Legislative regulation of global value chains to protect workers: A preliminary assessment

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Journal Article
Economic and Labour Relations Review, 2015, 26 (4), pp. 660 - 677
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© The Author(s) 2015. This article argues for domestic legislative regulation of global value chains to protect offshore workers. First, it outlines the policy reasons necessitating such legislation. Empirical evidence confirms that global value chains are a dominant feature of the global economy. It is contended that lead firms wield influence in global value chains in a manner which leads to poor outcomes for offshore workers. Second, the article sets out the minimum steps necessary for a domestic state to attribute the responsibility for transparency of global value chains to lead firms. Then, it proceeds to explore the possibilities and limits of the proposed scheme of regulation. Despite some complexities with implementing the scheme, it is argued that if domestic legislative regulation of global value chains strengthens even to a small extent the monitoring of global labour issues, it is worth pursuing.
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