Bibliography on Labor, Human Rights & Inequality

This bibliography has been prepared by the Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice at the University of Texas School of Law as part of a larger project on the relationship between inequality, human rights and labor.

It aims to identify resources of value for scholars and legal practitioners thinking about the relationship between inequality, human rights and labor. Although the language of human rights has been utilized by labor activists to promote more just and equitable working conditions, there are also potential tensions between the goals and tools of human rights law and labor law.

This bibliography includes primary and secondary texts that speak to the intersection of inequality, human rights and labor, which often conceptualize the relationship between them in diverse ways. The articles that follow are organized into nine thematic areas, including sections focused on the intersection of human rights law and labor law, sections on specific rights as well as on contemporary challenges of globalized production and innovative means of organizing and advocating for workers’ rights.

View as a PDF


The preparation of this bibliography was coordinated by Julia Dehm (Postdoctoral Fellow) and Kate Taylor, (Postgraduate Fellow) at the Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice. Mihret Getabicha and Briana Perez undertook the majority of the research, with additional assistance from Tom Elliott. Many thanks also to Manoj Dias-Aney, as this bibliography draws on the resources in his “International Labor Law: Critical Perspectives and New Horizons” syllabus, as well as to Professors William Forbath and James J. Brudney for advice and input.


Labor, Human Rights, and Economic Inequality

Globalized Production, Inequality and Human Rights

Key Recognized Labor Human Rights

Precarity and Human Rights

Migrant Labor and Human Rights

Informal Work and Human Rights

Sex Work and Human Rights

Domestic Work and Human Rights

Domestic and Transnational Labor Organizing

Labor, Human Rights and Economic Inequality

Labor Rights as Human Rights

Scholarly Texts

Allen, Robin et al., Employment Law and Human Rights (Oxford University Press, 2nd edition, 2007)

Alston, Philip et al (eds), Labour Rights as Human Rights, P. Alston et al. ed., (Oxford University Press, 2005).

Alston, Philip and James Heenan, “Shrinking the International Labor Code: An Unintended Consequence of the 1998 ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work?,” International Law and Politics, (2004): 101.

Antione, Rose-Marie Belle, “Constitutionalizing Labour in the Inter-American System on Human Rights,” Research Handbook on Transnational Labour Law, eds. Adelle Blackett and Anne Trebilcock (New York: Edward Elgar, 2015).

Appelbaum, Richard and Nelson Lichtenstein (eds), Achieving Workers’ Rights in the Global Economy, (Cornell University Press, 2016).

Baker, Dean, Rigged: How Globalization and the Rules of the Modern Economy Were Structured to Make the Rich Richer (Center for Economic and Policy Research, 2016).

Blackett, Adelle and Anne Trebilcock (eds) Research Handbook on Transnational Labour Law (Edward Elgar, 2015)

Compa, Lance, “National and International Labour Rights,” in Alan Bogg and Tonia Novitz (ed) Voices at Work: Continuity and Change in the Common Law World (Oxford University Press, 2014).

Coxson, Christopher R., “The 1998 ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work: Promoting Labor Law Reforms Through the ILO as an Alternative to Imposing Coercive Trade Sanctions,” Dickinson Journal of International Law 17 (1998-1999): 469.

Dannin, Ellen J., Taking Back the Workers’ Law: How to Fight the Assault on Labor Rights (ILR Press, 2006).

Fenwick, C. F., Human Rights at Work: Perspectives on Law and Regulation (Hart Publishing, 2010).

Freedman, Sandra “Equality Law: Labour Law or an Autonomous Field?” in The Autonomy of Labour Law, eds. Alan Bogg, Cathryn Costello, ACL Davies, and Jeremias Prassl (Hart Publishing, 2015).

Fudge, Judy, “The New Discourse of Labor Rights: From Social to Fundamental Rights?” Comparative Labour Law & Policy Journal, no. 29 (2007).

Gross, J. A and Compa, L. A (eds) Human Rights in Labor and Employment Relations: International and Domestic Perspectives (ILR Press, 2009).

Kawar, Leila, “Making the Machine Work: Technocratic Engineering of Rights for Domestic Workers at the International Labour Organization,” Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies 483-511, no. 21 (2014).

Kolben, Kevin, “Labor Rights as Human Rights,” Virginia Journal of International Law 449, no. 50 (2009).

Kumar, Vidya, “Rethinking the Convergence of Human Rights and Labour Rights in International Law: Depoliticisation and Excess,” Law in Transition: Human Rights, Development and Transitional Justice, eds. Ruth Buchanan and Peer Zumbansen, eds., (Hart Publishing: 2014).

Langille, Brian, “Core Labour Standards – the True Story” European Journal of International Law 1, no. 16 (2005).

Mantouvalou, Virginia, “Labour Rights in the European Convention on Human Rights: An Intellectual Justification for an Integrated Approach to Interpretation” Human Rights Law Review (2013).

McIntyre, Richard P., Are Worker Rights Human Rights? (University of Michigan Press, 2008).

Mundlak, Guy, “Human Rights and Labor Rights: Why Don’t the Two Tracks Meet,” Comparative Labor Law & Policy Journal 217, no. 34 (2012).

Rittch, Kerry, “Between Workers’ Rights and Flexibility: Labor Law in an Uncertain World” St. Louis University Law Review 567, no. 54 (2010).

Rittich, Kerry, “Global Labour Policy as Social Policy” Canadian Labour and Employment Law Journal 227, no. 14 (2008).

Scheper, Christian, “From naming and shaming to knowing and showing’: human rights and the power of corporate practice,’” The International Jounral of Human Rights, 19, no. 6 (2015) 673.

Summers, Clyde, “The Battle in Seattle: Free Trade, Labor Rights, and Societal Values” University of Pennsylvania Journal of International Law 61, no. 22 (2001).

Labor, Economic Inequality and Globalization

Scholarly Texts

Antonczyk, Dirk, Bernd Fitzenberger and Katrin Sommfeld, “Rising Wage Inequality, the Decline of Collective Bargaining, and the Gender Wage Gap,” Labour Economics 835-847, no. 17:5 (2010).

Blackett, Adelle, “Introduction: Labor Law and Development—Perspectives on Labor Regulation in Africa and the African Diaspora,” Comparative Labour Law and Policy Journal 30, no. 2 (2011).

Carrington, D & Jones, T. (eds), Law and Class in America: Trends Since the Cold War (New York University Press, 2006).

Dimick, Matthew “Should the Law Do Anything About Inequality,” SUNY Buffalo Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2016-011, accessed Nov. 10, 2016,

Esbenshade, Jill Louise Monitoring Sweatshops: Workers, Consumers, and the Global Apparel Industry, (Temple University Press, 2004).

Estreicher, Samuel and Miriam Cherry, Global Issues in Employment Law, (West Academic Publishing, 2008).

Flanagan, Robert J., Globalization and Labor Conditions: Working Conditions and Worker Rights in a Global Economy (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006).

Flanagan, Robert J and William B. Gould IV (eds), International Labor Standards: Globalization, Trade, and Public Policy (Stanford Law and Politics, 2003).


Dabla-Norris, Era et al., Causes and Consequences of Income Inequality: A Global Perspective (International Monetary Fund, 2015).

Globalized Production, Inequality, and Human Rights

Global Value Chains and Inequality

Scholarly Texts

Blackett, Adelle, “A Global Governance, Legal Pluralism and the Decentred State: A Labor Law Critique of Codes of Corporate Conduct,” Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies 401-447, no. 8 (2001).

Engle, Karen et al, “Working Borders: Linking Debates About Insourcing and Outsourcing of Capital and Labor” Texas Journal of International Law 691-806, Issue 4 (2005).

Gereffi, Gary, “A Global Value Chain Perspective on Industrial Policy and Development in Emerging Markets,” Duke Journal of Comparative & International Law 433-458, no. 24 (2014).

Gereffi, Gary, “Global Value Chains and International Competition,” The Antitrust Bulletin 37-56, no. 56 (2011).

The IGLP Law and Global Production Working Group, “The Role of Law in Global Value Chains: A Research Manifesto,” London Review of International Law (2016).

Kolben, Kevin, “Dialogic Labor Regulation in the Global Supply Chain,” Michigan Journal of International Law 425-465, no. 36 (2015).

Kolben, Kevin, “Transnational Labor Regulation and the Limits of Governance,” Theoretical Inquiries in Law 403-437, no. 12 (2011).

Locke, Richard, Matthew Amengual and Akshay Mangla, “Virtue Out of Necessity? Compliance, Commitment and the Improvement of Labor Conditions in Global Supply Chains,” Politics & Society 319-351, no. 37:3 (2009).

Parella, Kishanthi, “Outsourcing Corporate Accountability,” Washington Law Review 747-784, no. 89 (2014).

Rossi, Arianna Amy Luinstra, John Pickles (eds), Towards Better Work: Understanding Labour in Apparel Global Value Chains, (International Labor Office with Palgrave Macmillan, 2014).

Sobel-Read, Kevin B., “Global Value Chains: A Framework for Analysis,” Transnational Legal Theory 364-407 (2015).

Human Rights in Global Supply Chains

Scholarly Texts

Berliner, Daniel, Anne Regan Greenleaf, Milli Lake, Margaret Levi and Jennifer Noveck, Labour Standards in International Supply Chains (Edward Elgar, 2015).

Brudney, James J., “Decent Labour Standards in Corporate Supply Chains: The Immokalee Workers Model,” Temporary Labour Migration in the Global Era: The Regulatory Challenges, Owens and Howe, eds., (Hart Publishing, 2016).

Brudney, James J., “Envisioning Enforcement of Freedom of Association Standards in Corporate Codes: A Journey for Sinbad or Sisyphus?” Comparative Labor Law and Policy Journal 33, 2012.

Connor, Tim and Fiona Haines, “Networked Regulation as a Solution to Human Rights Abuse in Global Supply Chains? The Case of Trade Union Rights Violations by Indonesian Sports Shoe Manufacturers” Theoretical Criminology, vol 17, no 2, 197-214 (2013).

Locke, Richard M., The Promise and Limits of Private Power: Promoting Labor Standards in a Global Economy, (Cambridge University Press, 2013).

Rodriguez-Garavito, Cesar A., “Global Governance and Labor Rights: Codes of Conduct and Anti Sweatshop Struggles in Global Apparel Factories in Mexico and Guatemala,” Politics & Society 203 233, no. 33 (2005)

Ruggie, John Gerard, Just Business: Multinational Corporation and Human Rights, (W.W. Norton & Company, 2013).

Wiegla, Chris, Kendyl Salcito, & Burton H. Singer, “Corporate Human Rights Commitments and the Psychology of Business Acceptance of Human Rights Duties: A Multi-Industry Analysis” International Journal of Human Rights, 19, no. 6 (2015).


International Labour Office, “Report IV: Decent Work in Global Supply Chains,” (2016).

Shift, “Respecting Human Rights Through Global Supply Chains, Workshop Report No. 2,” (2012),

UL, “Addressing Human Rights Issues in Global Supply Chains,” (2013),

United Nations Global Compact, “A Guide to Traceability: A Practical Approach to Advance Sustainability in Global Supply Chains,” (2014),

Key Recognized Labor Human Rights

Freedom of Association and Rights of Collective Bargaining

ILO Convention

International Labour Organization, Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention (C087, 1948), accessed Nov. 10, 2016,

Scholarly Texts

Brudney, James J. “Book Review: To Strike or not to Strike” Wisconsin Law Review 65 (1997) 65-89.

Brudney, James J. “Collateral Conflict: Employer Claims of RICO Extortion Against Union Comprehensive Campaigns,” Southern California Law Review, 83, no. 4, (2010): 731.

Brudney, James J. “Neutrality Agreements and Card Check Recognition: Prospects for Changing Labor Relations Paradigms,” American Constitution Society Issue Brief,” (2007).

Compa, Lance A., Unfair Advantage: Workers’ Freedom of Association in the United States Under International Human Rights Standards (ILR Press, 2004).

Compa, Lance “Do International Freedom of Association Standards Apply to Public Sector Labor Relations in the States?” Human Rights Review 373, no. 13 (2012)

Compa, Lance, “Free Speech and Freedom of Association: Finding the Balance” International Trade Union Confederation position paper (June 2013), accessed Nov. 10 2016,

Compa, Lance and James A. Gross, Human Rights in Labor and Employment Relations: International and Domestic Perspectives (2009).

Compa, Lance “The Wagner Model and International Freedom of Association Standards” in Autonomie Collective et Droit du Travail: Mélanges en l’Honneur du Professeur Pierre Verge, Dominic Roux, ed., pp.427-461, Presses de l’Université Laval (2015)

Estlund, Cynthia L. “Free Speech and Due Process in the Workplace,” Indiana Law Journal, 71, no. 1 (1995): 101-151.

Estlund, Cynthia L. “Labor, Property, and Sovereignty after Lechmere,” Stanford Law Review 46, no. 2, (1994): 305-359.

Tzouvala, Ntina, “Continuity and Rupture in Restraining the Right to Strike” in Honor Brabazon, ed., Neoliberal Legality: Understanding the Role of Law in the Neoliberal Project (New York: Edward Elgar, 2016).


Report of the Special Rapporteur on the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association, United Nations General Assembly, A/71/385 (14 September 2016)

Human Rights Watch, Unfair Advantage: Workers Freedom of Association in the United States under International Human Rights Standards, 2000, accessed Nov. 10, 2016

Elimination of Forced or Compulsory Labor

ILO Convention

International Labour Organization, Forced Labour Convention, (C29, 1930), accessed Oct. 1, 2016,

Scholarly Texts

Allain, Jean, Slavery in International Law: Of Human Exploitation and Trafficking (Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2013).

Caraway, Nancie “Human Rights and Existing Contradictions in Asia-Pacific Human Trafficking Politics and Discourse,” Tulane Journal of International and Comparative Law 14 (2005): 295.

George, Erika R. and Scarlet R. Smith, “In Good Company: How Corporate Social Responsibility Can Protect Rights and Aid Efforts to End Child Sex Trafficking and Modern Slavery,” New York University Journal of International Law and Politics 46 (2013): 55.

Hathaway, James C. “The Human Rights Quagmire of Human Trafficking” Virginia Journal of International Law 49 (2008): 1.

Inglis, Shelley Case “Expanding International and National Protections Against Trafficking for Forced Labor Using a Human Rights Framework,” Buff. Hum. Rts. L. Rev. 7 (2001): 55-104.

Langille, Brian “The Curious Incident of the ILO, Myanmar and Forced Labour,” Research Handbook on Transnational Labour Law, eds. Adelle Blackett and Anne Trebilcock (New York: Edward Elgar, 2015).

Limoncelli, Stephanie A. “The trouble with trafficking: Conceptualizing women’s sexual labor and economic human rights,” Women’s Studies International Forum 32 (2009): 261–269.

Payne, Valerie “On the Road to Victory in America’s War on Human Trafficking: Landmarks, Landmines, and the Need for Centralized Strategy,” Regent University Law Review 21 (2009): 161-193.

Ratner, Blake D. et al., “Fishing for justice: Human rights, development, and fisheries sector reform,” Global Environmental Change 27 (2014): 120-130.

Abolition of Child Labor

ILO Convention

International Labour Organization, Minimum Age Convention, (C138, 1973), accessed on Nov. 10, 2016,

International Labour Organization, Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, (C182, 2000), accessed Nov. 10, 2016,

Scholarly Texts

Arat, Zehra F. “Analyzing Child Labor as a Human Rights Issue: Its Causes, Aggravating Policies, and Alternative Proposals,” Human Rights Quarterly 24 (2002): 177–204.

Silk, James J. and Meron Makonnen, “Ending Child Labor: A Role for International Human Rights Law,” Saint Louis University Public Law Review 359, no. 22 (2003).

Weston, B. H (ed), Child Labor and Human Rights: Making Children Matter (Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2005).

Elimination of Discrimination in Respect of Employment and Occupation

ILO Convention

International Labour Organization, Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention, (C111, 1958), accessed Nov. 10, 2016,

International Labour Organization, Equal Remuneration Convention (C100, 1951), accessed Nov. 10, 2016,

Precarity and Human Rights

Scholarly Texts

Albin, Einat, “Human Rights and the Multiple Dimensions of Precarious Work,” 34 Comparative Labor Law & Policy Journal 193, no. 34 (2012).

Albin, Einat, “Precarious Work and Human Rights,” Comparative Labor Law & Policy Journal 1, no. 34 (2012).

Fudge, Judy, “Precarious Migrant Status and Precarious Employment: The Paradox of International Rights for Migrant Workers,” Comparative Labor Law & Policy Journal 95, no. 34 (2012).

Mantouvalou, Virginia, “Human Rights for Precarious Workers: The Legislative Precariousness of Domestic Labor,” Comparative Labor Law & Policy Journal 133, no. 34 (2012).

Rodgers, Lisa, Labour Law, Vulnerability and the Regulation of Precarious Work (Edward Elgar, 2016)

Standing, Guy, The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class (Bloomsbury Academic, 2011)

Standing, Guy, A Precariat Charter: From Denizens to Citizens (Bloomsbury Academic, 2014)

Migrant Labor and Human Rights

Scholarly Texts

Anderson, Bridget “A Very Private Business Exploring the Demand for Migrant Domestic Workers,” European Journal of Women’s Studies 247–264, no. 14 (2007).

Basok, Tanya and Emily Carasco, “Advancing the Rights of Non-Citizens in Canada: A Human Rights Approach to Migrant Rights,” Human Rights Quarterly 342, no. 32 (2010).

Basok, Tanya and Nicola Piper, “Management Versus Rights: Women’s Migration and Global Governance in Latin America and the Caribbean,” Feminist Economics 35, no. 18 (2012).

Bidinger, Sarah “Syrian Refugees and the Right to Work: Developing Temporary Protection in Turkey,” Boston University International Law Journal 223, no. 33 (2015).

Costello, Cathryn “Migrants and Forced Labour: A Labour Law Response,” The Autonomy of Labour Law, eds. Alan Bogg, Cathryn Costello, ACL Davies, and Jeremias Prassl (Hart Publishing, 2015).

Costello, Cathryn and Mark Freedland (eds), Migrants at Work: Immigration and Vulnerability in Labour Law (Oxford, 2014).

Lewis, Hannah et al., “Hyper-precarious Lives: Migrants, Work and Forced Labour in the Global North,” Progress in Human Geography 580–600, no. 39 (2015).

Li, William D H, “Developmental State, Human Rights and Migrant Workers,” Development and Society 139, no. 40 (2011).

Noll, Gregor, “Why Human Rights Fail to Protect Undocumented Migrants,” European Journal of Migration and Law 241, no. 12 (2010).

Priore, Michael J., Birds of Passage: Migrant Labor and Industrial Societies (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1979), 1-29.

Ruhs, Martin, The Price of Rights: Regulating International Labor Migration (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2014), 1-25.

Satterthwaite, Margaret, “Women Migrants’ Rights under International Human Rights Law,” Feminist Review 167–171 (2004).

Wise, Raúl Delgado, Humberto, Márquez Covarrubias and Ruben Puentes, “Reframing the Debate on Migration, Development and Human Rights,” Population, Space and Place 430-443, no. 19 (2013).

Wishnie, Michael J. “Immigrant Workers and the Domestic Enforcement of International Labor Rights,” U. PA Journal of Labor and Employment Law 529–557 (2002).

Informal Work and Human Rights

Scholarly Texts

Carré, Françoise et al (eds.) Nonstandard Work: The Nature and Challenges of Changing Employment Arrangements (Cornell University Press, 2000).

Narayan, Uma, “Workers in the Informal Sector: Special Challenges for Economic Human Rights” Feminist Economics, 101-116, 13:1 (2007)

Routh, Supriya and Vando Borghi (eds), Workers and the Global Informal Economy: Interdisciplinary Perspectives (Routledge, 2016)


Non-Standard Employment Around the World: Understanding Challenges, Shaping Prospects, (International Labour Organization, 2016).

Sex Work and Human Rights

Scholarly Texts

Decker, Michele R et al., “Human rights violations against sex workers: burden and effect on HIV,” The Lancet 186–199, no. 385 (2015).

Hernandez-Truyol, Berta E. & Jane E. Larson, “Sexual Labor and Human Rights,” Columbia Human Rights Law Review 391, no. 37 (2005).

Larson, Jane E. “Prostitution, Labor, and Human Rights,” U.C. Davis Law Review 673, no. 37 (2003).

Loff, Bebe et al., “Prostitution, Public Health, and Human-Rights Law,” The Lancet, no. 356 (2000).

Musto, Jennifer, et al., “Prostitution and Sex Work,” International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, 279–285, accessed Nov. 10, 2016,


Amnesty International, Draft policy on Sex Work, 32nd International Council Meeting 2015 ICM circular, July 2015

Domestic Work and Human Rights

Scholarly Texts

Anderson, Bridget, “Nations, Migration and Domestic Labor: The case of the UK,” Women’s Studies International Forum 5–12, no. 46 (2014).

Doorey, David J., “In Defense of Transnational Domestic Labor Regulation,” Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law 953, no. 43 (2010).

Gorbán, Débora & Ania Tizziani, “Inferiorization and Deference: The Construction of Social Hierarchies in the Context of Paid Domestic Labor,” Women’s Studies International Forum 54–62, no. 46 (2014).

Silvey, Rachel, “Transnational Domestication: State Power and Indonesian Migrant Women in Saudi Arabia,” Political Geography 245–264, no. 23 (2004).


Women in Informal Employment Globalizing and Organizing & HomeNet South Asia, Delhi Declaration of Home-Based Workers (2015).

Domestic and Transnational Labor Organizing

Scholarly Texts

Berliner, Daniel et al., “Building Capacity, Building Rights? State Capacity and Labor Rights in Developing Countries,” World Development 127–139, no. 72 (2015).

Blackett, Adelle and Anne Trebilcock, “Conceptualizing Transnational Labour Law” in Adelle Blackett and Anne Trebilcock, eds., Research Handbook on Transnational Labour Law (New York: Edward Elgar, 2015), Ch 1.

Bronfenbrenner, Kate (ed), Global Unions: Challenging Transnational Capital Through Cross-Border Campaigns (ILR Press/Cornell University Press, 2007).

Drache, D & L. A. Jacobs (eds.), Linking Global Trade and Human Rights: New Policy Space in Hard Economic Times, (Cambridge University Press, 2014).

Hadwiger, Felix, “Global Framework Agreements: Achieving Decent Work in Global Supply Chains,” International Journal of Labour Research, 7, no. ½ (2015).

Horwitt, Sanford D., Let Them Call Me Rebel: Saul Alinsky, His Life and Legacy (Vintage Books Publishing, 1992).

Kang, Susan L., Human Rights and Labor Solidarity: Trade Unions in the Global Economy (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012).

McCallum, Jamie K., Global Unions, Local Power (ILR Press, 2013).

Rodgers, G et al. (eds.), The International Labour Organization and the Quest for Social Justice, (ILR Press/Cornell University Press, 2009).

Rothstein, Robert L., Global Bargaining: UNCTAD and the Quest for a New International Economic Order (Princeton University Press, 1979).

Seidman, Gay W., Beyond the Boycott: Labor Rights, Human rights, and Transnational Activism (Russell Sage Foundation, 2007).

Wheeler, Hoyt N., The Future of the American Labor Movement (Cambridge University Press, 2002).

Wad, Peter, “Getting International Labour Rights Right at a Foreign Controlled Company in Malaysia: A Global Labour Network Perspective,” Geoforum 52–61, no. 44 (2013).