The shift of economic production from higher labour standard regimes in the global North to lower standard regimes in the South is undermining enforcement of global labour standards. Responding to criticisms from the ‘anti-sweatshop’ movement, consumers and governments, many transnational corporations (TNCs) have adopted codes of conduct to regulate labour standards in their supplier factories. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are increasingly used to monitor compliance with these codes. This article analyses the monitoring effectiveness of three kinds of such ‘third party’ NGOs. It concludes that major monitoring deficiencies reflect, first, significant organizational weaknesses of the NGOs and their dependence on TNCs for whom they monitor; second, powerful limits imposed on NGO effectiveness by corporate restructuring and market competitiveness; and third, inadequate pressures from anti-sweatshop movements, consumers and governments. These constraints suggest that this NGO-centred, ‘soft law’ policy approach is ‘too weak for the job’.

Too Weak for the Job- Corporate Codes of Conduct, Non-Governmental Organizations and the Regulation of International Labour Standards, McMaster University, 2007 DOWNLOAD














Migrant Workers in South Asia and the Middle East: Making International Labour Migration Governance Gender-Responsive

"Making International Labour Migration Governance Gender Responsive" outlines the role of labour migration governance and policies in determining the living and working conditions of women migrant workers through employment contracts. It identifies ...Read More

Promoting Responsible Recovery: Detecting, Mitigating, and Remediating Modern Slavery in Supply Chains Session 2

This briefing forms part of a broader five session series of webinars standing to tackle contemporary issues impacting modern slavery in supply chains, calling for candid discussion and pragmatic solutions. Workers themselves know better than any...Read More

Artificial Intelligence – Combating online sexual abuse of children

The rapid growth of digital technology has revolutionized our lives, transforming the way we connect and communicate. Internet access, mobile devices and social media are now ubiquitous, especially among children. Of the 4.5 billion people with acce...Read More

On History

Edited by Joel Quirk and Genevieve LeBaron. This is the fourth volume of the series Beyond Trafficking and Slavery Short Course. Campaigners and governments leading the fight to end ‘modern-day slavery’ selectively appeal to history to h...Read More

TAGS: Global