Trade, labour and social dialogue

  • Photo: FES / Cem Say

Free trade does not automatically lead to benefits for all. In several countries in Asia we are witnessing a race to the bottom. Fundamental labour rights are not being upheld. Wages, more often than not, are too low to sustain a decent living.

We advocate for fairer trade agreements. We believe that binding social clauses are necessary to ensure decent working conditions.

We cooperate with trade unions to promote labour standards and decent working conditions. A strong representation of workers through trade unions is an integral component to advancing social democracy around the world.

We want to promote and strengthen social dialogue in Asia. Bringing social partners and governments together is key for achieving a stronger social dimension. We support activities to deepen mutual understanding between social partners.


  • 02.02.2018 | Trade, labour and social dialogue | News

    Labour standards in trade agreements must be taken more seriously

    Singapore – The sustainable development chapters the European Union has in place in trade agreements and the way they are used are not leading to a...

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  • 29.01.2018 | Trade, labour and social dialogue | News

    Trade should play a role in improving working conditions

    The European Union says it is taking labour considerations into account in its free trade agreements, but it is not doing it in a way that actually...

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  • 22.01.2018 | Trade, labour and social dialogue | News

    Bangladesh: On with the next generation of trade unionists

    In 2017, Bangladesh saw the opening of the first Academy of Work, a three-month long programme for trade unionists in the country. Today, they share...

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  • Peter-Tobias Stoll, Henner Gött and Patrick Abel | Trade, labour and social dialogue | Publication

    Model Labour Chapter for EU Trade Agreements

    A draft version of the model chapter to serve as a basis for discussions with decisionmakers, policymakers and other stakeholders.

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  • Petra Dünhaupt | Trade, labour and social dialogue | Publication

    Estimated Tariff Savings from the Trade Agreement between the EU and Vietnam − EVFTA

    This publication estimates the potential tariff savings for EU importing companies upon entry into force of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement.

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  • Madelaine Moore and Christoph Scherrer | Trade, labour and social dialogue | Publication

    Conditional or promotional trade agreements – Is enforcement possible?

    This publication examines social or labour chapters in trade agreements, explores the reasons for their ineffectiveness and provides policy...

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Office for Regional Cooperation in Asia

7500A Beach Road
The Plaza
Singapore 199591

+65 6297 6760


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