Rechtskulturen Colloquium
Mon 13 May 2013 | 18:00–20:00

To Have or Not to Have Labour Rights: That is the Question for Informal Workers

Supriya Routh; Comment: Peer Zumbansen (York University)

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Juristische Fakultät, Room E25, Unter den Linden 9, 10099 Berlin

Of late labour law scholars are advocating visualisation of labour rights as human rights. While some scholars are convinced that the human rights language can be beneficially used in ameliorating conditions of workers, others suggest caution before taking a decisive turn to the human rights language for workers. In this talk, I argue that even though the rights language might be useful in ameliorating conditions of certain categories of workers, it is an insufficient tool for the improvement of working and living conditions of informal workers. By analysing a case study of a specific category of informal workers in India, I argue that in order to improve the work-lives of informal workers the rights language needs to be supplemented by the capability approach, which takes into account factors in addition to rights for the development of informal workers in mainly developing countries.

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