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Extending Labour Inspections to the Informal Sector and Agriculture

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  • Priya Deshingkar

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Abstract

Labour inspections could, in theory, improve labour standards and help countries move towards decent work goals and the elimination of chronic poverty. But, in practice, inspections are either not conducted or do not result in penalties for those who break the law. Using the case of India, and examining labour contracts and standards in selected informal agricultural and non-agricultural occupations, the author identifies the reasons for this state of affairs: corrupt and under-resourced labour departments; subcontracting arrangements where employer–employee relationships are difficult to prove; little political commitment to improving labour standards; and poor coverage of new categories of work by existing labour laws. The paper also documents how, in the absence of an effective labour inspection machinery, civil society organisations and the media have successfully mobilised consumers and NGOs in the West to put pressure on suppliers in global value chains to improve labour standards and eliminate child labour. [Working Paper No. 154]

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by eSocialSciences in its series Working Papers with number id:2887.

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Date of creation: Sep 2010
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Handle: RePEc:ess:wpaper:id:2887

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Keywords: India Labour inspections labour regulation informal sector agricultural labour;

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  1. Fallon, Peter R & Lucas, Robert E B, 1991. "The Impact of Changes in Job Security Regulations in India and Zimbabwe," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 5(3), pages 395-413, September.
  2. Besley, Timothy J. & Burgess, Robin, 2002. "Can Labour Regulation Hinder Economic Performance? Evidence from India," CEPR Discussion Papers 3260, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Kundu, AMIT, 2008. "Conditions Of Work And Rights Of The Female Domestic Workers Of Kolkata," MPRA Paper 7636, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. David Mosse & Sanjeev Gupta & Mona Mehta & Vidya Shah & Julia fnms Rees & KRIBP Project Team, 2002. "Brokered livelihoods: Debt, Labour Migration and Development in Tribal Western India," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(5), pages 59-88.
  5. Alvaro Forteza & Martin Rama, 2006. "Labor Market 'Rigidity' and the Success of Economic Reforms Across More Than 100 Countries," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(1), pages 75-105.
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Cited by:
  1. Resmi Bhaskaran & Dev Nathan & Nicola Phillips & C. Upendranadh, 2013. "Vulnerable workers and labour standards (non-)compliance in global production networks: home-based child labour in Delhi’s garment sector," Brooks World Poverty Institute Working Paper Series ctg-2013-16, BWPI, The University of Manchester.

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