Regional labour standards in the SADC : is it possible given the EU experience?

18 Feb 2016

Globalisation and the increasing movement of capital and labour across international borders, with the exception of migrant workers who are facing major obstacles due to immigration laws, are creating a situation where laws in general and labour laws in particular are acquiring an international character. International bodies such as the United Nations, the International Labour Organisation and the European Union have adopted various international norms and standards to which most countries have agreed and which have established minimum international standards for basic universal human rights and worker rights. The Southern African Development Community is a transnational organisation that has also adopted certain basic norms and standards in its Treaty, Charter on Fundamental Social Rights and various protocols that are applicable to all citizens within the Community. In this contribution, the concept of transnational labour relations is considered. The different international approaches towards transnational labour relations are evaluated, as is the manner in which the European Union approached the integration of regional labour standards. The author seeks to establish what the Southern African Development Community can learn from the European Union’s experience and in what way a transnational labour relations system or regional labour standards regime for the Southern African Development Community can be established.