Labour rights in Peru and the EU trade agreement
Compliance with the commitments under the sustainable development chapterJan Orbie / Lore Van den Putte
Wien, August 2016
European Union (EU) trade policy has become increasingly contested and politicised. Citizens and politicians have become more and more concerned about the human rights and sustainable development implications of free trade. The European Commission in its ‘Trade for All’ Strategy has recognized the need for a more value-based trade policy. In the same vein, the EU has included a chapter on Trade and Sustainable Development in recent free trade agreements. However, there is still much uncertainty about the specifics of these legal commitments and about their implementation in practice. In this study, we aim to assess the labour rights commitments in the EU-Peru-Colombia agreement, with a specific focus on Peru and the agricultural sector. Based on an analytical framework that summarises the labour-related commitments of the sustainable development Title into three categories – upholding ILO Core Labour Standards, non-lowering domestic labour law, and promoting civil society dialogue – we conclude that Peru has failed to comply in a number of areas. We also make recommendations for the EU and civil society and suggestions for more profound and systematic research.