Workers' human rights in Australia

Human rights Australia

Colin Fenwick looks at legal protection of the human rights of workers in Australia focussing in particular on aspects of the protection of freedom of association, and how Australian law acts to eliminate discrimination in employment and occupation. This focus of course takes in only two of the four areas covered by the core labour standards of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), leaving out the issues of child labour and forced labour. It therefore sidesteps the debate about the adequacy of the ILO’s conception of what are core labour standards, and avoids important questions about the implementation of some of Australia’s international obligations as a party to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), in particular as concerns the rights to work, to just and favourable conditions of work, and to social security. Fenwick has selected the focus despite these limitations because of the significant volume of material on the topics, and because they serve to illustrate more fully some of the significant limitations of Australian law as a means of protecting workers’ human rights.

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