note focuses on the International Labour Organisation.

Domestic workers are persons engaged in household services such as childcare, care of the elderly or housekeeping – via a formal or informal employment relationship. They can be nationals of the country or migrants, and can have varied working conditions, involving living within or outside the household. More than 80% of the domestic workers in the world are women. Due to the 'invisible' and sometimes illegal nature of their job, domestic workers are often confronted by problems such as low pay ...