Although international labor standards are a valuable way to improve working conditions, they can be difficult to define and monitor in a uniform way. Problems include controversies over the obligations of individual countries and how to measure compliance.
At the request of the U.S. Department of Labor, the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Committee on Monitoring International Labor Standards conducted a two-year project that examined the accuracy and utility of existing sources of information that different countries use to comply with labor standards. Their report, released in March, makes recommendations on how to improve the monitoring process.
Brookings will convene an expert panel of policy analysts to discuss the issue of labor standards in trade agreements, debate the findings of the NAS report, and take questions from the audience. At the briefing, Brookings will release a new Policy Brief by Theodore Moran, who chaired the NAS committee, on the implications of the report.