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.


  • 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...

    more information

  • 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.

    more information

  • 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.

    more information


  • 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.

    more information

  • 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.

    more information

  • 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...

    more information

Office for Regional Cooperation in Asia

7500A Beach Road
The Plaza
Singapore 199591

+65 6297 6760


back to top