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US questions labour rights in Peru's textile sector
Mar '16
A report released recently under the labour chapter of the US-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement by the US Department of Labour raises significant concerns regarding the right to freedom of association in Peru's non-traditional export sectors, which include exports of textiles, apparel and certain agricultural products.

According to a Labour Department press release, the report also raises questions regarding labour law enforcement in Peru. To help guide subsequent engagement between the US and Peruvian governments, the report provides six recommendations aimed at addressing the questions and concerns. It also notes the US government's commitment to assess any progress by Peru within nine months and thereafter as appropriate.

Published within 180 days of initiating a review of the matter, the report represents the streamlined and timely review by the department of labour submissions received under US trade agreements.

The report responds to a submission filed with the department's Bureau of International Labour Affairs by the International Labour Rights Forum, Perú Equidad and seven Peruvian workers' organizations. The submission alleges that the Peruvian government failed to enforce its labour laws effectively, and that Peru's law governing employment contracts for non-traditional exports is incompatible with freedom of association.

Based on evidence gathered as part of a review, the report raises significant concerns about whether the current system to protect the right to freedom of association of workers employed on unlimited consecutive short-term contracts in Peru's non-traditional export sectors is sufficient. In addition, the report also questions the effectiveness of the country's labour law enforcement while recognizing the number of positive steps taken by the Peruvian government to improve its labour law enforcement since signing the PTPA in 2007.

The report sets out a path for continued engagement with Peru's government aimed at addressing the questions and concerns identified during the review. (SH)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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