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Global Labour-Standards Advocacy by European Civil Society Organizations: Trends and Developments



In recent years, developments in intergovernmental organizations and transnational private governance organizations have created new opportunities and constraints for the promotion of global labour-standards governance by civil society organizations (CSOs). This article describes how European CSOs (including trade union organizations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs)) respond to these developments. It argues that European civil society is witnessing a threefold shift in priorities of labour-standards advocacy: from pushing regulatory approaches to organizational capacity building; from corporate responsibility strategies focused on compliance to strategies focused on transparency; and from fair labour standards within the sustainable development agenda to a host of other issues. The overall result is that labour-standards advocacy in general and private labour governance in particular are receiving less attention from European CSOs.