Worker safety and human security: the case for global governance

Hough, Peter ORCID logoORCID: (2012) Worker safety and human security: the case for global governance. E Journal of International and Comparative Labour Studies, 1 (3-4) . pp. 291-313. ISSN 2280-4056 [Article]

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The annual global death toll from accidents at work far outstrips that accrued in acts of war or terrorism but the phenomenon struggles to command anything like the prominence of these traditional priorities of international security in global politics. Whilst the ‘securitization’ of many non-military issues, such as climate change and disease, has come to be accepted in some sections of the academic and ‘real’ political world, this status has very rarely been granted to accidents. This seems to be because of the perception that a) accidental deaths cannot be equated to deaths inflicted directly by enemies (including non-human ones) and b) protecting worker is a domestic rather than international political concern.
Securing people against such accidents, though, is a political task accepted by industrialized governments from as far back as the late nineteenth century when ‘social security’ policies began to evolve in response to changing economic and social conditions. Equally, incidents of workers in Less Developed Countries being killed are no longer unfortunate problems unconnected with the relatively safe lives of people in the global North since Developed world consumers are functionally connected to these systemic failures as never before. This paper therefore presents the case for a human security approach which allows for worker safety to be given the international political priority it deserves.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Law > Law and Politics
Item ID: 9707
Notes on copyright: Permission to archive full text granted by publisher in email from Pietro Manzella dated 23 January 2013 14:30.
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Depositing User: Peter Hough
Date Deposited: 21 Nov 2013 11:21
Last Modified: 30 Nov 2022 00:25

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