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Labour Rights in Global Supply-Chains Interdisciplinary Studies Program Summer 2023 July 4-Week - Amsterdam

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Labour Rights in Global Supply-Chains

Labour Rights in Global Supply-Chains Course Overview


CEA CAPA Partner Institution: Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Primary Subject Area: Business
Instruction in: English
Transcript Source: Partner Institution
Course Details: Level 300
Recommended Semester Credits: 3
Contact Hours: 45


The impact of globalisation on trade on labour law and the protection of workers? rights is potentially vast. In order to present themselves as suitable places of establishment or production of goods and services, countries are tempted to compete on the price of labour. Labour law that covers all workers in the supply-chain is non-existent and ?old-school?. Methods of legislating are insufficient to deal with this issue. During the course this problem will be reviewed and developments will be studied.

Through a general introduction in international labour law students will be made familiar with the institutional framework of the International Labour Organisation and the legal nature of international labour law (from both a global and a regional perspective), and various legislative techniques, material aspects and the impact of international labour law on the domestic legal order of the member states.

Recent developments in international labour law concerning the application of private law doctrines such as those on due diligence, liability and tort, on violations of human rights in the supply-chain of multinational corporations will be studied, and students will work on effective cures and remedies including compensation.

The aim of this course is that the students will learn to work with the different legal tools that have been developed over the years, in order to find resolutions for the problems of the application of labour law in a world where trade has been globalized, but social justice not yet.

Through the course several topics are discussed:
- the institutional framework within which international labour law has come into existence;
- the legal nature of international labour law and the functioning of the ILO and its supervisory mechanism;
- the main principles of international labour law and core labour standards concerning collective bargaining rights, prohibition of forced and child labour, and discrimination in respect of employment and working conditions;
- methods to apply international labour law in the supply-chain of multinational corporations, including international private law due diligence obligations;
- case-law (f.i. Wal-mart, Adidas, Coca Cola) concerning the application of international labour law;
- alternative regulation and dispute settlement in CSR codes, corporate suppliers? codes and international collective bargaining;
- international trade agreements and labour clauses;
- the impact of international labour law on the national legal order

Students will be taught through two-hour lectures 4 times a week for 2 weeks, guest lectures and individual supervision sessions on assignment. The assessment will be based on an individual assignment resulting in advisory opinion.

Upon completion of the course, the students will:
- Understand the institutional and legislative framework relating to the ILO and the other international organisations involved in the protection of social rights;
- Have insight in the obligations of ILO member states' and the effectiveness of the ILO supervisory machinery;
- Acquire a thorough knowledge of the regulation of work and the role of labour and social security law at international level (predominantly ILO, but also UN, Council of Europe and other regional organisations);
- Have a thorough understanding and knowledge of the ILO?s tripartite structure, which seeks after an equal voice for workers, employers and governments;
- Be able to identify and apply soft-law regulatory mechanisms in this field, such as the OECD guidelines for multinational companies, the UN Global Compact and varying CSR instruments.
- Have insight into the development of civil law litigation that is increasingly having an impact on the risk management of multinational corporations;
- Be able to analyse labour law and decent work issues in the context of different national legal systems from the perspective of international labour law;
- Be able to build up a case concerning a supply-chain

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