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Labour Rights

Efforts to protect the rights and interests of workers are increasingly important in today's globalized economy. International labour law has developed as a system of rules and norms binding governments, employers, civil society and employees and setting out minimum standards for protections at work. Today, these labour rights encompass a wide range of fundamental human rights, from the right to decent work to freedom of association, and from equal opportunity to protection against discrimination, exploitation and abuse in the workplace. These rights are enshrined in instruments of international human rights law, as well as contained in international labour standards including conventions and recommendations of the International Labour Organization.

Current issues in the labour rights space are a key focus of BIICL's research, training and events. Our work cuts across issues from migration (focusing on the rights of migrant workers) to modern slavery, human rights and exploitation and the future of work, with a focus on the rights of platform and gig workers. We work in cooperation with grassroots organizations, advocacy groups, international stakeholders and many others. Our work on labour rights is closely connected to our work on migration and on business and human rights.

We are currently undertaking work on assessing and promoting new and innovative modes of organising for marginalized informal and precarious workers in south and southeast Asia, on state and corporate responsibility for labour exploitation and on the recognition of qualifications and skills of third-country nationals in European cities and regions, amongst others.

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