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Promoting Decent Work in Global Supply Chains in Latin America and the Caribbean

Global supply chains (GSCs) have grown over the past three decades to become a large part of global trade, linking producers, suppliers and consumers worldwide. It is estimated that between 60 and 80 percent of global trade is currently conducted through GSCs (UNCTAD, 2013). The importance of GSCs and their implications for the economies of all countries, has been widely recognized and explored by different international agencies from their respective mandates, including the World Trade Organization (WTO), the United National Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the World Bank, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and even the G20. Yet, among these organizations, only the ILO has the ability, because of its mandate and governace structure, to examine the operation, impacts and implications of GSCs for the world of work from a tripartite perspective. And it is to do precisely this that the ILO constituents decided to have a General Discussion on “Decent work in global supply chains” in the 105th Session of the International Labour Conference in Geneva in June, 2016. The present study has been conducted by the Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), in collaboration with the Sectoral Policies Department (SECTOR) of the ILO, to increase understanding and provide an overview of key questions around the operation and impacts of GSCs in Latin America and the Caribbean and also as an input to the background document for the 2016 ILC General Discussion.

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