Given our contention that human rights are a priority objective that lies at the heart of globalization in an accelerating world economy, the Human Rights at Work Foundation supports activities that promote fundamental human rights in the workplace.
While globalization increases the flow of economic exchanges and industrial investments in the world, it also considerably raises the social inequalities in the world, as well in the Developed countries as in the Emerging economies. All the workers around the world are affected by these un-regulated dynamics.
The globalization of the economy can reinforce peace and prosperity but it also accentuates the dependence on cross-border transactions and social policies. Two risks result from this:
• Elementary Human rights of workers are bypassed in all countries through supplying and sub-contracting practices, in dictatorial and/or corrupted countries,
• Trans-national firms’ impunity because of the explosion of the juridical basis of companies through the development of subsidiaries and growing use of sub-contracting.
The social conditions of workers in developing countries are the reflection of the precariousness of employment, difficult working conditions and the weakness of social protections and, often, their lack of enforcement.
The economic power of companies operating in the globalized economy has not been offset by systems of collective regulation at the global level. T
he attempts at strengthening these systems by the WTO (World Trade Organization, independent of the United Nations), the stagnation of the normative dynamic of the ILO (International Labor Organization), the quasi-nonexistence of workplace inspections in many countries, the persistent fragmentation of the labor movement that is always stuck on national priorities… are not up to the task of countering the negative impacts of the individual choices of private actors (organizations). Outsourcing, production decisions virtually only on the basis of financial return (without any regard for the social impacts), sourcing policies that insist on flexibility above all else… these are all pitfalls that weigh heavily on workers in the North as well as the South.