Australia, the "Social Clause" and the ILO

Hunt, Doug (1998) Australia, the "Social Clause" and the ILO. In: Proceedings of the 12th AIRAANZ Conference, pp. 177-183. From: 12th AIRAANZ Conference, 3-5 February 1998, Wellington, NZ.

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Abstract

The debate over the links between labour standards and trade policy remains controversial. Consequently, proposals for the World Trade Organisation to develop a “social clause” in multilateral agreements have foundered, as have suggestions of a “social label” within the International Labour Organisation. Australia, under both Labor and Liberal/National governments, has joined its ASEAN neighbours in arguing that the most appropriate forum for action on labour standards is the ILO. Yet the Coalition government has significantly downgraded Australian participation in the ILO. In examining Australia's approach this paper discusses recent policy changes and continuities. Current policy is obviously related to domestic political, philosophical and legislative considerations. However, the approach is also consistent with a general withdrawal from multilateralism in foreign policy, and with an attempt to quarantine human rights from trade issues. An assessment is offered of the ramifications for Australia's capacity to advance industrial relations matters at the international level.

Item ID: 5625
Item Type: Conference Item (Refereed Research Paper - E1)
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Date Deposited: 02 Dec 2009 23:26
FoR Codes: 15 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 1503 Business and Management > 150306 Industrial Relations @ 50%
16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1606 Political Science > 160607 International Relations @ 50%
SEO Codes: 91 ECONOMIC FRAMEWORK > 9104 Management and Productivity > 910401 Industrial Relations @ 40%
94 LAW, POLITICS AND COMMUNITY SERVICES > 9403 International Relations > 940399 International Relations not elsewhere classified @ 20%
94 LAW, POLITICS AND COMMUNITY SERVICES > 9403 International Relations > 940303 International Organisations @ 40%
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