Program Contact Information

Alice Neffe
Coordinator
Faculty of Law
P.O. Box 4
FI-00014 University of Helsinki
Visiting address: Yliopistonkatu 3, P456
+358 (0)2941 22858; +358 (0)503199620
alice.neffe@helsinki.fi

ILO Fundamental Labour Rights in China: Legal Implementation and Cultural Logic

The research project “ILO Core Labour Standards Implementation in China: Legal Architecture and Cultural Logic” (2012-2015) financed by the Academy of Finland and hosted by the Faculty of Law at the University of Helsinki warmly welcomes you to participate in its second research seminar:

ILO Fundamental Labour Rights in China: Legal Implementation and Cultural Logic
January 16th-17th 2014
Unioninkatu 33, Helsinki, Finland

 

The event is free of charge, we kindly ask you however to register by Friday, 10 January 2014 by completing the electronic form available from the following link: https://elomake.helsinki.fi/lomakkeet/46754/lomake.html.

 

The ILO Declaration of Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work of 1998 provides for the prohibition of child labour, discrimination and forced labour as well as for the protection of the freedom of association and collective bargaining as fundamental principles and rights at work. This research seminar addresses the question of implementing and enforcing national labour laws, enshrining these fundamental principles and rights at work in China.

During the past 30 years China has established a comprehensive legal framework for its socialist market economy. In the field of labour law, legal reforms carried out in 2007 – the Labour Contract Law, the Employment Promotion Law and the Labour Dispute Mediation and Arbitration Law – were seen by many observers as important steps in translating the broad outlines of labour protection established in the 1994 Labour Law into substantive and more enforceable provisions. At the international level, China has also undertaken many international legal obligations, including ratification of four out of the eight core conventions of the ILO enshrining fundamental principles and rights at work. While China’s achievements in lawmaking have been notable, it has become increasingly clear that remarkable challenges remain in implementation and enforcement of core labour standards.

Those seeking to improve compliance with core labour standards need to pay attention not only to institutional frameworks and capacities but also to the changing characteristics of the workforce, as a key aspect of a larger project of identifying the main challenges in implementing and enforcing fundamental principles and rights at work in China. Indeed, it is also vital to consider the underlying causes for these challenges and how they can be addressed.

There are multiple actors seeking to improve the implementation and enforcement of core labour standards in China. What are, or could be, the roles of different institutions and actors, including the ILO and other international organisations and employee representatives as well as NGOs, in improving the effectiveness of implementation of fundamental principles and rights in the Chinese workplace ?

In order to assess the efficiency of the Chinese labour standards implementation, the major components of the implementation system need to be identified. An analysis of the Chinese model demands an assessment of the basic questions of labour law implementation from a comparative perspective as well.  Do implementation mechanisms in the PRC have a distinctly Chinese character? Is there a specific Chinese cultural logic at work in the implementation and enforcement of fundamental principles and rights at work? What kinds of lessons can be drawn from other countries’ experience? What are the strengths and weaknesses of existing mechanisms and procedures, in China or elsewhere? Are good practices and success stories emerging at local or company level in China, suggesting lessons for the overall effectiveness of implementation at the national level?

In this research seminar the topic “ILO Core Labour Standards in China: Legal Implementation and Cultural Logic” will be considered from multiple methdological and comparative perspectives. More specifically, the seminar will consider the following questions:

  • How are ILO core labour standards implemented in China? What is the core content of these principles and rights in Chinese society? Presentations on this topic may among others address the effect of international labour law in China and transposition of international legal obligations into national law. Discussions may also focus on the ILO supervisory system and its practice in examining implementation of ratified core conventions, as well as the criteria and indicators used for assessing progress in national implementation of the core conventions. Progress made in implementing the core conventions in China may also be examined. Comparative approaches to basic questions of labour law implementation and enforcement in the global era can also be evaluated. How does the meaning of “rights” differ in the Chinese context?  Despite the ongoing commodification of labour and the general contractualisation of social and economic relationships, does the meaning of “work” nevertheless remain distinctive in China? What is the wider role of international labour law in changing Chinese law and society? 
  • Presentations may also focus on implementation of national labour law through secondary rule-making at different levels in China, or institutions and actors participating in the promotion of labour law protection through fundamental principles and rights at work. Governance of labour relations and building industrial relations structures may also be discussed. Discussions on this topic might address legal remedies available for settling individual or collective labour disputes involving fundamental principles and rights at work in China. Presentations might also examine the roles of mediation, labour arbitration and individual judicial enforcement in settling labour disputes and making labour law more effective in China. The organization of administrative supervision of labour law compliance can also be explored. Sufficiency of existing normative and administrative structures, mandates and resources for administrative monitoring of fundamental principles and rights at work are other possible topics. Presentations may also address the participation and roles of social partners and civil society organizations in promoting more effective labour law implementation.


We also welcome you to share and circulate among your teams and colleges the information about our seminar.

The event is free of charge, we kindly ask you however to register by Friday, 10 January 2014 by completing the electronic form available from the following link: https://elomake.helsinki.fi/lomakkeet/46754/lomake.html.


For further inquire, please feel free to contact:

Alice Neffe
Coordinator

Faculty of Law
Yliopistonkatu 3 (P.O. Box 4)
00014 University of Helsinki
phone +358 (0)9191 22820; +358 (0)503199620
alice.neffe@helsinki.fi