Interdisciplinary

International Labour Standards: How to Use Them

International Labour Standards: How to Use Them

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Workers’ Rights are Human Rights. International Labour Standards are designed to provide minimum levels of protection every worker should enjoy. They serve as safeguards against exploitative and dangerous working conditions. Reaffirmed by the UN Sustainable Development Goals, fundamental rights and dignity at the workplace are a precondition for building inclusive and sustainable societies. However, making respect for workers’ rights a reality remains a daily struggle for far too many.

This short online course offers a mix of video lectures, readings, discussion questions and self-learning options to provide you with knowledge and practical skills for using International Labour Standards to promote and defend worker’s rights worldwide.

What will I learn

At the end of the course you will understand the concept behind International Labour Standards, as well as their standard setting process at the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

You will have a sound overview on the functioning of the ILO supervisory mechanisms and how you can use them to promote and defend workers’ rights in your country or at the international level. You will also have a good understanding of the fundamentals on Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining, as well as the right to strike as a key element for realising workers’ rights.

What do I need to know?

No prior knowledge is required.

Course Structure

Chapter 1: Introduction to International Labour Standards (ILS)

What is the concept behind International Labour Standards? Which types of International Labour Standards exist and how are they set? Which actors are involved and how are they interlinked? This chapter provides an overview on International Labour Standards and lays the foundation for understanding the standard setting mechanisms at the ILO. In particular, we have a close look at the role of trade unions in setting International Labour Standards.

Chapter 2: Supervision of International Labour Standards (ILS)
This chapter aims at enabling you to understand and use the ILO supervisory mechanisms for the protection of workers’ rights. The elaborate process is illustrated in a concise and hands-on way, and we take you through it step by step. Again, we pay particular attention to what trade unions can do to make effective use of the ILO supervisory mechanisms.

Chapter 3: Freedom of Association, Collective Bargaining and the right to strike
Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining are ‘enabling rights’ at the heart of decent work. But what is the legal concept of Freedom of Association under Convention 87 and what makes it fundamental to the implementation of International Labour Standards? This chapter also provides you with an overview on the current debate on the right to strike as a key element of Freedom of Association.

Line-up of contributors

Beatriz Vacotto


Legal specialist and Coordinator of the Wages, Working Time, Maritime
and Specific Workers Team, International Labour Standards Department,
ILO
Main areas of interest: Support to trade unions on issues related to
International Labour Standards and the ILO supervisory mechanisms.


Jeffrey Vogt


Legal Director, International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC)
Main areas of interest: trade and labour standards, freedom of
association, precarious work, comparative labour law


Prof. Dr. Stefanie Lorenzen


Professor of Employment and Labour Law at the Berlin School of
Economics and Law, Department of Business and Economics, Germany
Author of the video lectures on Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining of this course
Main areas of interest: employment law, co-determination, right to
collective bargaining, international and European labour law


Prof. Paul Whitehead


Professor of Practice in Labor Studies and Employment Relations at
Penn State University, USA
Main areas of interest: Trade unions, collective bargaining, labor
and employment law, international labor law, international human
resources, trade law, and programs for pensions, health care, and
social security


Maité Llanos


International project coordinator, Global Labour University
Global Labour University Online tutor


Tandiwe Gross


Associate Expert at the Bureau for Workers’ Activities, ILO
International coordinator of the Global Labour University’s Online Education Programs


Course Options

Audit Track (for free)


No requirements
Optional Statement of Participation (19 €)


For obtaining your Statement of Participation in the Audit Track, you need to complete 80% of the video lectures and quizzes. You can get the Statement of Participation inside the course under the "Certificates" tab.

Enrolment

To enrol in this course, please click on “Enrol” in the upper right corner of the course page and afterwards click on “Audit for free”. You then need to sign up to iversity by filling in you name, surname, email and choosing a password. After that you'll receive an email from iversity, where you have to confirm your email address by clicking on the link inside. Please check also your SPAM folder. You can also sign up using your existing facebook or google account. Once you are signed up you can log in on iversity.org with your email and password and start the course."
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