The Rapprochement of ILO Standards and CSR Mechanisms: Towards a Positive Understanding of ‘Privatization’
26 Pages Posted: 7 Feb 2014
Date Written: February 5, 2014
In the paper we look at the relationship between international labour law and corporate social responsibility. This relationship is often perceived as binary. One can either support legal obligations, which can be copy-pasted from existing international agreements and subjected to judicial enforcement, or moral responsibilities, which can be shaped, interpreted and enforced (or violated) at the discretion of the company. We demonstrate that without imposing duties upon corporations, and relying on private initiatives to shape CSR, the normative framework of the International Labour Organization does not lose its relevance. This can be understood as the 'privatization' of international labour law. Although this term is (thus far) mostly used in a pejorative sense, it adequately captures the way in which ILO standards can be applied in the context of CSR, so that CSR does not yield to a form of normativity that is guided by public relations and economic efficacy.
Keywords: International law, international labour law, International Labour Organization, Corporate Social Responsibility, fragmentation
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