Labour Regulations and Labour Standards in India: Decent Work?


  • Jens Lerche SOAS, University of London



decent work, ILO, India, labour rights, social floor,


The article assesses the ILO decent work agenda in the Global South: its objectives and coherence, its impact on labour relations and conditions, and its overall policy direction in relation to alternative labour rights and welfare policy thinking. This is followed by a case study of the Indian version of the decent work agenda and the extent to which the ILO–India collaboration has influenced regulatory frameworks and labour relations. From this, wider lessons for both the ILO decent work agenda and for Indian labour relations are drawn: it is argued that the present emphasis on progress in social protection has inherent dangers as this is not likely to overcome underlying inequalities and form the basis for broader welfare coalitions, including for the political mobilization of informal workers themselves.