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Transnational Advocates and Labor Rights Enforcement in the North American Free Trade Agreement

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 January 2018

Kimberly A. Nolan García*
Affiliation:
International Studies Division of the Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas in Mexico City.kimberly.nolan@cide.edu

Abstract

This article investigates the impact of trade-based social clauses on labor rights enforcement. Drawing on insights from recent theoretical work on transnational advocacy networks and labor rights, the study examines how transnational groups and domestic actors engage the labor rights mechanisms under the NAFTA labor side agreement, the NAALC. A statistical analysis of original data drawn from NAALC cases complements interviews with key participants to analyze the factors that predict whether the three national mediation offices review labor dispute petitions. This study suggests that transnational activism is a key factor in explaining petition acceptance. Transnational advocates craft petitions differently from other groups and, by including worker testimony in the petitions, signal to arbitration bodies the possibility of corroborating claims through contact with affected workers.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © University of Miami 2011

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