8 March 2013

Labour rights in India and Morocco criticised in global report

Highly complex labour laws, a lack of enforcement of labour standards at state level and the inability to monitor labour compliance has led to a significant risk to supply chains in India, according to a new report assessing global labour conditions. Morocco has also been deemed a high risk country, as despite a strong legal framework for the protection of workers’ rights, enforcement is rare.

India’s laws have contributed to an estimated 93 percent of the labour force (close to 500 million workers) being engaged in the informal economy. Widespread poverty, the frequent use of contract labour and institutionally-entrenched discrimination against vulnerable groups add to the problem. National labour laws fall short of international standards, particularly in regards to child labour and trade union rights.

In Morocco, workers are often required to work long hours for pay that does not meet basic living needs. Employers regularly ignore the demands of collective agreements and take advantage of the country’s high unemployment levels when stipulating conditions. The country is also said to have prohibitive laws on freedom of association, including excessive criminal sanctions imposed on trade union representatives.

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