Project Details
Funding Scheme : General Research Fund
Project Number : 14608222
Project Title(English) : Empire, Internationalism and Global Labor Governance in the Inter-War Period 
Project Title(Chinese) : 戰間期的帝國主義,國際主義,與全球勞動治理 
Principal Investigator(English) : Prof Roberts, Christopher 
Principal Investigator(Chinese) : N/A 
Department : Faculty of Law
Institution : The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Co - Investigator(s) :
Panel : Humanities, Social Sciences
Subject Area : Social and Behavioural Sciences
Exercise Year : 2022 / 23
Fund Approved : 621,092
Project Status : On-going
Completion Date : 31-12-2024
Abstract as per original application
This project will explore four closely related questions: what approaches towards colonial labor governance were adopted by the International Labor Organization (‘ILO’) in the inter-war period; how effective was the ILO in producing change in labor regimes across the colonial world in practice; what variation was there in terms of the ILO’s impact across colonial, regional and jurisdictional contexts; and what causal factors may be hypothesized to have caused that differentiation? While the turn of the century period saw some labor law reforms undertaken in the colonial world, including the British colonial world in particular, progress was sharply limited. The end of the First World War was followed by major developments in international governance, including the creation of the League of Nations and the ILO. The formation of the ILO represented a victory for the forces of gradualist progressive labor law reform in the non-colonized world. A separate regime with far less demanding rules was carved out relative to the colonized world from that applicable elsewhere, however. Nonetheless, some standards were developed, including the Forced Labour Convention, the Forced Labour (Indirect Compulsion) Recommendation, the Forced Labour (Regulation) Recommendation, and the Recruitment of Indigenous Workers Convention. This project will explore the approach of the ILO towards enforcing labor standards relative to workers in the colonized world in practice, and to what extent the ILO’s work was impactful, in relation to a collection of case studies. These case studies will be selected with a number of factors in mind, including regional and imperial diversity as well as levels of ILO engagement. The case studies chosen may be amended as the project proceeds, in light of information obtained. The initial plan is to study six jurisdictions from across three empires: Hong Kong and Kenya, from the British Empire; Angola and Mozambique, from the Portuguese Empire; and French Cameroon and French Indochina, from the French Empire. In addition to academic outputs, the insights of the research will be used to generate a Policy Reform Report that places contemporary labor rights restrictions in the States considered in the context of their colonial history, and urges reform of laws and policies that fail to comply with international standards.
本研究試圖探討四個互相關聯的問題:國際勞工組織(International Labor Organization)在間戰期對待殖民地勞動關係治理的態度;該組織在各殖民地推行勞動法律制度的變革是否有效;國際勞工組織在不同殖民地、不同區域和不同法域背景下造成的不同影響;造成這些差異的根本原因。 儘管世紀之交的勞動法律制度在各殖民地,特別是英國殖民地中,不同程度地發生着變革,但相關進展仍然十分有限。隨著第一次世界大戰的終結,全球治理出現了新的局面,其中就包括國際聯盟和國際勞工組織的相繼設立。國際勞工組織的建立首先標誌著殖民地以外地區以漸進式改良勞動法律制度為主張的變革力量取得了一定勝利。另一方面,相比非殖民地地區,廣大殖民地世界依舊適用著一套顯著降低標準的勞動保障制度。儘管如此,新的標準依然一定程度上得到了發展,包括引入《強迫勞動公約》(Forced Labour Convention)、《關於強迫勞動(非直接強制)的建議書》 (Forced Labour [Indirect Compulsion] Recommendation)、《關於(規制)強迫勞動的建議書》 (Forced Labour [Regulation] Recommendation),以及《招募本地工人公約》(Recruitment of Indigenous Workers Convention)等。 本研究將從相關案例中探尋國際勞工組織在面對殖民地存在的強迫勞動現象時,關於推動改善勞動保障標準的態度及其影響。相關案例的選擇將同時考慮包括地區、宗主國之間的差異,以及國際勞工組織介入的程度等不同因素。隨著研究工作的進一步開展,所選取的案例也會相應調整。初步計畫選擇包括三個宗主國在內的六個地區:即英帝國治下的香港和肯尼亞;葡萄牙帝國治下的安哥拉和莫桑比克;以及法蘭西帝國治下的喀麥隆和法屬印度隻那。除相關學術成果外,本研究還將結合殖民史,針對當代美國勞動權益保障和國際標準之間的差異,就相關法律法規和政策的不足提出改革方案。
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