- Corporate Social Responsibility in International Trade and Investment Agreements: Implications for States, Business and Workerspdf - 0.9 MB
Businesses increasingly engage in the promotion of labour standards through initiatives of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). CSR was traditionally regarded as voluntary and private, however it has become increasingly “legalized” where CSR is shaped by governmental policies and integrates nonvoluntary elements. Even though the effectiveness of such CSR initiatives is not undisputed, it is increasingly regarded as an important element of global labour governance. This paper assesses the reference to CSR commitments in trade and investment agreements and finds that CSR language is relatively weak in terms of obligation, precision and delegation. We then discuss and emphasise the potential to use the mechanisms that are provided in these agreements to activate and follow-up CSR commitments, and what the implications could be for states, business and workers. The paper concludes by addressing the potential role of the ILO in the interplay between soft and hard labour regulations, and its experience in the follow up of CSR.