With rigorous economic research and practical policy solutions, we focus on the issues and institutions that are critical to global development. Explore our core themes and topics to learn more about our work.
In timely and incisive analysis, our experts parse the latest development news and devise practical solutions to new and emerging challenges. Our events convene the top thinkers and doers in global development.
Core labor standards--an end to forced and child labor, nondiscrimination, and respect for workers' right to organize--are an important mechanism for spreading the benefits of globalization more equitably and should be promoted. But exactly what standards to include and how to enforce them remain contentious. In this CGD Note, senior fellow Kimberly Elliott says that U.S. policy should focus on both domestic issues, such as ensuring that U.S. workers have adequate safety nets, and international issues, such as assisting countries in improving compliance with labor standards as part of a strategy to promote economic development and stronger democracies around the world. Specifically, U.S. policymakers should:
Leave details of labor laws to national governments, with monitoring by the International Labor Organization
Focus enforcement under trade agreements to egregious and clearly trade-related violations of the core labor standards
Provide financial and technical assistance to help countries improve labor conditions