Press Release

IACHR and REDESCA publish Compendium on Labor and Trade Union Rights

December 30, 2020

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Washington, D.C. - The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and the Office of the Special Rapporteur on Economic, Social, Cultural, and Economic Rights (OSRESCER) published the “Compendium on Labor and Trade Union Rights” today. The document is intended to function as a tool for technical cooperation and outreach in this area, targeting users of the inter-American system, such as public policy makers and other people working in the different branches of government, along with representatives of civil society and social movements, and academics. The IACHR and the OSRESCER developed the publication as part of their mandate, in compliance with the agenda set out in the IACHR Strategic Plan 2017–2021.

Through this publication, the IACHR and the OSRESCER are seeking to expand and strengthen outreach and advocacy around inter-American standards on labor and trade union rights and the application of these. They also intend to provide a tool to strengthen the capacities of stakeholders at the local level and within the sphere of the international system for the protection of human rights. As a consequence, by compiling the standards included in this compendium, the IACHR’s objective is to improve the design of interventions, measures, public policies aimed at guaranteeing the exercise of labor and trade union rights. In particular, it is seeking to ensure decent and equitable working conditions and to address the situation of inequality and poverty in which the inhabitants of the Americas are living, so as to make sustainable progress toward achieving development and true equality in the enjoyment of human rights.

The IACHR has established that the right to work is a fundamental right that is inseparable from and inherent to human dignity. Exercising this right is key to strengthening economic and social systems from a rights-based perspective, which is in turn vital to guaranteeing and enjoying other human rights and to the autonomous development of the individual. It is also a way to guarantee that people can live a life of dignity.

The compendium draws the IACHR’s systematic review of inter-American standards on these issues and the different contexts in which these standards are applied. Because the compendium systematizes inter-American standards, it is a tool for improving and strengthening legislation, practices, and public policies seeking to promote labor rights with a human rights focus. In this sense, the compendium builds on the historical work that the IACHR has carried out in the course of developing its mandates. The text includes a selection of relevant extracts from reports issued by the IACHR, which provide an overview of the inter-American standards that have been developed around labor rights.

The compendium is part of the Regional Human Rights and Democracy Project, which is being implemented in partnership with the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF). The project seeks to strengthen knowledge of the Inter-American Human Rights System and its standards among key local stakeholders who are involved in protecting and defending human rights.

The OSRESCER is an office of the IACHR that was specifically created to support the IACHR in fulfilling its mandate to promote and protect economic, social, cultural, and environmental rights in the Americas.

A principal, autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), the IACHR derives its mandate from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission has a mandate to promote respect for and to defend human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this area. The Commission is composed of seven independent members who are elected in an individual capacity by the OAS General Assembly and who do not represent their countries of origin or residence.

No. 314/20