Legal Regulation of Unacceptable Forms of Work: Global Dialogue/Local Innovation

Lead Research Organisation: Durham University
Department Name: Law

Abstract

The Network on Legal Regulation of Unacceptable Forms of Work responds to the substantive and methodological limitations of the research on the regulation of precarious and low-quality jobs. The Network will support a rigorous, global, interdisciplinary and policy-oriented reflection on UFW. The aim is ultimately to generate crucial comparative insights into the challenges and potential of UFW regulation. The project will (1) establish an international and interdisciplinary Network of researchers and policy makers committed to an authentically global account of the regulation of UFW that fully incorporates the needs of developing countries, and (2) develop interlinked research agendas on key sites of regulatory intervention. The Strategic Network will nurture collaboration between researchers from multiple disciplines, developing countries and advanced industrialised countries, and policy-makers at all levels. The aim is to generate meaningful insights into the design and implementation of domestic and international laws. The Network will centre on Global Regulatory Challenges (GRCs) in UFW regulation, identified as among the most urgent and complex issues that face lower-income countries. Each Network Team will address labour market/regulatory phenomena in two paired countries across different income levels. The Teams will (1) map the existing 'state of the art' on the GRCs and (2) devise research strategies that can identify the most effective regulatory and policy strategies to address each, with a particular focus on developing countries.

Planned Impact

The UFW Network is an impact-oriented project. At the core of its objectives and activities is support for policy-actors to design regulatory interventions on unacceptable work, with a particular focus on developing countries.

Who will benefit and how?: An Impact strategy on UFW

The nine Network Teams (see Case for Support, Section 3) have been designed as an extended dialogue between researchers and global and local policy actors. Each Team will be composed of 5-7 members from paired countries, 2-3 of whom will be influential policy actors. These policy actors will be drawn from domestic and multilateral bodies and selected on the basis that they represent pivotal constituencies and/or exercise a substantial influence on regulatory policy, design, or implementation.

Network Teams will work towards co-production of research agendas. Each team will also design an Impact Pathway Strategy that will identify key policy actors and criteria for shaping Network activities in the target countries. Centrally, 'points of leverage' will be found, at which legal reforms are likely to be most feasible. These will be identified at the local level, allowing the Network Teams to respond effectively and swiftly to developments within local policy and regulatory frameworks (draft legislation, labour rights litigation, civil society campaigns etc.)

Through the impact and dissemination strategies, the Network will benefit the range of policy actors - national and transnational - that are engaged in the design, and implementation of labour regulation and pursuit of labour rights. As part of the Network-building activities of the Network (Activity 1, see Case for Support, Section 4), local partners will be identified by the Lead Researchers. Targeted beneficiaries already identified included:

International Labour Organization, Geneva
Greater Mekong Subregion TRIANGLE project (Tripartite Action to Protect Migrant Workers within and from the Greater Mekong Subregion from Labour Exploitation)
Forced Labour Monitoring Group (UK)
National Commission to Eradicate Forced Labour (Brazil)
United Nations Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF), Florence, Italy
ILO/International Finance Corporation, World Bank Better Work Project
Living Wage Foundation (UK)

In conjunction with the Impact Pathway Strategies, policy partners will be integrated through the following channels:

Policy actors and policy-influential scholars will be appointed to the Network's Global Advisory Board (Case for Support, Section 3). Tentatively, Board members will include representatives of the International Labour Organization, United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD), European Commission Directorate-General Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound), and Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), together with key UK partners.

One of the Co-Investigators - Lee - has a devoted impact role. As a key contact within the UN International Labour Organization, Lee will have a devoted role in securing global contacts (the World Bank, other UN Specialist agencies etc.) and at the national level through the ILO's network of 'constituents' (governments and employers' and workers' organizations) and broader contacts among NGOs and civil society).

A project-specific dissemination strategy will incorporate widespread circulation of the series of Project Reports on Innovative UFW Regulation, Executive Summaries, translated into French and Spanish, a series of UFW Policy Briefs (Case for Support, Section 4). These materials will be disseminated via a devoted Network website, a UFW app, a devoted Twitter feed, and in PDF and hard copies as needed and press releases will be targeted at leading media outlets.

Publications

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McCann D (2019) A Strategic Approach to Regulating Unacceptable Forms of Work in Journal of Law and Society

 
Title Rethabile's Story 
Description A documentary on day-to-day life in the Lesotho garment industry. The documentary is narrated by Rethabile Ratsui - an ex-garment sector worker - and explores the life of her friends who work in the garment factories of Maseru. 
Type Of Art Film/Video/Animation 
Year Produced 2019 
Impact The documentary will be launched at the UN International Labour Organization, Geneva, in July 2019. 
URL https://www.dur.ac.uk/law/policyengagement/ufw/africa/rethabilesstory/
 
Title Videos/animation 
Description A series of short videos and animation have been produced in collaboration with Dreamscope Productions to convey the Network-building process, overall objectives of the Network, and individual Research Agendas to a broad audience of users. 
Type Of Art Film/Video/Animation 
Year Produced 2017 
Impact Impacts are at an early stage and expected to evolve with dissemination activities. 
URL https://www.dur.ac.uk/law/policyengagement/ufw/media/
 
Title Voices from Southern Africa 
Description A series of short films that document the views of key stakeholders on Decent Work Regulation in Africa. Participants were drawn from across the region and include Mamohale Matsoso, Labour Commissioner of Lesotho; Limpho Mandoro, ILO Pretoria; and Tendai Makanza, IndustriALL Global Union. The videos outline crucial challenges in ensuring labour rights in the garment sector across sub-Saharan Africa and offer their personal perspectives on future action. The videos are available at https://www.dur.ac.uk/law/policyengagement/ufw/africa/voices/. 
Type Of Art Film/Video/Animation 
Year Produced 2018 
Impact As part of the broader Decent Work Regulation in Africa project, the videos are shaping legal policy across the sub-Saharan region, including in Lesotho, South Africa, Ethiopia, Uganda and Zimbabwe. 
URL https://www.dur.ac.uk/law/policyengagement/ufw/africa/voices/
 
Description 1. WHAT WERE THE MOST SIGNIFICANT ACHIEVEMENTS FROM THE AWARD?

Designing effective regulatory frameworks that can upgrade Unacceptable Forms of Work (UFW) is an urgent global challenge. UFW have been defined by the UN International Labour Organization (ILO) as jobs that "deny fundamental principles and rights at work, put at risk the lives, health, freedom, human dignity and security of workers or keep households in conditions of extreme poverty." The elimination of UFW is therefore central to achieving UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) No. 8: to promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all.

The ESRC/GCRF Strategic Network on Legal Regulation of Unacceptable Forms of Work is animated by a conviction that policy-makers and researchers from across the world must come together to share ideas, experiments, and successful strategies to address UFW. To this end, the Strategic Network was formed to support a global dialogue on UFW. Core achievements are that the Network has brought together more than 50 research and policy bodies from 20 countries in all regions and has supported a global interdisciplinary and policy-oriented reflection on UFW. The Network has also begun to respond to the substantive and methodological limitations of the research on the regulation of UFW, through a set of Research Agendas that outline inter-regional comparative Case Studies on effective labour regulation. The longer-term objective - integrated into the work of the Network - is to support meaningful reform in the design and implementation of domestic and international laws.

2. TO WHAT EXTENT WERE THE AWARD OBJECTIVES MET?

The key objectives of the award were:

1. To establish an international and interdisciplinary Network of researchers and policy-makers committed to an authentically global account of the regulation of UFW that fully incorporates the needs of developing countries; and

2. To develop interlinked research agendas on key sites of regulatory intervention.

2.1. Network building

The Network has initiated and supported collaboration between researchers from multiple disciplines including law, economics, development studies, human resources, geography, sociology and industrial relations, and from institutions that include Ambedkar University Delhi (AUD), Cambridge University, Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV), Sao Paulo, Institute for Economic and Social Development, Buenos Aires, Institute of Labour Science and Social Affairs (ILSSA), Hanoi, MIT, University of Manchester, University of Cape Town, University of the Western Cape, University of the Witswatersrand and York University (Toronto). The Network reaches into both Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs) and advanced industrialised countries including Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Cambodia, India, Jordan, Korea, Lesotho, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa, UK and Viet Nam.

Domestic and transnational policy partners are at the heart of the UFW Network. The Network has more than 50 policy partners. Global partners are the ILO, Geneva, the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) and Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WEIGO). National partners encompass government Ministries, multi-national corporations, NGOs, trade unions and workers' rights advocacy organisations. These include the Apparel Manufacturers of South Africa, Asia Inspection/SEDEX, the Brazilian Labour Inspectorate, Better Factories Cambodia/Better Work (ILO/World Bank), the Cambodian Ministry of Labour, the Casual Workers Advice Office, South Africa, the Ethical Trading Initiative, the ILO Country Offices for Argentina, Brazil and Viet Nam, the ILO Pretoria Office, Labour Education and Research Network (LEARN), Lesotho Clothing and Allied Workers Union, the Institute of Labour Science and Social Affairs (ILSSA), Viet Nam, and the South African Department of Labour.

To build the Network and plan Research Agendas (see below), Global Dialogues were held in Durham Law School and at the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), Bangkok during summer 2017. The Dialogues brought together researchers and policy-actors from all regions (Durham - UK, North America, Latin America, Africa; Bangkok - Asia, Australia). A Workshop on Global Challenges to Effective Labour Rights was also held in Durham in December 2017, to reflect upon the achievements of the Network and to map future activities and impact.

2.2. Research Agendas on Innovative UFW Regulation

The Network has generated a set of Research Agendas on Innovative UFW Regulation. These Agendas outline interlinked research and impact strategies to investigate and respond to Global Regulatory Challenges: the most urgent and complex issues that face lower-income countries in eliminating or upgrading unacceptable work. Each of the Research Agendas has been designed by Network Teams from two or more countries that include 2-3 policy actors (global/local), researchers from a range of disciplines, and members who are based in both LMICs and advanced industrialised countries. The Teams also support capacity-building through the involvement of Early Career Researchers.

The Research Agendas (1) map the existing 'state of the art' on the Global Regulatory Challenges and (2) outline research strategies that can identify the most effective regulatory and policy strategies to address each Challenge. They investigate regulatory frameworks at a range of levels (global, national, sectoral, firm-level) and examine diverse regulatory mechanisms (legislation, collective bargaining, Corporate Social Responsibility regimes etc.) The Research Agendas also centre on sectors and occupations that are at the heart of the global economy, including the garment sector, construction, domestic work, and agriculture.

The Research Agendas are devoted to the following Global Regulatory Challenges:

• Casual Work
• Recruitment in Global Value Chains
• Extending Forced Labour Initiatives
• Innovative Collective Representation
• Enforcing Labour Laws
• Labour Rights in 'The Precarious Economy'
• Law's Dynamic Effects
• Violence and Harassment in the Care Economy
• Informal Work and Labour Regulation

To investigate each Global Regulatory Challenge, a cross-regional comparative approach has been adopted. Each Research Agenda proposes an illustrative comparison of labour market/regulatory phenomena in two or more countries drawn from different regions and income-levels. The aim is to generate a dialogue that transcends national boundaries and to circulate regulatory ideas and innovations across the world. Innovative interdisciplinary research methodologies have been designed that are specifically tailored to each Challenge (see further Research Tools and Methods). These methodologies are diverse, build on the strengths of the Network Teams, cross disciplinary boundaries, and embrace a range of qualitative and quantitative techniques. Each Research Agenda proposes a set of impact strategies that are tailored towards regulatory reform (see Narrative Impact). A Synthesis Report has also been produced that reviews the Network process, findings and Research Agendas.
Exploitation Route The findings are being taken forward through a series of linked grant applications, publications and other activities that have been designed to build strategically on the award:

1. RCUK/GCRF applications. An application to the ESRC New Models of Sustainable Development call (Decent Work for All) (£799,600) is under consideration. This proposal is to fund a set of four studies on Decent Work Regulation that build on the Strategic Network Research Agendas: (1) three Case Studies on countries in the global South, which investigate contrasting regulatory mechanisms for improving informal work (Argentina, Cambodia, South Africa) and (2) a cross-cutting global study that advances the measurement of informality and investigates the impact of labour regulation on informal work. The focus is on attempts to introduce legal regulation into arenas previously unregulated by formal norms and to generate lessons on innovative legal techniques.

2. Durham University HEFCE GCRF funding. Durham University has recognised the significance of the UFW project by awarding the Principal Investigator funds to further develop the Strategic Network (£90,000; March-July 2018). These HEFCE funds were allocated to GCRF projects through a University-wide competitive application process. The funding is directed towards:

(1) Extending and strengthening the Network's links in sub-Saharan Africa, including with the project's Regional Hub, the University of Cape Town. To this end, a Regional Meeting will take place in South Africa in June 2018. Participants will be drawn primarily from researchers and policy-makers in the region, with a focus on countries that are designated as Least-Developed on the OECD DAC-list.

(2) Conducting a pilot study on Enforcing Labour Laws through field work in South Africa and Lesotho. The focus is 'hybrid' enforcement models that integrate non-state actors - NGOs, 'buyer' firms, international organizations etc. - into state-led enforcement strategies. A particular focus is the ILO/World Bank Better Work programme.

3. ESRC Impact Acceleration Account (IAA) funding (February-May 2018). The Principal Investigator has been awarded Durham ESRC IAA funding to magnify the impact of the Strategic Network (£9,070). The impact activities include liaising with Network members to influence local policy and legal processes, extending the Network into new countries, designing targeted Research/Policy Briefs to circulate to policy makers, and proactively monitoring activities of international and domestic labour institutions to identify possibilities for intervention.

4. Other activities. The Network is currently exploring opportunities to produce academic outputs. Outputs are likely to be in the form of either a Special Issue of a top-tier Law journal or an edited volume from a leading academic publisher. Individual Network Teams are also exploring further funding opportunities to advance the Research Agendas, from the UK and overseas.
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Construction,Government, Democracy and Justice,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Retail,Transport

URL http://unacceptablework.com
 
Description The concept of UFW operationalised through the work of the Network has already had an immediate impact during the life of the award. This impact has been achieved through collaboration with the Network's key global partner, the International Labour Organization. Dr Sangheon Lee, Director of the Employment Policy Department is a Co-Investigator on the Award. Network partners also include Manuela Tomei (Director of the Conditions of Work and Equality Department) and Professor Damian Grimshaw (Director, Research Department). Through these channels, the UFW concept is influencing the policy activities of the Organization. In particular, it has informed the ILO's platform for achieving the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development - see http://www.ilo.org/global/topics/dw4sd/lang--en/index.htm. Towards future impact, each of the Network Research Agendas includes a Pathway to Impact Strategy that was designed in collaboration with local policy actors and is tailored to the legal, institutional, socio-economic and developmental settings of the Research Agenda countries. These Strategies incorporate legislative reform, enforcement strategies, social dialogue, collective bargaining, Corporate Social Responsibility, and worker organizing and awareness-raising. They have been designed to reach a large number of beneficiaries (e.g. 40,000 day labourers in South Africa - Research Agenda on Casual Work). During 2018, the Network engaged in substantial follow-up activities designed to extend the research and impact of Grant ES/POO7465/1. This work centred on Southern Africa and had a particular focus on the garment sector. The activities operationalised the Network's Research Agenda on Enforcing Labour Laws and involved a team of researchers and policy-makers assembled through the Network. Competitive funding was secured from the University of Durham from HEFCE GCRF funds to support a Regional Meeting on Decent Work Regulation in Africa (Cape Town, 18th June 2018) and research in Lesotho and South Africa on Enforcing Labour Laws in Southern Africa. This project has achieved substantial impacts on labour policy and practice in Southern Africa. New ideas and policy themes drawn from the work of the Network have influenced the policy debates on effective labour rights and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. The project has also allowed African policy-makers to conduct a regional-level dialogue, including countries with limited opportunities to exchange their ideas and experience (Ethiopia, Kenya, Swaziland). The work has had a particular impact in Lesotho, where it is introducing new policy themes of gender discrimination and harassment, work-family, and informality and produced a Decent Work Training Programme Framework agreed by project stakeholders. On Decent Work Regulation in Africa, see further https://www.dur.ac.uk/law/policyengagement/ufw/africa/. The Network's ESRC IAA funding (see Key Findings) was also directed towards enhancing and extending the impact of the Network, through further Network building, awareness-raising and policy engagement activities.
First Year Of Impact 2017
Sector Government, Democracy and Justice,Other
Impact Types Societal,Policy & public services

 
Description Decent Work Regulation in Africa (2018-): Influence on Policy and Practice
Geographic Reach Africa 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a national consultation
Impact Decent Work Regulation in Africa (2018-): Influence on Policy and Practice During 2018, we carried out extensive follow-up activities in Southern Africa to build on and extend the activities of the ESRC GCRF Strategic Network grant in Southern Africa. The region had been identified by the Strategic Network as a crucial site for impact activities towards the elimination of UFW. Our work in South Africa over this period has built upon the Strategic Network's Agenda on Enforcing Labour Laws and has involved a team of researchers and policy-makers assembled through the Strategic Network. Competitive funding was secured from the University of Durham through HEFCE GCRF funds to support a research/impact project on Decent Work Regulation in Africa with a particular focus on the garment sector. This work has achieved substantial impacts on labour policy and practice in Southern Africa and internationally. These activities are influencing the policy debates on labour regulation and decent work in the Region by introducing new policy themes, elevating the policy dialogues on effective regulation in the garment sector to the regional level, and amplifying the voice and experience of actors from Southern Africa in the international debates. 1. Influence on the Activities of our Policy Partners Our policy partners testify to a significant influence of the project's research agendas, dialogues, and recommendations on labour policy and practice in the region and at the international level. Ideas generated by the project have been integrated into policy thinking and practice among a range of policy actors who are central to delivering decent work in Africa. The Decent Work Regulation project has generated important new ideas and policy themes that our partners use in their work. Our partners both benefit from the research and engagement activities of the project and are co-producers of knowledge. Our work has advanced policy-makers understanding of the effective enforcement of labour rights in lower-income countries, the role of labour inspectorates, how better to co-ordinate public and private standards, and options for reform of regulatory systems. The project is also supporting an increased emphasis on the treatment of female workers, work-family reconciliation, and informality. The Findings and Recommendations agreed by our partners at the Regional Meeting on Decent Work Regulation in Africa (Cape Town, 18 June 2018) have been particularly helpful (available at https://www.dur.ac.uk/resources/law/UFW/RDW-AfricaRM18June2018FindingsandConclusions.pdf). As an illustration, the global garment sector union IndustriALL has drawn on the project research agendas and findings in subsequent activities at the regional level. In December 2018, IndustriALL hosted an Regional conference to commemorate Africa Industrialisation Day that involved delegates from civil society, the ILO, and local universities. A session was devoted to current challenges in the garment and textile sector and involved affiliate unions from Lesotho, Swaziland, Ethiopia and Madagascar. Key findings were shared from the Decent Work Africa project. 2. Supporting Regional-level Dialogue The project has has allowed African policy-makers to conduct a policy dialogue on effective regulation in the garment sector at the regional level. The Regional Meeting in Cape Town in June 2018 supported discussions among stakeholders about their experiences and ideas from reform, generating an agreed policy document of Findings and Recommendations on Decent Work Regulation in Africa (see above). The Meeting included participants - including from Kenya, Ethiopia, and Swaziland - who previously had few opportunities to take part in the regional-level dialogue. The Secretary General of the Amalgamated Trade Union of Swaziland, for example, has testified that the Meeting 'allowed me a rare opportunity to discuss our challenges in Swaziland with stakeholders from other countries and to benefit from their experience.' He also had the opportunity to meet buyers who source garments from Swaziland, allowing him to open communication lines that are helpful in the Union's ongoing dialogue with employers in the country. 3. African Voices in the International Debates The Decent Work Regulation project has allowed the voice and experience of Southern African stakeholders to contribute to the international debates on decent work and labour rights. The experience of African countries has previously often been overlooked in the international dialogue on decent work in the garment sector and the regulation of global supply chains. In December 2017, for example, the Labour Commissioner of Lesotho, Mamahole Matsoso, attended the Strategic Network Workshop on Global Challenges to Effective Labour Rights at the University of Durham. She discussed the project research agenda on Enforcing Labour Laws and shared her experience of enforcing labour rights in Lesotho with global researchers and policy-makers, including from the ILO, Brazil and the US. The Labour Commissioner built on this experience in sharing her observations with participants at our Regional Meeting in Cape Town in June 2018. 3. New Policy Themes and Capacity Building in Lesotho The Decent Work Regulation-Africa project has had a particular impact in Lesotho. In this country, the garment sector is a growing sector of the economy and crucial to the country's development strategy. Yet it is also the home of very poor working conditions. The project is introducing into the Lesotho policy debates new themes of gender discrimination and harassment, work-family, and informality. These themes have been picked up by stakeholders, including, with particular strength, the Lesotho trade unions. During 2018, the main Lesotho trade unions convened in two workshops to consider effective regulation in Lesotho. Deciding that capacity-building is a crucial conduit to ensuring an effective role for unions in strengthening labour laws and achieving SDG8 the unions decided that training is crucial. They developed a DWR-Africa framework for a Decent Work Training Programme with the help of our research partners at the University of Cape Town and National University of Lesotho. Letters of Support are available that provide testimonials of all of these impacts.
URL https://www.dur.ac.uk/law/policyengagement/ufw/africa/
 
Description ILO Agenda on Unacceptable Forms of Work/Sustainable Development Goals
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Citation in other policy documents
Impact The foundational research for the Strategic Network and subsequent Global Dialogues have influenced the development of the ILO's policy agenda on Unacceptable Forms of Work (UFW). This influence has been exercised directly through research publications and indirectly through in-person discussion with key ILO officials. The approach of the Network towards the innovative regulation of UFW is exercising a continuing influence no the ILO's policy agenda on UFW, including as it shapes the efforts of the Organization to contribute to the 2030 Agenda and to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
 
Description Durham University ESRC Impact Acceleration Account
Amount £9,070 (GBP)
Organisation Durham University 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 02/2018 
End 05/2018
 
Description Durham University GCRF Centre for Doctoral Training studentship: Law's Dynamic Effects in South Africa
Amount £96,531 (GBP)
Organisation Durham University 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 02/2019 
End 02/2022
 
Description Durham University HEFCE GCRF funding
Amount £90,000 (GBP)
Organisation Durham University 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2018 
End 07/2018
 
Description ACTIF 
Organisation African Cotton and Textile Industries Federation
PI Contribution ACTIF is a member of the Strategic Network and a participant at the Regional Meeting on Decent Work Regulation-Africa (Cape Town, June 2018).
Collaborator Contribution See above
Impact Findings and Recommendations on DWR-Africa (2018)
Start Year 2018
 
Description Amalgamated Trade Union of Swaziland 
Organisation Amalgamated Trade Union of Swaziland
PI Contribution The Amalgamated Trade Union of Swaziland is a member of the Strategic Network and a participant at the Regional Meeting on Decent Work Regulation-Africa (Cape Town, June 2018).
Collaborator Contribution See above.
Impact Findings and Recommendations on Decent Work Regulation in Africa (2018)
Start Year 2018
 
Description ETIDI 
Organisation Ethiopian Textile Industry Development Institute
PI Contribution ETIDI is a member of the Strategic Network and a participant at the Regional Meeting on Decent Work Regulation-Africa (Cape Town, June 2018).
Collaborator Contribution see above
Impact Findings and Recommendations on DWR-Africa (2018)
Start Year 2018
 
Description Gatsby Africa 
Organisation Gatsby Charitable Foundation
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Gatsby Africa is a member of the Strategic Network and a participant at the Regional Meeting on Decent Work Regulation-Africa (Cape Town, June 2018).
Collaborator Contribution see above
Impact Findings and Recommendations on Decent Work Regulation in Africa (2018)
Start Year 2017
 
Description National University of Lesotho 
Organisation National University of Lesotho
Country Lesotho 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Collaboration on research and policy activities related to effective labour regulation in Lesotho with a particular focus on the garment sector.
Collaborator Contribution Collaboration between Durham University, NUL, University of Cape Town, and York University Canada.
Impact Lesotho Trade Unions Workshop, September 2018 National-level Meeting on Decent Work Regulation in Lesotho, December 2018 Framework for Decent Work Training
Start Year 2018
 
Description Strategic Network on UFW Membership 
Organisation Ambedkar University Delhi
PI Contribution Membership of the Strategic Network on Legal Regulation of UFW is drawn from the academic and policy institutions listed below together with our partners in sub-Saharan Africa (see separate entries). The Network encompasses more than 90 institutions in 25 countries with a global reach of 1.5 million individuals. Network Members (1) have contributed to the Research Agendas on Innovative UFW Regulation (see Key Findings) or (2) are members of the project Global Advisory Board. ACADEMIC PARTNERS Ambedkar University, Delhi, India Cambridge University, UK Cardiff University, UK Centre for Migration and Inclusive Development, Perumbavoor, Kerala, India Fundação Getulio Vargas, Brazil Harvard University, USA Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa Research Centre for Employment Relations, Hanoi, Viet Nam RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia Roskilde University, Denmark Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea University of California, Davis, USA University of Cape Town, South Africa University of Illinois at Chicago, USA University of Kent, UK University of Leicester, UK University of Manchester, UK University of the Western Cape, Bellville, South Africa University of the Witswatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand York University, Toronto, Canada INTERNATIONAL PARTNERS EU European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions UN ILO, Geneva United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO) NATIONAL PARTNERS Argentina ILO Field Office in Argentina Australia Victorian Trades Hall Council, Melbourne UNISON Brazil ILO Country Office for Brazil Labour Inspectorate, Ministry of Labour, Government of Brazil Cambodia Better Factories Cambodia Cambodian Ministry of Labour Center for Alliance of Labor and Human Rights India Labour Education and Research Network (LEARN), Maharashtra Jordan Better Work Jordan Korea Korean Solidarity Against Precarious Work Lesotho Mamohale Matsoso, Labour Commissioner, Ministry of Labour and Employment Lesotho National Development Corporation, Maseru Lesotho Textile Exporters Association (LTEA), Maseru Ministry of Trade and Development, Maseru Remmoho Compliance Solutions, Maseru United Textile Employees South Africa Apparel Manufacturers of South Africa Casual Workers Advice Office, Germiston Coastal Clothing Manufacturers Association Department of Labour Ethical Trading Initiative ILO Pretoria Office National Bargaining Council for the Clothing Industry South African Clothing and Textile Workers Union Southern Africa Customs Union (SACU) Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) UK Ethical Trading Initiative Focus on Labour Exploitation (FLEX) UNITE USA National Day Labourer Organizing Network, Los Angeles National Domestic Workers Alliance Solidarity Center, Washington, DC Viet Nam ILO Country Office for Viet Nam, Hanoi Institute of Labour Science and Social Affairs (ILSSA), Hanoi
Collaborator Contribution See above
Impact See Key Findings
Start Year 2017
 
Description University of Cape Town 
Organisation University of Cape Town
Country South Africa 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The University of Cape Town was a project partner on the Strategic Network on Unacceptable Form of Work (2017), a Co-I institution on the project on Decent Work Regulation in Africa (2018), and the DAC partner institution in the project on Law's Dynamic Effects in South Africa (2019-).
Collaborator Contribution The project on Decent Work Regulation in Africa (2018) was a collaboration between Durham University, UCT, York University Canada and the National University of Lesotho.
Impact 1. Strategic Network on Unacceptable Forms of Work (2017): Network Team and Research Agenda on Enforcing Labour Laws. 2. Strategic Network on Unacceptable Forms of Work (2017): contributions to project outputs - global dialogues, project report, research briefings etc. See relevant sections of the form. 3. Decent Work Regulation in Africa (2018): Regional Meeting, Cape Town (June 2018), DWR-Africa Regional Network of researchers and policy-makers; collaboration with National University of Lesotho; Findings and Recommendations on Decent Work Regulation in Africa (2018); Report on Enforcing Labour Laws in Southern Africa (2019); Framework for Decent Work Training Programme for Lesotho (2019).
Start Year 2017
 
Description York University Canada 
Organisation York University Toronto
Country Canada 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution York University was a project partner on the Strategic Network on Unacceptable Form of Work (2017) and a Co-I institution on the project on Decent Work Regulation in Africa (2018).
Collaborator Contribution Decent Work Regulation in Africa was a collaboration between Durham University, University of Cape Town, York University and the National University of Lesotho.
Impact 1. Strategic Network on Unacceptable Forms of Work (2017): Network Team and Research Agenda on Enforcing Labour Laws. 2. Strategic Network on Unacceptable Forms of Work (2017): contributions to project outputs - global dialogues, project report, research briefings etc. See relevant sections of the form. 3. Decent Work Regulation in Africa (2018): Regional Meeting, Cape Town (June 2018), DWR-Africa Regional Network of researchers and policy-makers; collaboration with National University of Lesotho; Findings and Recommendations on Decent Work Regulation in Africa (2018); Report on Enforcing Labour Laws in Southern Africa (2019); Framework for Decent Work Training Programme for Lesotho (2019); Rethabile's Story (documentary film, 2019).
Start Year 2017
 
Description 2019 - Article for the IISD SDG Knowledge Hub - Global Dialogue/Local Innovation: Labour Regulation as a Pathway to Achieving the SDGs 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact On 12 February, Dr Arely Cruz-Santiago published a guest article for the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) SDG Knowledge Hub.

The article - Global Dialogue/Local Innovation: Labor Regulation as a Pathway to Achieving the SDGs - outlines the outcomes of the ESRC GCRF Strategic Network on Unacceptable Forms of Work (UFW), with which Dr Cruz-Santiago was a Project Manager from 2017-18.

The article highlights that conditions of work and other dimensions of worker's lives - childcare, family life, the urban environment, transport etc. - are interlinked. As a result, the UN Sustainable Development Goals must be thought of in a holistic way. Achieving decent work - SDG8 - is an objective that cross-cuts the SDGs. It is fundamental, for example, to ending poverty (SDG1), reducing inequality (SDG10) sustaining sustainable cities (SDG11) and ensuring gender equality (SDG5).

The article discusses the research agendas and project report produced by the Strategic Network. These identify 10 global challenges to effective labour regulation and argue for finding solutions by sharing experiences and ideas among countries in the global North and South.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018,2019
URL http://sdg.iisd.org/commentary/guest-articles/global-dialoguelocal-innovation-labor-regulation-as-a-...
 
Description 2019 - Article in The Conversation - Roma: How Alfonso Cuarón's Movie is Spurring Mexico to Treat Domestic Workers More Fairly 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Article by Karina Patricio Ferreira Lima and Arely Cruz-Santiago (Durham University) in The Conversation that responds to the Oscar success of Alfonso Cuaron's film Roma. The article highlights innovations on labour rights for domestic workers in Latin America and reflects on how the film comes at a timely moment for legal reforms in Mexico.

The article, titled 'Roma: how Alfonso Cuarón's movie is spurring Mexico to treat domestic workers more fairly', reflects on the main challenges for the legal regulation of domestic work worldwide. It puts Latin America at centre stage as a region that has made significant improvements in this area since the 2000s, even if Mexico is only finally catching up.

In this regard, the authors suggest that there are reasons to believe that legislative reforms may be on the way in Mexico. While these developments owe much to workers' campaigning and political changes in the country, Roma has played an important role by highlighting the struggle of the profession.

If the promising signs in Mexico bear fruit, Cuarón's masterpiece will have helped secure decent conditions for domestic workers in a country which has denied them for too long. Roma surely deserves its Hollywood awards, but achieving real reform will be worth a great deal more.

After being featured in The Conversation, the article was published by the World Economic Forum. It was also translated into Spanish and published in the blog Animal Politico (Mexico).

Karina Patricio Ferreira Lima is a doctoral researcher in Law and works as a Research Assistant on the Project on Decent Work Regulation. She is also a Modern Law Review Scholar. Arely Cruz-Santiago is an ESRC Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Geography and worked as a Project Manager on the DWR Project from 2017-18.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://theconversation.com/roma-how-alfonso-cuarons-movie-is-spurring-mexico-to-treat-domestic-work...
 
Description 2019 - Forthcoming: 6th Regulating for Decent Work Conference, 8-10 July 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact The 6th Regulating for Decent Work (RDW) Conference will be held in the International Labour Office, Geneva, from 8-10 July 2019.

Durham Law School is a co-host of the Conference along with the University of Amsterdam's Institute for Labour Studies / Hugo Sinzheimer Instituut (AIAS-HSI), Cornell University's School of Industrial and Labor Relations (Cornell ILR School), the University of Melbourne's Centre for Employment and Labour Relations Law (CELRL), Jawaharlal Nehru University's Centre for Informal Sector and Labour Studies (CISLS), the University of Duisburg-Essen's Institut Arbeit und Qualifikation (IAQ), the Institute for Applied Economic Research (IPEA), the Korea Labour Institute (KLI), and the University of Manchester's Work and Equalities Institute (WEI).

The 2019 RDW conference will focus on the future of work, to advance our understanding of the innovative institutions and policies that could help to ensure a more equitable and just society. This conference will contribute to the global debates during the ILO's 100th anniversary in 2019.


A Special Session has been organised that focuses on the work of the Decent Work Regulation in Africa project. The Session - Africa in the Future of Work - will launch our documentary on the Lesotho garment industry - Rethabile's Story - and host a round table on the contribution of the project to the global debates on the future of work.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.ilo.org/global/research/events-courses/rdw/6/lang--en/index.htm
 
Description 2019 - Launch of the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) at Durham University 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact On Thursday 31st January, the Institute of Advanced Study (IAS) at Durham University hosted the launch of the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT).

Nine Principal Investigators from across the University the introduced their CDT projects, all of which address one or more of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Professor Deirdre McCann presented the project on 'Law's Dynamic Effects: The Case of South Africa', which will investigate the introduction of a national minimum wage in South Africa in January 2019. The research will be conducted by Sufinnah Singlee and supervised by Professor McCann and Professor John Linarelli at Durham Law School.

About Durham University's CDT
The CDT will support a cohort of around 20 students working on a specific challenge in one or more of the areas of the UN Sustainable Development Goals with all PhD students coming from a DAC nation. All PhD projects are interdisciplinary and will be supervised by academic staff from different departments in partnership with a university in an overseas DAC nation, and may include collaboration with other organisations. PhD candidates in the CDT will participate in a wide ranging and comprehensive training programme to equip them to make an effective contribution in their area of expertise following completion of their PhD. The PhD will include a placement in the partner DAC nation.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.dur.ac.uk/law/policyengagement/ufw/news/
 
Description Article in The Conversation: Lessons on Labour Regulation from the Global South 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The Conversation: Lessons on Labour Regulation from the Global South

An article in The Conversation by Professor Deirdre McCann asked what lessons can be learned from the project on Unacceptable Forms of Work for the regulation of the gig economy and forced labour in high-income countries.

The article draws on the Project research agendas to call for lessons to be learned from the global South on combatting unacceptable work.

The article highlights:
- Preliminary findings from the Decent Work Regulation in Africa project that work/family issues are a pressing concern for many workers in the garment sector in Southern Africa;
- Lessons from Brazil on the effective regulation of forced labour;
- A model from India on head-load work that can be drawn on to inspire law reforms in high-income countries to protect workers in the 'gig economy.'
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://theconversation.com/we-need-to-combat-forced-labour-and-in-work-poverty-brazil-and-india-off...
 
Description GCRF Impact Case Study 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact In February 2019, the PI submitted details on the impact of grant ES/P00746/1 towards a GCRF Impact Case Study. The submission highlighted the significance of the project to the global population of 1.4 billion engaged in Unacceptable Forms of Work and its impact on changing global labour policy.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Global Challenges Summit 2018, Newcastle UK 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Professor Deirdre McCann spoke about the Strategic Network on Unacceptable Forms of Work at the Global Challenges Summit 2018, held in Newcastle University on 24 July.

Hosted by Durham, Newcastle and Northumbria Universities, the Summit brought together participants from across the world including Herman Mashaba, the Mayor of Johannesburg, Salha Kaitesi, Founder of Beauty of Rwanda, and Peter White, COO of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.

Professor McCann called for workers' rights to be placed at the heart of sustainable development and of efforts to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals. She presented the UFW Report and talked about the DWR-Africa Project.

Related to the event, the study on Unacceptable Forms of Work was featured in the Northern Echo.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.dur.ac.uk/law/policyengagement/ufw/news/
 
Description Project on Decent Work Regulation in Africa (2018-): Engagement Activities 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact In 2018 I was awarded GCRF/HEFCE funds from the University of Durham (£90,000) to build upon the success of the Strategic Network on Unacceptable Forms of Work. These funds supported a project on Decent Work Regulation in Africa (DWR-Africa) that included extensive engagement activities. On the project - a collaboration with the University of Cape Town and York University Canada - see further https://www.dur.ac.uk/law/policyengagement/ufw/africa/.

The HEFCE/GCRF funds enabled me to expand the work of the Network into extensive research and impact activities in Southern Africa. The DWR-Africa project produced an extended Regional Network of researchers and policy-makers in Southern Africa; hosted a Regional Meeting in Cape Town of stakeholders from across Southern Africa (18th June 2018); and supported a pilot research project on Enforcement of Labour Laws in Southern Africa that involved field work among garment factory stakeholders and workers in South Africa and Lesotho.

The project's engagement activities have triggered an ongoing stakeholder dialogue among national, regional and international actors on legal strategies that can achieve decent work in the region.

1. Network-building: New Policy Partnerships

The field of labour regulation research has traditionally had a focus on the global North. The Strategic Network funding was invaluable in initiating and supporting international collaboration among key policy-actors. This funding generated a particularly fruitful research partnership with policy partners in southern Africa.

The GCRF/HEFCE funds enabled me to extend these relationships and to develop increasingly extensive links with policy-makers and other stakeholders in the region. A central aim of the DWR-Africa Project has been to establish a Regional Network of researchers and policy-makers who have an interest in effective labour regulation.

The project extended our Network in Southern Africa to include more than 40 policy partners. Network members include employers' associations, trade unions, researchers, government and international officials from Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, and regional and international bodies with a presence in Africa, including the ILO. Our partners include the Labour Commissioner of Lesotho, the African Cotton and Textile Industries Federation, the United Textile Employees Union of Lesotho, Jacques Hau Clothing, the Mr Price Group, the Ethiopian Textile Industry Development Institute, ILO Pretoria, the Lesotho National Development Corporation, the Apparel Manufacturers of South Africa, the South Africa Clothing and Textile Workers' Union, the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Cooperatives and Marketing, Lesotho, and the Amalgamated Trade Union of Swaziland.

2. Regional Meeting on Decent Work Regulation in Africa

The Project held a Regional Meeting on Decent Work Regulation in Africa in the Graduate School of Business, University of Cape Town on 18 June 2018.

The Meeting provided the opportunity for a regional dialogue on regulatory strategies that can achieve decent work in the African context. The focus was on the enforcement of labour laws in the garment sector. In particular, participants considered whether involving a range of stakeholders in enforcement (e.g. through multi-stakeholder models) can extend the reach of labour standards.

The Meeting was particularly notable in elevating the policy conversation - previously often confined to individual countries - to the regional level. This effort encompassed the participation of stakeholders who had previously had limited opportunities to engage in the debate, from Ethiopia, Kenya, and Swaziland.

For an outline of the Regional Meeting, including a full report of its findings and conclusions, see https://www.dur.ac.uk/law/policyengagement/ufw/regionalmeeting/

3. Artistic/awareness-raising collaboration: film-making

The partnership with a film-making company - Dreamscope Productions - established through the Strategic Network funding has been extended as an innovative and productive relationship through the Decent Work Regulation in Africa project.

This collaboration has supported a set of video diaries of our work: Voices from Southern Africa, available at https://www.dur.ac.uk/law/policyengagement/ufw/africa/voices/. Voices from Southern Africa is a series of interviews from the DWR-Africa project conducted during our Regional Meeting in Cape Town in June 2018. Together, the interviews provide a compelling and diverse account of the most important challenges for decent work regulation in the garment sector in southern Africa and beyond.

The interviews are available on both our Youtube channel and website and have been circulated on Twitter.

A forthcoming short film - Rethabile's Story - conveys to a general audience the experience of working in the Lesotho garment sector - forthcoming at https://www.dur.ac.uk/law/policyengagement/ufw/media/.

4. Framework for a Training Programme on Decent Work Regulation in Southern Africa, Lesotho, December 2018

Our engagement with stakeholders in Lesotho has highlighted a particular interest in training for trade union actors to engage more vigorously in ensuring the effective implementation of labour rights contained in the Lesotho Labour Code and the national effort to realise the Sustainable Development Goals, including SDG8.

To that end, in collaborations with our partners the project has generated a Framework for a Training Programme on Decent Work Regulation in Southern Africa (December 2018).

5. New Decent Work Regulation Website

During 2018, our website was updated, including to circulate information on the Decent Work Regulation in Africa project among our extensive partner network and the general public. All of our publications, podcasts, animations, presentations and videos can be downloaded from the site - https://www.dur.ac.uk/law/policyengagement/ufw/.

6. User Engagement: Website/Social Media

The level of user engagement with both our website and Twitter account continued to increase substantially during 2018.

Pageviews on our website increased by more than 500% (7,296 from 1 Jan-28 Dec 2018) while unique pageviews increased by 470% (4,408 over the same period).

Our tweets had 78.0K impressions from 1 July to 29 September 2018, an increase of 98% (39.2K impressions) compared to the same period in 2017. From 1 September to 30 November 2018 our tweets attracted 54.6K impressions, an increase of 225% from the same period in 2017.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.dur.ac.uk/law/policyengagement/ufw/africa/
 
Description Strategic Network engagement activities 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Engagement activities are integrated across the work of the Strategic Network on Legal Regulation of Unacceptable Forms of Work. The overarching objective of the Network is to influence law and policy at the global and local levels.

Network members are drawn from more than 30 global and international policy bodies including the EU, United Nations, WIEGO, UNRISD and Labour Ministries, Labour Inspectorate, trade unions, employers and NGOs from countries in all regions (see Collaborations and Partnerships). These members have been integrated into the Network from the outset, including on Network Teams and on the Global Advisory Board, shaping the project's Research Agendas and providing guidance on the most effective pathways to impact at the global and local levels.

The Research Agendas on Innovative UFW Regulation that have been produced by the Network Teams integrate ongoing engagement with research users, in research design, research activities, and impact and engagement during the life of the proposed research projects and beyond. Towards future impact, each of the Network Research Agendas includes a Pathway to Impact Strategy that was designed in collaboration with local policy actors. These Strategies incorporate continuing dialogue with key local policy actors to influence legislative reform, enforcement strategies, collective bargaining etc.

The Network communication strategy has also been designed to engage in a highly accessible manner with policy actors and broader public audiences by providing information on the project through a devoted website, twitter feed, accessible information materials, Network videos etc.

Durham University ESRC IAA funding secured by the Principal Investigator (see Further Funding) (February-May 2018) is directed towards enhancing and extending Network engagement.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://unacceptablework.com
 
Description • Submission on Decent Work Regulation for the UK Visit of the UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights (5-16 November 2018) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact A submission for the visit to the UK of Phillip Alston, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, highlighted the intersection of poverty and labour rightsand the need for effective labour regulation in the UK.

The submission was developed by Professor Deirdre McCann and submitted. It drew on the work of the Strategic Network. The submission responded to the Special Rapporteur's interest in how poverty in the UK intersects with economic and social rights issues.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.dur.ac.uk/law/policyengagement/ufw/news/submission/