Export Processing Zones (EPZs)

An important feature of globalization has been the rapid expansion of Export Processing Zones throughout the world. An increasing number of governments promote EPZs as a key element of their industrial strategy. These zones have been defined by the ILO as “industrial zones with special incentives set up to attract foreign investors, in which imported materials undergo some degree of processing before being exported again”.

Working conditions and industrial relations in these zones often do not meet the standards set out in ILO instruments. The biggest challenge facing workers in these zones is in the area of freedom of association and collective bargaining. ACTRAV provides assistance to trade unions in their efforts to meet these challenges.