The Rapprochement of ILO Standards and CSR Mechanisms: Towards a Positive Understanding of ‘Privatization’

26 Pages Posted: 7 Feb 2014

See all articles by Ruben Zandvliet

Ruben Zandvliet

Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies, Leiden Law School

Paul Van der Heijden

Leiden University - Leiden Law School

Date Written: February 5, 2014

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Zandvliet, Ruben and Van der Heijden, Paul, The Rapprochement of ILO Standards and CSR Mechanisms: Towards a Positive Understanding of ‘Privatization’ (February 5, 2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2391295 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2391295

Ruben Zandvliet (Contact Author)

Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies, Leiden Law School ( email )

Leiden University Law Faculty
P.O. Box 9520
Leiden, 2300 RA
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://law.leiden.edu/organisation/publiclaw/publicinternationallaw/staff/zandlviet-r.html

Paul Van der Heijden

Leiden University - Leiden Law School ( email )

P.O. Box 9520
2300 RA Leiden, NL-2300RA
Netherlands

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