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20.10.2020 | Trade, labour and social dialogue | News

(Re-)imagining the future of trade unions in Bangladesh

What are the challenges and opportunities facing organized labour in Bangladesh? We spoke with civil society leader Shakil Ahmed.


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Petra Dünhaupt and Hansjörg Herr | #CLSPlus, Trade, labour and social dialogue | Publication

Catching Up in a Time of Constraints: Industrial Policy Under World Trade Organization Rules, Free Trade

Petra Dünhaupt and Hansjörg Herr explore the complicated interaction between industrial policy and the constraint of an ever-tighter corset of rules...


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16.07.2020 | Trade, labour and social dialogue | Event, News

Web Talk Series – Decent work for all: A post-COVID union agenda

Event announcement: The debate over the post-COVID future is in full swing. Join us to discuss the agenda for trade unions and social justice across...


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16.06.2020 | Trade, labour and social dialogue | News

Call for Papers: Post-Corona Visions for the Future of Work in Asia

Become part of our research and policy network and help us rethink the future of work in Asia during and after COVID-19. Take a look at our focus...


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11.03.2020 | #CLSPlus, Trade, labour and social dialogue | News

Social partnerships for a just future world of work

Lifelong learning and vocational training are at the center of the the Regional Tripartite Social Dialogue Conference (RTSDC), held for the 10th time...


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09.03.2020 | #CLSPlus, Trade, labour and social dialogue | News

No more race to the bottom – A Model Labour Chapter to enforce labour standards

By including enforceable labour standards in trade agreements, trade deals will also benefit workers. This Model Labour Chapter for European Union...


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

Model labour chapter for European Union trade agreements

Free trade agreements can lead to lower labour standards due to stronger competition and price pressure. By including enforceable labour standards in...


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06.03.2020 | #CLSPlus, Trade, labour and social dialogue | News

Decent work for all – How do we get there?

To make decent working conditions and inclusive development a reality for all, industrial policy can play a key role in the Asia-Pacific region.


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21.10.2019 | Trade, labour and social dialogue | News

Mongolia’s missing mining taxes

The extractive industry in Mongolia is making huge money for multinationals, but tax avoidance means this wealth is not translating into investments...


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03.10.2019 | #CLSPlus, Trade, labour and social dialogue | News

The right industrial policies can stimulate economic and social upgrading

Developing countries must do more than boost exports if they hope to improve workers’ lives. But which industrial policies have proven best at...


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17.09.2019 | Trade, labour and social dialogue | News

The pioneering FES Academy of Work gets a makeover in Bangladesh

Two years after the first Academy of Work in Bangladesh, trainers have restyled the programme to better respond to the challenges of organized labour...


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Wednesday, 10.07.19 to Thursday, 11.07.19 - Hanoi, Viet Nam | Trade, labour and social dialogue | Event, News

Industrial policy can support economic and social upgrading

Which industrial policies support economic and social upgrading the most, and how? Experts studying best practices from across Asia meet in Hanoi to...


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07.06.2019 | Trade, labour and social dialogue | News

Trade deals need to benefit workers too

For a trade deal to be fair, it must benefit workers all along the supply chain. To make sure this happens, workers must have a say in policies and...


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30.04.2019 | Trade, labour and social dialogue | News

Join us this International Workers’ Day to call for #WorkersRights4All

In a changing world of work we need to recognize that all workers are workers, whether formal or informal, entitled to rights at work that guarantee...


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11.04.2019 | Trade, labour and social dialogue | News

Towards a new social contract

The right to freely associate, bargain and be free from discrimination for exercising labour rights should continue to form the cornerstone of a...


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Hansjörg Herr | #CLSPlus, Trade, labour and social dialogue | Publication

Industrial Policy for Economic and Social Upgrading in Developing Countries

Without successful industrial policy, developing countries cannot catch up.


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17.12.2018 | Trade, labour and social dialogue | News

Fishy business

A first-person's account on the labour conditions in the shrimp industry in the Andaman Sea.


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07.11.2018 | Trade, labour and social dialogue | News

As Vietnam revises labour law, FES and partners debate the opportunity to improve workers’ rights

The ongoing revision of Vietnam’s Labour Code is an opportunity to ensure workers’ rights are better protected in the economy of the 21st Century.


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02.11.2018 | Trade, labour and social dialogue | News

Mega-sporting events under a working conditions spotlight

Campaigns around mega-sporting events can support trade union work in the fight for better working conditions for migrant workers.


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Melisa R. Serrano and Veasna Nuon | Trade, labour and social dialogue | Publication

Unions and development in Cambodia

Serrano and Nuon track and examine the latest developments and the new and continuing challenges that unions face in Cambodia.


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15.10.2018 | Trade, labour and social dialogue, #CLSPlus | News

Targeted sanctions can help the EU promote labour standards beyond its borders

The use of targeted sanction solves the main problem with blanket sanctions—the indiscriminate impact—while preserving the most advantageous feature:...


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11.10.2018 | Trade, labour and social dialogue, #CLSPlus | News

Enforcing labour standards in trade agreements through a targeted approach to sanctions

Applying targeted sanctions to enforce labour standards in trade agreements and trade preferences can improve the incentive for compliance.


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10.10.2018 | Trade, labour and social dialogue | News

Strengthened social partnership in ASEAN can support just digital transformation of the world of work

Technological innovation is changing the way business is managed and how work is organized, raising concerns for workers in all ten ASEAN countries.


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Thursday, 18.10.18 to Thursday, 18.10.18 - Brussels, Belgium | Trade, labour and social dialogue, #CLSPlus | Event, News

Supporting Labour Standards through Targeted Sanctions in Trade

At a roundtable discussion in Brussels, experts, politicians and workers' representatives will discuss how to make Trade and Sustainable Development...


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Clara Portela | Trade, labour and social dialogue, #CLSPlus | Publication

Enforcing Respect for Labour Standards with Targeted Sanctions

Applying targeted sanctions can deter violations of labour standards and improve compliance.


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10.09.2018 | Trade, labour and social dialogue | News

Project launched to make sure Vietnam’s trade deal with EU endorses workers’ rights

In Vietnam, a rights group works to ensure that the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement safeguards labour and environmental standards laid out by EU and...


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Edlira Xhafa and Veasna Nuon | #CLSPlus, Trade, labour and social dialogue | Publication

The Future of "Ethical Production" for Cambodia's Garment and Footwear Industry

This publication aims to determine who benefits from trade in the case of Cambodia and proposes policy recommendations to better distribute the...


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Jakir Hossain, Mostafiz Ahmed and Jafrul Hasan Sharif | #CLSPlus, Trade, labour and social dialogue | Publication

Linking Trade and Decent Work in Global Supply Chains in Bangladesh

The study highlights power imbalances in the industrial and labour relations along the global supply chain and offers recommendations for all actors...


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15.05.2018 | Trade, labour and social dialogue, #CLSPlus | News

Trade rules threaten workers’ rights and public services

Trade unions are developing strategies to address the harm a new generation of trade agreements may have on workers and access to public services in...


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Wednesday, 21.03.18 to Thursday, 22.03.18 - Singapore | Trade, labour and social dialogue | Event, News

Trade Unions in Transformation: Innovative Change-making Union-style

Trade Unions in the region meet to discuss and exchange best case examples of union revitalization, innovative use of power resources and how to face...


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14.03.2018 | Trade, labour and social dialogue, #CLSPlus | News

EU refuses to apply trade sanctions for enforcing labour standards

The EU and ASEAN are strengthening their cooperation by working towards a regional free trade agreement. The Trade and Sustainable Development (TSD)...


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01.03.2018 | Trade, labour and social dialogue | News

Tackling challenges of migration in the face of the Qatar crisis

Kathmandu – Experiences from the Philippines and Nepal suggest that a multi-lateral approach to international labour agreements could benefit weaker...


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25.02.2018 | Trade, labour and social dialogue | News

“Finding the red flyer was destiny”

An alumnus speaks of her good fortune in attending the Global Labour University.


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20.02.2018 | Trade, labour and social dialogue | News

Skilled, future-ready workers can withstand the impact of Industry 4.0

Preparing all workers to adapt to the changes driven by Industry 4.0 is priority for Singapore’s labour movement, says Sylvia Choo in the first of a...


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02.02.2018 | Trade, labour and social dialogue, #CLSPlus | 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, #CLSPlus | 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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26.12.2017 | Trade, labour and social dialogue, #CLSPlus | News

Enforcing labour standards in Pakistan

Singapore – In 2014, Pakistan became a beneficiary of the EU’s GSP+ programme—a scheme which provides the country with zero import tariffs on most of...


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12.12.2017 | Trade, labour and social dialogue, #CLSPlus | News

Creating Decent Work in the Era of Global Value Chains

Singapore – Today, some 60 to 80 per cent of the 20 trillion US dollars recorded gross exports are linked to the production of multinational firms in...


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26.10.2017 | Trade, labour and social dialogue | News

ASEAN tripartite partners meet to promote stronger social partnership

Manila (Philippines) – In the face of a rapidly-changing labour market, the Regional Tripartite Social Dialogue Conference (RTSDC) was held last week...


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12.10.2017 | Trade, labour and social dialogue, #CLSPlus | News

Going the distance: Making trade benefit workers

Geneva (Switzerland) – Global trade has triggered challenges for workers’ rights and how to address them was the focus of a session by...


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26.09.2017 | Trade, labour and social dialogue, #CLSPlus | News

Protecting workers' rights in trade

Singapore – A model labour chapter to EU trade agreements and preferences commissioned by FES can pave way to stronger implementation of labour...


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20.09.2017 | Trade, labour and social dialogue, #CLSPlus | Event, News

Making trade benefit workers

Geneva (Switzerland) – Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung is hosting a working session at the World Trade Organization Public Forum in Geneva on 27 September...


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19.09.2017 | Trade, labour and social dialogue | News

Trade unions welcome ASEAN guidelines on CSR, call for strong enforcement mechanism

Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) – Trade unions gathered on 4-5 September 2017 to promote the ASEAN Guidelines for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) on...


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20.07.2017 | Trade, labour and social dialogue, #CLSPlus | News

The future of the Cambodian garment and footwear Industry

Phnom Penh (Cambodia) – Reforming international trade agreements and preferential schemes are an important tool to overcome serious challenges the...


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30.06.2017 | Trade, labour and social dialogue, #CLSPlus | News

Trade doesn’t work for all

Brussels (Belgium) – “Trade agreements are instruments to improve the situation the participating nations find themselves in.”


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Peter-Tobias Stoll, Henner Gött and Patrick Abel | Trade, labour and social dialogue, #CLSPlus | 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, #CLSPlus | 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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23.06.2017 | Trade, labour and social dialogue | News

Making trade work for workers

Growing discontent with globalisation could turn into backlashes unless the EU brings its trade negotiations in line with its own human rights agenda...


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Madelaine Moore and Christoph Scherrer | Trade, labour and social dialogue, #CLSPlus | 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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19.06.2017 | Trade, labour and social dialogue, #CLSPlus | News

Workers should get their fair share of the pie

Singapore (Singapore)—A new publication draws attention to the poor working conditions in global supply chains, and the link between trade and labour


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17.06.2017 | Trade, labour and social dialogue | News

Fair recruitment for migrant workers a shared responsibility

Kathmandu (Nepal) – The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) organized a meeting on improving recruitment...


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| Trade, labour and social dialogue, #CLSPlus | Publication

Who benefits from trade?

This publication reveals how trade and global value chains influence working conditions in Asia. It is based on research in the garment, footwear and...


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Do Quynh Chi | Trade, labour and social dialogue, #CLSPlus | Publication

The missing link in the chain?

In Asia, countries with export-oriented industries like Vietnam benefit from low wages and a growing workforce to ensure participation in the new...


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28.04.2017 | Trade, labour and social dialogue | News

Making just transition a reality

Bangkok (Thailand) ― Historically, tram workers were the first to form a union in Thailand, where today workers share a global challenge, achieving...


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20.04.2017 | Trade, labour and social dialogue | News

Academy of Work launched to boost trade union training

Dhaka (Bangladesh) ― FES and partners contribute to constructive social partnerships and harmonious industrial relations in the lead up to the Rana...


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23.03.2017 | Trade, labour and social dialogue, #CLSPlus | News

Crafting CLS+ strategy

Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung is organising a workshop in Phnom Penh to discuss the next steps of Core Labour Standards Plus (CLS+), a regional project in...


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02.03.2017 | Trade, labour and social dialogue, #CLSPlus | News

Sweatshop smartphones

An op-ed on working conditions in the electronics industry testifies to the urgency for binding and enforceable labour provisions, focus of CLS+, a...


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20.02.2017 | Trade, labour and social dialogue | News

Global supply chains need global rules!

Singapore ― In a guest contribution for FES on World Day of Social Justice, ITUC General Secretary calls for decent work in supply chains in Asia.


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18.01.2017 | Trade, labour and social dialogue | News

Labour standards are not up for trade

Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam) – Experts discuss how to link trade, decent work and shared prosperity in global supply chains, finding that voluntary...


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20.12.2016 | Trade, labour and social dialogue, #CLSPlus | News

Core Labour Standards Plus – No More Trade Deals Without Binding & Enforceable Labour Provision

More spare time, better pay, safer workplaces: The CLS+ project by Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung in Asia aims to better the working conditions for workers...


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19.11.2016 | Trade, labour and social dialogue | News

Online course | Decent work in global supply chains

What are the challenges and opportunities for achieving decent work in global supply chains? How do transnational corporations and their global supply...


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Traute Meyer | Trade, labour and social dialogue | Publication

Democracies, economies and social protection – Understanding welfare state development in Asia and Europe

Scholars of the welfare state have long focused on a relatively small number of mature post-industrial political economies, above all the member...


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29.09.2016 | Trade, labour and social dialogue | News

From runways to clouds, workers organize

Pokhara (Nepal) — The Asian civil aviation industry is growing alongside a pressing need to organize workers across its different sectors.


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23.09.2016 | Trade, labour and social dialogue | News

BASF trade unionists in Asia form a network

An Asia-wide BASF regional network takes shape in Singapore as part of an effort to create a sustainable BASF Global Network of trade unionists.


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23.07.2016 | Trade, labour and social dialogue | News

Increasing workers’ protection in ASEM | 10th Asia-Europe Labour Forum

An important mission of the international union movement is to increase its participation in global governance and convey the views and concerns of...


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23.07.2016 | Trade, labour and social dialogue | News

Social protection for all people in Asia and Europe

The potential of Social Protection Floors to eradicate poverty and to balance economic and social uncertainties has been reaffirmed by its prominent...


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23.06.2016 | Trade, labour and social dialogue | News

FES Office for Regional Cooperation in Asia welcomes its new Director

The FES Office for Regional Cooperation in Asia welcomes its new Director, Adrienne Woltersdorf. After almost four years, the previous Director Julia...


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23.06.2016 | Trade, labour and social dialogue | News

Young workers in Asia get organised

Young workers affiliated to the International Transport Federation have expressed their concern over the growing trend of precarious work arrangements...


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23.06.2016 | Trade, labour and social dialogue | News

Workers uniting across gender: priority at BWI’s global conference

In Kathmandu, Building and Woodworkers International and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung bring together women trade unionists to pave the road for...


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06.06.2016 | Trade, labour and social dialogue | News

FES in Asia links trade and shared prosperity in global supply chains

Securing social and labour standards in global supply chains is a challenge under current trade regimes and the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung is gearing up...


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17.03.2016 | Trade, labour and social dialogue | News

Workshop “Growth First, Social Justice Later? – Addressing Socio-Economic Inequalities in Asia

In this workshop, FES brought together partners and representatives from regional and international organisations, parliaments, trade unions, academic...


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16.03.2016 | Trade, labour and social dialogue | News

Hard Talk “Growth First, Social Protection Later? – The Social Dimension of Economic Integration in Southeast Asia

At the end of 2015, the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) has become a reality for the region’s 600 million people. The AEC has great potential to...


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03.12.2015 | Trade, labour and social dialogue | News

9th Asia Europe Labour Forum & 4th Social Partner’s Forum

Lively discussions of representatives from trade union centres from over 20 countries from Asia and Europe with government officials, the European...


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FES in Asia

This website gives you regular updates of FES regional projects and activities across our Asia country offices.

It offers news articles on current debates and a range of research publications and policy briefs to download.  

Publications

  • 20.10.2020 | Trade, labour and social dialogue | News

    (Re-)imagining the future of trade unions in Bangladesh

    What are the challenges and opportunities facing organized labour in Bangladesh? We spoke with civil society leader Shakil Ahmed.

    more information

  • Petra Dünhaupt and Hansjörg Herr | #CLSPlus, Trade, labour and social dialogue | Publication

    Catching Up in a Time of Constraints: Industrial Policy Under World Trade Organization Rules, Free Trade

    Petra Dünhaupt and Hansjörg Herr explore the complicated interaction between industrial policy and the constraint of an ever-tighter corset of rules...

    more information

  • 16.07.2020 | Trade, labour and social dialogue | Event, News

    Web Talk Series – Decent work for all: A post-COVID union agenda

    Event announcement: The debate over the post-COVID future is in full swing. Join us to discuss the agenda for trade unions and social justice across...

    more information

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