The World Is Ready for Arbitration: Was Rio? - Dispute Resolution Journal - Vol. 71, No. 4
Originally from Dispute Resolution Journal
The end of the 20th century demonstrated the shift we as a “global community” took towards addressing and supporting global labor standards. The International Labor Organization (ILO) established the four core standards in the 1998 ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. They acted as a symbolic declaration of a topic that was and still remains a divisive and controversial topic. These categories are: freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining, the elimination of forced or compulsory labour, the abolition of child labour and the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation. It is an enormous feat that in a world as interlinked as ours, we were able to indoctrinate such substantial goals.
An iPhone, a shirt, or a cup of coffee. Simple products have touched more countries than most people will visit in their lifetime. It is no secret that globalization and the depth of supply chains have shrunk our world to the point where even mundane activities now rely on the labor and efforts of our global community. The iPhone was assembled in China, the shirt was sewn in Bangladesh, and the coffee was grown in Kenya. The rise of free trade has connected the paths of government, laws, employers, unions, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), international institutions and workers. Coordination amongst our global community is an enormous feat rarely, if ever fully, seen. Conflict over the lack of fair standards in our global market highlights a growing need for an international solution. Capital flight and the pressure to minimize costs and increase profits have pushed us towards the “race to the bottom.” Disregarding labor rights and conditions has all too often been the easiest path to take for those in control of the capital.