Global Labor Rights as Duties of Justice
Global Justice and International Labor Rights (Eds., Dahan, Lerner, Milman-Sivan) (CUP, 2016)
Posted: 25 Jul 2016
Date Written: April 19, 2016
The paper asks whether global labor rights should be regarded as a duty of justice or, instead, as a moral duty of humanitarian assistance. The main distinction between the two types of duties lies in the presumption that duties of justice, unlike moral duties of humanitarian assistance, require the intervention of a third party and should therefore be enforced by public institutions. The paper examines this question through the prisms of practice-dependence theory. It presents a critical interpretation of the social practice of labor, which is comprised of the legal rules and regulations that govern labor relations as they have developed over the past two centuries. The paper demonstrates the growing inadequacy of existing national and international regulations and enforcement mechanisms to address violations of labor rights in global production chains in the current conditions of economic globalization. The authors ultimately suggest that the duty to establish new legal and institutional tools to regulate working conditions within complex transnational chains of production is a matter of justice. They also propose guidelines for designing necessary new rules and institutions in the global practice of labor.
Keywords: justice, global justice, international labor standards, practice dependence theory, humanitarian duty, John Rawls, social practice, global production chains, globalization, exploitation
JEL Classification: J80, J83
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation