Hesperian Health Guides

Hesperian Health Guides

APPENDIX A: Laws and the struggle for decent, healthy, and fair work

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HealthWiki > Workers' Guide to Health and Safety > APPENDIX A: Laws and the struggle for decent, healthy, and fair work


In this chapter:

a group demanding worker rights from a company president while others protest outside the building.

All people deserve to be treated fairly, in a way that protects and promotes their dignity and their physical, mental, and social well-being. These are basic human rights. To achieve them, people who work need a healthy and safe workplace, free of violence and discrimination, where they can form unions and negotiate as a group for fair conditions and a living wage.

The United Nations and the International Labour Organization are two of the largest global organizations that make recommendations on worker rights. Your government, and the other governments of the world that are part of the United Nations and the International Labour Organization, have signed treaties and agreements designed to protect workers.

International and national laws by themselves do not protect workers. Without responsible employers, ways to ensure laws are enforced, and organized workers and communities, laws are only promises on paper and nothing more.