The General Assembly of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers, at its 17th Congress in Hanoi, Vietnam, noting that:

1.      Neoliberalism, which is sweeping the world under the name of globalization, pressures countries around the world to enable transnational corporations to conduct their economic activities in larger markets with lower costs.  Neoliberalism has demanded reorganization and structural reform affecting the totality of politics and economics, and in particular has ceaselessly imposed pressure to achieve deregulation in the labor sector, including the huge growth in the use by companies of “non-regular” employees on much reduced pay and other terms and conditions.

2.      In numerous countries in all parts of the globe, economies have undergone structural adjustments under IMF guidance.  Large scale restructuring and the hiring of larger proportions of non-regular workers have been encouraged and now non-regular workers account for over half of the total.

3.      Deregulation of labor is proceeding in many countries, and the legal system for worker protection has been severely undermined.  As a result, regular workers are increasingly being replaced with non-regular workers, who often receive less than half the salaries and benefits regular workers.  Non-regular workers face discrimination in terms of social security, e.g. social insurance.  And amid the current economic crisis, non-regular workers are the first to be laid off.

4.      The deregulation of the labor sector has destroyed legal protection for workers, driving a wedge between workers in one country and their counterparts abroad, and weakening labor unions who seek to guarantee the interests and welfare of workers.  The employment of non-regular workers under inferior working conditions encourages competition with and among regular workers, leading to long hours of over work, and creating situations of stress and harassment that undermine human dignity, health and social well-being.

5.      This General Assembly of the IADL therefore commits itself:

a.      To work for a global economic system which ensures that workers are properly protected, in law and in practice, and that the practice of “non-regular” employment is eliminated,

b.      To combat the process of deregulation of labor, at global, national and local levels.

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