Protecting the Basic Rights of Workers (PBRW)
Under the PBRW initiative, USDOL promotes the core labor standards embodied in the International Labor Organization’s (ILO) Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, specifically working towards strengthening the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining, eliminating forced or compulsory labor, and removing discrimination with respect to employment and occupation.
PBRW projects address workers’ rights in many ways, including:
- Seeking to improve industrial relations among employees, businesses and governments through mediation and arbitration training.
- Assisting foreign governments, to more effectively administer their labor laws.
- Combatting forced and bonded labor.
- Addressing the inequalities and discrimination associated with women’s employment.
- Educating workers and employers of their rights and responsibilities under national labor laws.
Examples of project activities include:
- Industrial Relations: Strengthening industrial relations in Central America, East Africa, Indonesia, Jordan, Morocco, and the Caribbean to prevent and resolve labor conflict through peaceful, institutional mechanisms. One example is the project to "Improve the Working Conditions in the Garment Industry." The garment industry of Cambodia is the fastest growing sector in the economy and primary provider of new jobs. Working conditions in the factories, however, have been criticized for being in violation of national labor laws and inconsistent with internationally recognized core labor standards. In response, ILAB, through a grant to the ILO, is working with the Cambodian government, garment manufacturers association, and major trade unions to improve conditions in the sector through labor law education and improved labor law administration.
- Bonded Labor: Eliminating forced and bonded labor in Brazil through the development of an integrated database and monitoring system to track forced labor, the creation and training of a mobile inspection unit to enhance law enforcement, and the design of action programs to assist rescued workers in finding new ways of income generation.