While globalization has created economic growth and improved international relations, it has sometimes been detrimental to those working in developing countries. There has been a significant rise in employment opportunities, but there has also been a cost. Despite labor laws imposed by the International Labor Organization worldwide, working conditions in third-world countries continue to be less than ideal. What are the standards mentioned in the Charter of Labor Laws published by the ILO, and how does it promise to protect the rights of workers in developing nations?
Worker Rights and ILO Labor Laws
According to a study by the International Labor Organization, approximately 9.5 million employees work in slave-like conditions in the world. The ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work seeks to change that, which is why it mandates all state members to comply with all standards provided in the following four categories:
- Freedom of Association: the recognition of the right to collective bargaining, workers are free to join unions and vocalize their concerns
- The elimination of Forced or Compulsory labor: labor is not a commodity that can be auctioned off or purchased
- The abolition of Child Labor: no minors are to be employed in factories or other working sites
- The elimination of Discrimination: in employment or occupation, no employee is to be subjected to any kind of unjust treatment or discrimination based on any demographic features
Governments as Enforcers
The Labor Rights Declaration is fully realized with the cooperation and interest of governments. Therefore, most developed countries are far better at abiding by labor law standards. In addition to the state’s involvement, capital is a critical factor needed for labor rights implementation which is the fundamental reason why third-world countries often overlook the importance of worker rights.
Most underdeveloped countries need an inflow of investment in order to boost their economies. This goal can be realized with the help of foreign exchange, which comes when international conglomerates want to reduce their labor costs. So, naturally, when financially struggling states are offered handsome remuneration in exchange for cheap human resources, they often sign the deal. But to maintain higher profit margins, little of the revenue generated is spent on the well-being of workers. As a result, the working conditions in factories continue to be dangerously unpleasant.
Increased Exports in Developing Countries
As surprising as it may be, unsafe factory environments and low labor costs often lead to increased exports, resulting in the expansion of growing economies. Exports in Bangladesh and Vietnam increased when labor costs were reduced, leading to trade deals with first-world countries.
The Way Forward
The only way to better the working standards for the labor force in third-world states is to strictly enforce the Declaration of Workers’ Rights, and that’s only possible if governments begin to take an interest in the issue. To learn more about labor law and compliance in 150+ countries, visit Global People Strategist