Labour Standards and Trade: In Search of Impact and Alternative Instruments

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-2463

Editorial | Open Access

Labour Standards and Trade: In Search of Impact and Alternative Instruments

  • Jan Orbie Centre for EU Studies, Department of Political Science, Ghent University, Belgium
  • Gerda Van Roozendaal Department of International Relations and International Organization, Faculty of Arts, University of Groningen, The Netherlands

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Abstract:  Labour standards have become an almost routine feature of trade agreements. However, we have little knowledge about whether this linkage is effective; both in absolute terms but also in comparison to other instruments that promote labour standards on a global level. Such alternative instruments include public-private agreements, value chain management and procurement policies. The articles in this thematic issue will provide insights that further the debate on the effectiveness of the connection between labour rights and international trade, looking at both ‘traditional’ trade agreements and ‘alternative’ instruments.

Keywords:  Bangladesh Sustainability Compact; global value chain; International Labour Organization; labour standards; public procurement; social clause; trade agreements



© Jan Orbie, Gerda Van Roozendaal. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.