As noted by Claudio Di Turi, in his chapter Economic Globalization and Social Rights: The Role of the International Labor Organization and the WTO: “With the creation of the ILO, a United Nations (UN) specialized agency (Article 57 of the Charter), in 1919, the international community attempted to establish a “social dimension of international trade,” in which trade could be reconciled with labor.” Indeed, as noted by the author, the ILO constitutes one of the many institutions that are currently balancing globalization with Non-Trade Concerns (NTCs), in this case concerning labor rights. This concept is gaining more importance as workers in third world countries are starting to ask for the opportunity to have a decent work that guarantees the well-being of the worker and his family.

One could only wonder what would be the disastrous consequences of globalization on labour conditions if the International Labour Organization (ILO) and all the related international conventions were not signed and developed accordingly. In his chapter, “Economic Globalization and Social Rights: The Role of the International Labor Organization and the WTO ,” the author Claudio Di Turi attempted to provide an answer to this question by addressing the core guarantees that are offered to workers worldwide as a result of the ILO and the adopted conventions. Indeed, it seems that in the globalization era, where Multinational Companies (MNCs) have the final say, worker’s safety and well-being are being ignored in particular in developing and least developing countries (LDCs) where national regulations are either non-existent or could be easily ignored due to the lack of accountability. In a period of intense competition between the different countries seeking to attract Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs), everything becomes permissible as the ends justify the means. The author points out the complaints made by developed countries regarding the low price of the products manufactured in developing countries and LDCs. The latter, justify this result by considering the fact that they rely on the human capital as the main source of their cheap production. But what does that mean in practice? Cheap products require cheap labor, in other words, workers that live to work instead of workers working to live, making them slaves rather than human beings. Their only ambition in life is to actually afford food and accommodation and maybe, just maybe, a decent education for their children in the best case scenario or an opportunity for them to do the same job in order to support the family in the worse case scenario. It is true, as it was stated by the author, that the international labor conventions provide a layer of protection for the workers worldwide in the age of globalization. However, these rights are only implemented in developed countries where the human rights of the individuals do actually matter. In fact, the provisions written in these conventions reflect the development of national labor laws in these countries in particular in the 19th century with the establishment of labor unions to protect the rights of the workers that were constantly exploited due to their need of the job for survival. This is how for instance; the working hours have gradually decreased to 8 from 14 or 16 hours in the past. However, this kind of development is yet to be seen in developing countries and LDCs in particular in the wake of globalization where citizens in the developed states are able to buy cheap products such as toys, clothes, and even iPhones because a worker somewhere in Bangladesh is doing 14 hours a day, if he is lucky, while a child in Congo is digging for precious metals that would be used for making the products. In that sense, this chapter highlights, among many other things, the importance of the international regulations for the protection of workers worldwide but also the need of implementation of these rules in many countries in order to avoid further exploitation as a result of globalization