Events & Announcements


Guest Lectures and Seminars


ILO Convention 189 Campaign Launch: "Les travailleuses domestiques ont des droits"

March 5th 2018, Robin Des Bois Restaurant, 4653 St-Laurent, Montreal H2T 1R2

In celebration of International Women's Day, on March 5th, the International Centre for Worker's Solidarity (CISO - le Centre international de solidarité ouvrière) and the Comité québécois femmes et développement of the AQOC will be launching the campaign for the ratification of ILO Convention 189 concerning decent work for domestic workers. This campaign seeks both to ratify Convention 189 in Canada and to harmonize Canadian provinces and territories' legislation on decent work for domestic workers. 

Many guests speakers will be invited to speak during this campaign launch, including Marcelina Bautista (advocate for domestic workers' rights, co-founder of CACEH and domestic worker of Mexican origin), Anne Delorme (coordinator of the Comité québécois femmes et développement), a representative from PINAY (a Filipino women's organization that empowers and organizes Filipino women in Quebec, particularly Filipino domestic workers) and Canada Research Chair in Transnational Labour Law and Development Professor Adelle Blackett. A former official of the International Labour Office in Geneva, Professor Blackett has been an ILO expert on international standard setting on decent work for domestic workers (2008-2011) leading to the adoption of ILO Convention No. 189 and Recommendation No. 201. 

Those wishing to participate should express their interest on CISO's Facebook event. More information is also available on the event's page. 


Equity Matters in Quebec Universities: a conversation between Malinda Smith and Sirma Bilge 

February 22nd 2018, 10h00-11h30, Stephen Scott Seminar Room, OCDH 16

Join the LLDRL and our partners for a conversation on equity in Quebec Universities with Malinda Smith and Sirma Bilge. This lecture will take place in the Stephen Scott Seminar Room, OCDH 16, at McGill University's Faculty of Law. 

Please note that RSVPs will be accepted by lldrl.law [at] mcgill.ca (subject: RSVP%3A%20Equity%20Matters%20) (email) until February 18th, 23:59. 

About Professor Smith 

Dr. Malinda S. Smith is a Professor of Political Science at the University of Alberta, where she teaches in the fields of international relations, comparative politics, and gender and politics. Her current research, teaching, and scholarship explore questions of equity and antiracism in higher education, the coloniality of knowledge and decolonizing the curriculum, and nuances of blackness in the academy. Her published research also examines questions in critical African political economy and terrorism studies. Dr. Smith is the coauthored of The Equity Myth: Racialization and Indigeneity at Canadian Universities(UBC Press 2017), and the editor or co-editor of six books, including Critical Concepts: An Introduction to Politics (2013, with Janine Brodie and Sandra Rein), Securing Africa: Post 9/11 Discourses on Terrorism (2010) and States of Race: Critical Race Feminism in the 21st Century (2010, with Sherene Razack and Sunera Thobani).

Over the past two decades Dr. Smith has worked to advance equity in higher education as Vice President Equity Issues for the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, on CAUT’s Racialized Academic Staff Working Group, and as the faculty association’s Equity Advisor. Currently she is President of the Academic Women’s Association at the University of Alberta, and nationally serves on the Canada Research Chairs Program Advisory Committee on Equity Diversity and Inclusion Policy. She is the recipient of a number of national awards including the ISA-Canada Distinguished Scholar Award, 2018-2019, the HSBC Community Contributor of the Year Award (2016), and the CAUT Equity Award (2015).

About Professor Bilge 

Sirma Bilge (PhD, Université Sorbonne Nouvelle-Paris III) is Full Professor of Sociology at Université de Montréal. She founded and directed the Intersectionality Research Unit at the Centre des études ethniques des universités montréalaises (CEETUM) from 2005 to 2010 and is elected board member of the Research Committee on Racism, Nationalism and Ethnic Relations (RC05) of the International Sociological Association (ISA). Her work engages with the intersections of social formations of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality and class, and examines how notions of national/ethnic sameness and otherness articulate themselves through gender and sexual regulation. Her most recent research project, funded by SSHRC, looks at the neoliberal incorporation of minority knowledges in the academy, with specific focus on intersectionality, and at the transformation of academic subjectivities of minority knowledge producers.

Professor Bilge has published more than 20 peer-reviewed articles in French, English and Turkish. Her most widely engaged articles include ‘Intersectionality Undone » (Dubois Review, 2013) and ‘Beyond subordination and resistance: An intersectional approach to the agency of veiled Muslim women’ (Journal of Intercultural Studies, 2010). Her recent book, Intersectionality, (2016, Polity Press), co-authored with Patricia Hill Collins, revisits the potential of intersectionality as a social justice-oriented knowledge project and praxis for studying and transforming intersecting power relations and social inequalities.


The Fierce Urgency of Now: Equity and Anti-Racism in Uncertain Times

February 21st 2018, 18h00-19h30, Ballroom, McGill Faculty Club, 3450 McTavish St, Montreal

Join us for a very special lecture on Equity and Anti-Racism in Uncertain Times with Professor Malinda S. Smith, co-author of The Equity Myth: Racilization and Indigeneity at Canadian Universities (UBC Press 2017). The lecture will take place in the ballroom of the McGill Faculty Club. A reception will follow the lecture.

Please note that RSVPs will be accepted on Eventbrite until February 18th, 23:59.

This event is made possible thanks to the generous contributions of the Canada Research Chair in Transnational Labour Law and Development, the Office of the Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) and the McGill University Faculty of Law.

We are grateful for the assistance and support of our partners, the McGill Joint Board-Senate Subcommittee on Racialized and Ethnic Persons, the McGill Association of University Teachers, the Social Equity and Diversity Education (SEDE) Office, the Black Law Student Association, the Women of Colour Collective and the Indigenous Law Association of the McGill Faculty of Law. 

About Professor Smith

Dr. Malinda S. Smith is a Professor of Political Science at the University of Alberta, where she teaches in the fields of international relations, comparative politics, and gender and politics. Her current research, teaching, and scholarship explore questions of equity and antiracism in higher education, the coloniality of knowledge and decolonizing the curriculum, and nuances of blackness in the academy. Her published research also examines questions in critical African political economy and terrorism studies. Dr. Smith is the coauthored of The Equity Myth: Racialization and Indigeneity at Canadian Universities(UBC Press 2017), and the editor or co-editor of six books, including Critical Concepts: An Introduction to Politics (2013, with Janine Brodie and Sandra Rein), Securing Africa: Post 9/11 Discourses on Terrorism (2010) and States of Race: Critical Race Feminism in the 21st Century (2010, with Sherene Razack and Sunera Thobani).

Over the past two decades Dr. Smith has worked to advance equity in higher education as Vice President Equity Issues for the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, on CAUT’s Racialized Academic Staff Working Group, and as the faculty association’s Equity Advisor. Currently she is President of the Academic Women’s Association at the University of Alberta, and nationally serves on the Canada Research Chairs Program Advisory Committee on Equity Diversity and Inclusion Policy. She is the recipient of a number of national awards including the ISA-Canada Distinguished Scholar Award, 2018-2019, the HSBC Community Contributor of the Year Award (2016), and the CAUT Equity Award (2015).

For any questions or concerns, please email lldrl.law [at] mcgill.ca.


The Egalitarian Free Labor Promise of the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution

February 15th 2018, 11h00-12h30, NCDH 100

The LLDRL Speaker Series and the Canada Research Chair in Transnational Labour Law and Development present "The Egalitarian Free Labor Promise of the Thirteenth Amendment to the US Constitution" by Professor Rebecca Zietlow, Charles Fornoff Professor of Law and Values at the University of Toledo College of Law.

This lecture will take place during a special plenary in the course "Constitutional Law" and is part of a continued effort to discuss Slavery and the Law at the Faculty of Law at McGill University, an initiative born from a 2016-2017 course by Professor Adelle Blackett by the same name. Students enrolled in the 1L Constitution Law course will automatically be registered for this lecture and attend in the context of their course. All others wishing to attend must register by sending an RSVP to Emily Painter at lldrl.law [at] mcgill.ca

Professor Zietlow's lecture will trace the history and theory behind the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, the amendment abolishing slavery, and its impact on civil rights and workers' rights in the United States.

About Professor Zietlow

Professor Rebecca E. Zietlow is a visiting professor at Vermont Law School and Charles W. Fornoff Professor of Law and Values at the University of Toledo College of Law. Her areas of specialty are constitutional law, federal courts, constitutional litigation, and women and the law. She received her bachelor’s degree from Barnard College and her juris doctor from Yale Law School. In 2012, she received the University of Toledo Outstanding Faculty Research Award. Her scholarly interest is in the study of the Reconstruction Era, including the meaning and history of the 13th and 14th Amendments. Zietlow is also an expert on constitutional theory, examining constitutional interpretation outside of the courts.

Her first book, “Enforcing Equality: Congress, the Constitution and the Protection of Individual Rights (NYU Press, 2006), studies the history of congressional protection of rights and the implications of that history for constitutional theory.  Her most recent book, “The Forgotten Emancipator: James Mitchell Ashley and the Ideological Origins of Reconstruction (Cambridge University Press, 2017), discusses the egalitarian free labor vision that animated the early Reconstruction Congress and the 13th Amendment. Zietlow uses Ashley's life as a unique lens through which to explore the ideological origins of Reconstruction and the constitutional changes of this era. Zietlow recounts how Ashley and his antislavery allies shared an egalitarian free labor ideology that was influenced by the political antislavery movement and the nascent labor movement - a vision that conflicted directly with the institution of slavery. Ashley's story sheds important light on the meaning and power of popular constitutionalism: how the constitution is interpreted outside of the courts and the power that citizens and their elected officials can have in enacting legal change. 

Zietlow has also published articles in the Columbia Law Review, Boston University Law Review, Ohio State Law Journal, Florida Law Review, the Wake Forest Law Journal, and the University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law, among other publications.


Making International Trade more Equitable: Canada’s Progressive Trade Policy and Indigenous Peoples

January 30th 2018, 14h30-16h00, NCDH 316

The LLDRL Speaker Series is excited to welcome Risa Schwartz, LL.B, LL.M on January 30th to discuss the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, progressive trade policies in Canada and their potential impact on Indigenous peoples.

The renegotiation of NAFTA offers a unique opportunity to better align international trade and investment with international Indigenous and human rights law. The announcement that Canada is seeking the inclusion of an Indigenous peoples’ chapter in NAFTA as a priority is a bold step to protect Indigenous rights, while enhance peoples’ increased participation in international trade. Not only does Canada’s prioritization of a progressive trade agenda, which includes the promotion of an Indigenous peoples’ chapter, help to realize economic equity, it is also consistent with Canada’s stated commitment to Indigenous rights and renewed nation-to-nation and Inuit-to-Crown relationships. In order for Canada to take the lead globally in progressive and inclusive trade, the government must develop a process for broader-based collaboration in a spirit of cooperative decision making in accordance with international law. 

This seminar is accredited by a recognized provider for 1.5 hours of continuing legal education. 

As seating is limited, we ask that you please RSVP to this event by sending an email to lldrl.law [at] mcgill.ca (subject: RSVP%20Risa%20Schwartz%20January%2030th%20Event) no later than January 28th, 2018. 

About Risa Schwartz 
Risa Schwartz is a sole practitioner, focusing on international law and the intersections between trade law, environmental law and Indigenous rights. Risa was formerly a senior research fellow with CIGI's International Law Research Program. In that role, she researched law and policy that supported increasing Indigenous peoples’ participation in international law and treaty making. Risa has also held positions as counsel to the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs in Ontario, and the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change, and worked as a legal officer at the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. Risa obtained her LL.B. from Osgoode Hall Law School and her LL.M. from the London School of Economics.


Comparative Labour Law: Is it Still Useful?

November 1st 2017, 13h00-14h30, Stephen Scott Seminar Room, OCDH 16

The LLDRL Speaker Series and the Canada Research Chair in Transnational Labour Law and Development present "Comparative Labour Law: is it still useful?" by Anne Trebilcock, former Director of the Legal Advisor's Office at the International Labour Office in Geneva. 

A light lunch will be served at 12:30 pm, prior to the lecture beginning at 13h00. Please confirm your attendance by sending an RSVP to emily.painter [at] mail.mcgill.ca (Emily Painter) by October 26th, 2017.

This event is sponsored by the Canada Research Chair in Transnational Labour Law and Development. 

About Anne Trebilcock 

Anne Trebilcock (B.A., J.D.) is the former Director of the Legal Advisor's Office at the International Labour Office in Geneva, where she worked on issues of public international law, international labour standards, comparative labour law and fundamental principles and rights at work for nearly 25 years.

She is currently associated with the Labour Law Institute at Georg-August University in Göttingen, Germany, and has lectured at various universities. She co-edited, with Professor Adelle Blackett, The Research Handbook on Transnational Labour Law, and is now preparing the Research Collection on Comparative Labour Law. She has written on labour law, international law and human rights.


You Shall Have the Body: Slavery, Property Rights and Resistance in Canada 

September 12, 2017, 14h30-16h00, NCDH 100

The LLDRL Speaker Series and the Canada Research Chair in Transnational Labour Law and Development present "You Shall Have the Body: Slavery, Property Rights and Resistance in Canada" by Professor Barrington Walker, Professor in the Department of History at Queen's University. 

This lecture will take place during a special plenary in the course "Property Law," and is part of the continuity of the initiatives on Slavery and the Law, initially fostered via a 2016-2017 course by Professor Adelle Blackett by the same name. Students enrolled in the 2L Property Law course will automatically be registered for this lecture and attend in the context of their course. All others wishing to attend must register by sending an RSVP to emily.painter [at] mail.mcgill.ca (Emily Painter. )

This three-part lecture will first provide a brief overview of the social and economic history of slavery in Canada. Next, it moves to consider how the institution of slavery was supported by the law, particularly through ( but not limited to) property law. The final part of the lecture turns to the role of the law as a tool of resistance to the institution of slavery. Throughout the lecture, the audience will be asked to consider several questions. How do we define property and how has this shaped history over time? What do we mean when we say that property has been socially constructed? And finally, how have property laws been used to justify racist and discriminatory actions both in the distant and more recent past?

This event is sponsored by the Canada Research Chair in Transnational Labour Law and Development. 

About Professor Barrington Walker 

Barrington Walker is a historian of Modern Canada who focuses on the histories of Blacks, race immigration and the law. His work seeks to illuminate the contours of Canadian modernity by exploring Canada's emergence as a racial state through its histories of white supremacy, slavery, colonization/immigration, segregation and Jim Crowism. Much of his work considers how these practices were legitimized, and in some instances contested, by the rule of law and legal institutions.

He is the author of Race On Trial: Black Defendants in Ontario's Criminal Courts (University of Toronto Press and the Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History, 2010) which was shortlisted for the Ontario Legislature Speaker's Book Award for 2012.  He has also edited two collections: The African Canadian Legal Odyssey: Historical Essays (University of Toronto Press and the Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History, 2012) and The History of Immigration and Racism in Canada: Essential Readings (Canadian Scholars Press, 2008). He is currently working on two new books. The first is Colonizing Nation: A Canadian History of Race and Immigration (under contract with Oxford University Press). The second is Dark Peril: Blacks and the Social Order in North America's Urban Landscape, 1992-2012.


The LLDRL at the 85e Congrès de l'ACFAS

11 May 2017, 9h15-17h00, Wong Building, 1020 

Join the LLDRL for a day-long symposium on labour law and development, part of the annual Association francophone pour le savoir (ACFAS) Congress. 

This symposium will link labour law and economic development through the sharing of recent and ongoing research on the regulation of informal, rural and domestic work. Corporate social responsibility and the ways in which microentrepreneurs are regulated will form part of these reflections which extend beyond hegemonic labour law to concern themselves with social justice for the human person at work. All researchers involved in this day-long symposium are affiliated with the LLDRL. See the detailed program. 

This symposium is accredited by a recognized provider for 6 hours of continuing legal education. The 85th edition of the ACFAS Congress is also recognized as an eligible training expenditures under D-8.3, r.1 and a certificate is available for download here

You may register in-person at the Faculty of Arts of McGill University, following these instructions, as early as May 7th.


Missed Opportunity in the Narrative of US Law: How Did American Workers Lose Legal Ground? 

29 March 2017, 13h00-14h30, Stephen Scott Seminar Room, OCDH 16

The Faculty of Law Legal Theory Workshop and the LLDRL Spearker Series are pleased to welcome Josephine R Witte Chair Professor Lea VanderVelde at the McGill University Faculty of Law.

Professor Lea VanderVelde's talk, entitled "Missed Opportunity in the Master Narrative of US Law: How Did American Workers Lose Legal Ground?" will provide a compelling and timely perspective on Slavery, Labour Law and Constitutional Law in the United States, as well as a contemporary commentary on Professor VanderVelde's classic article "The Labour Vision of the 13th Amendment."

"Americans pride themselves on their view that everyone is equal in the United States, employer and employee alike.  Yet, it is clear from many barometers that employer’s enjoy a position of privilege over employees that is not necessarily the result of bargaining between equals.  Although the employment relation is cloaked in the language of contract, numerous observer’s have remarked that employment is not really a contract at all.  It entails many more features of status than other contracts, and the status features tend to subordinate employees to their employers in ways that few contracting parties do to each other. 

This is not solely derived from the fact that employers direct the work that employees are to perform.  It is much more a derivative of the legacy of Master-Servant law over the entire course of the life of the nation.  I am not the first to have remarked upon this.  Works by Karen Orren, Chris Tomlins and Rob Steinfeld reach this same conclusion by different processes of analysis.

In taking the long view, I ask the question of why master-servant remained in the face of change.  Why did features of master-servant persist and become transformed at junctures when the egalitarian ethos was on the rise in American history and there were opportunities for a much more egalitarian revision along the lines of labor codes in force in many western countries?"

Lea VanderVelde is a Professor at the Faculty of Law of the University of Iowa who writes in the fields of work law, property law, slavery and the law, American legal history, and constitutionallaw. She is also the principal investigator for The Law of the Antebellum Frontier project at the Stanford Spatial History Lab, where she is currently conducting a digital research of American national expansion in the critical years before the Civil War. To learn more about this project, click here.

Her recent books include Redemption Songs: Suing for Freedom before Dred Scott (2014) and Mrs. Dred Scott: A Life on Slavery's Frontier (2009), which students in Professor Blackett's Slavery and the Law course at the Faculty of Law had the opportunity to read, analyze and even discuss with the author herself in the fall semester. 

A light lunch will be served at 12h30, in advance of the talk at 13h00. Please RSVP for the lunch by sending an julie.fontaine2 [at] mcgill.ca

This seminar is accredited by a recognized provider for 1.5 hour of continuing legal education.

This event is sponsored by the Labour Law and Development Research Laboratory and McGill Faculty of Law.


Transnational Labour Law and the Environment: Beyond the Bounded Autonomous Worker

15 March 2017, 13h00-14h30, Stephen Scott Seminar Room, OCDH 16 

The LLDRL Speaker Series and the Canada Research Chair in Transnational Labour Law and Development are pleased to welcome Sara Seck, Associate Professor at the University of Western Ontario Faculty of Law. Professor Seck's presentation will explore how transnational labour and environmental law may come together to protect not only workers, but their families and communities from health and safety risks associated with "fast fashion" production. 

"Research and writing in the areas of labour law and environmental law have tended to operate in silos. There are limited exceptions to this claim, such as the liability of company employees for environmental harms, and the health and safety of workers where the threat arises from an environmental contaminant. This claim appears equally relevant in the transnational sphere, despite the endorsement of United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) in 2011, which provide that all businesses have a responsibility to respect all human rights throughout their operations and in their business relationships. Due to the work of the International Labour Organization (ILO), labour rights as human rights appear easier to grasp than environmental human rights, which, as mapped by Professor John Knox for the UN Human Rights Council, arise from multiple sources. Indeed, the UNGPs specifically highlight the work of the ILO as of importance to these business responsibilities. Due in part to egregious events such as the Bangladesh Rana Plaza factory collapse and fires which have killed thousands of (largely female) workers, transnational governance regimes, notably the Accord and the Alliance, have emerged to better ensure building safety and respect for labour rights. Yet the process of production of “fast fashion” is not only a problem for workers whose health and safety are put at risk while on the job, but also for children and families who live in the vicinity of polluting factories and experience “slow death” as a result of contaminated air and water. This presentation will explore how transnational labour and environmental law might come together to protect not only workers but families and communities if the worker is reconceptualised as a relational being, rather than the bounded autonomous being that is implicit in many emerging transnational labour governance regimes."

This event is sponsored by the Labour Law and Development Research Laboratory, the Research Chair in Transnational Labour Law and Development and McGill Faculty of Law.

A light lunch will be served at 12h30 in advance of the talk at 13h00. Please RSVP for the lunch by March 9th at julie.fontaine2 [at] mcgill.ca


Workers’ Rights and Corporate Responsibilities Across Borders: Perspectives on the Role of Law and Social Justice

2 November 2016, 14:30-16:00, Stephen Scott Seminar Room, OCDH 16

A talk with Janelle Diller, Paul Martin Sr. Professor of International Affairs and Law, University of Windsor, on leave from the International Labour Organization. Professor Diller’s most recent book, Securing Dignity and Freedom through Human Rights (Brill/Nijhoff, 2012), reviews the legal theory and practical implementation of economic, social, and cultural rights first introduced at international level in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. With commentators Prof. Richard Janda, and Dr Sabaa Ahmad Khan. Event listing.


Baldia Factory Fire, 2012: Lessons for Labour Rights Struggles
Faisal Siddiqi, O'Brien Fellow in Residence

26 October 2016, 13:00-14:30, OCDH 16

The 2012 Baldia Factory Fire in Pakistan led to the deaths of 255 workers. National and international struggles and litigation ensued. What has been learned? What progress has been made? A talk with Faisal Siddiqi, esq., a lawyer from Pakistan and O'Brien Fellow in Residence at the Faculty of Law of McGill University. His respondents were Dr. Zobaida Khan and Me Danny Kaufer, Ad. E. Event listing.


Author-meets-Readers: The Making of Haiti
Professor Carolyn Fick, Department of History, Concordia University

24 October 2016, 10:00-13:00, OCDH 16

The LLDRL Speaker Series and the McGill Seminars on Slavery and the Law present an Author-meets-Readers session with Professor Carolyn Fick, Concordia University, on her book The Making of Haiti: The Saint Domingue Revolution from Below. Event listing.

Author-meets-readers: The Hanging of Angélique
Professor Afua Cooper, Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology, Dalhousie University

19 September 2016, 10:00-13:00, OCDH 16

The LLDRL Speaker Series and the McGill Seminars on Slavery and the Law present an Author-meets-Readers session with Professor Afua Cooper, on her book The Hanging of Angélique - The Untold Story of Canadian Slavery and the Burning of Old Montreal. Event listing.

Afua Cooper and the cover of her book


Author-meets-readers: Mohawk Interruptus
Professor Audra Simpson, Anthropology Dept, Columbia University

14 April 2016, OCDH 16

Critical Race Theory Seminar with Professor Audra Simpson, Associate Professor of Anthropology at Columbia University and author of Mohawk Interruptus: Political Life Across the Borders of Settler States, in collaboration with the Annie MacDonald Langstaff Workshop Series.  Event listing.


IHSP seminar: Race as a Risk Factor in Public Health

Professor Osagie Obasogie, University of California Hastings College of the Law

18 march 2016, NCDH 312

Professor Osagie Obasogie will discuss a paper he is currently working on, titled Race as a Risk Factor in Public Health, where he attempts to assess how race is being conceptualized in the literature that discusses race as a risk factor for particular diseases. Prof. Natalie Stoljar (IHSP, Philosophy) will chair the session.  Event listing.


Author-meets-readers: Blinded by Sight

Professor Osagie Obasogie, University of California Hastings College of the Law

17 march 2016, OCDH 16

Critical Race Theory class meeting with the author of Blinded By Sight. In Blinded by Sight - Seeing Race Through the Eyes of the Blind, Obasogie argues that rather than being visually obvious, both blind and sighted people are socialized to see race in particular ways, even to a point where blind people "see" race. So what does this mean for how we live and the laws that govern our society? Obasogie delves into these questions and uncovers how color blindness in law, public policy, and culture will not lead us to any imagined racial utopia.

Event listing.


Economic Development and Free Trade in Sub Saharan Africa

Labour Law and Developement Research Seminar with Dr. Élise Panier

19 February 2016


The Regulation of Intimate Work: A Labour Law Perspective

Guest Lecture with Dr. Einat Albin

13 October 2015


New Rights, Old Social Protections: The New Regulation for Domestic Workers in Argentina

Seminar with Professor Lorena Poblete

May 20, 2015

 


The Rights of Migrant Workers: An ILO Perspective

Slavery Old and New: Labour Exploitation Through the Ages and Around the Globe

April 17, 2015

Below: Professors Adelle Blackett and François Crépeau with Ryszard Cholewinski in front of the plaque commemorating the relocation of the ILO headquarters to McGill University during World War II

   


Red Skin, White Masks: Rejecting the Colonial Politics of Recognition

April 10, 2015

Critical Race Theory Seminar with Glen Coulthard, Assistant Professor in the Department of First Nations Studies and Political Science, UBC.


Racial Subordination in Latin America: The Role of the State, Customary Law, and the New Civil Rights Response

Critical Race Theory Seminar with Tanya Hernandez, Professor of Law, Fordham University School of Law

March 10, 2015


Gabriela Medici at the Labour Migration, Development, & Human Rights Seminar Series, co-sponsored by the LLDRL

13:00 – 14:30, November 10, 2014
NCDH room 609, Faculty of Law, McGill University

                           

 

Lecture: Counterbalancing the Legislative Precariousness of Domestic Carework in Switzerland through Civil Rights – Potentials and Limitations of the Human Rights-Centred Approach in the Swiss Context

The European Union’s extension of free movement to Switzerland has led to an increasing number of Eastern European women providing care for the elderly in private Swiss households. These migrant care workers operate in an informal or “semi-legal” setting often associated with precarious working and living conditions. This presentation will relate the growing international discourse on the impact of human rights on labour law to the current Swiss constitutional and labour regulatory framework for domestic workers. Over the past years, the discourse has begun to recognise core labour rights in the form of positive state obligations to regulate and implement traditional civil rights guarantees (such as the right of privacy and family life, personal and economic freedom, the prohibition of servitude and forced labour) as well as procedural guarantees and the prohibition of discrimination. Unlike social and economic human rights guarantees, these rights are firmly enshrined in the Swiss constitution and in justiciable international human rights instruments – especially in the ECHR. I argue that this development contributes towards understanding and counterbalancing the current legislative precariousness of migrant caregivers in Swiss households. I also discuss the limitations of using this approach to advance their protection and empowerment, as it can only address some very fundamental issues and could lead to further victimization of domestic caregivers.


Bethany Hastie at the Labour Migration, Development, & Human Rights Seminar Serie, co-sponsored by the LLDRL

13:00 – 14:30, October 27, 2014
NCDH Room 609, Faculty of Law, McGill University

                           

 

Lecture: Migrant Labour: Conditions for/of Unfreedom under Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Programs

Temporary Foreign Worker Programs [TFWPs] in Canada are not a new phenomenon. However, with exponentially increasing use of this program, continuous changes at the regulatory level in the past decade, and burgeoning literature critical of the TFWPs, it is quickly becoming a topic of significant and contentious debate in Canadian law and policy. This presentation will engage in a critical inquiry of the TFWPs, examining how the regulatory structure of these Programs contributes to a state of unfreedom for migrant workers. Beginning with an exploration of the underlying context in which low-skill labour migration occurs, as dependent on the creation and sustenance of a migrant economy in which differential rights are normalized and migrants are systematically excluded from social, political and legal belonging, this presentation will expose a landscape which produces conditions for unfreedom. Building from this context, the regulatory structure of the TFWPs, and specific measures under the programs which produce conditions of unfreedom for migrant workers will be examined, including: the employer-specific work permit; limits on participation and time in Canada and the lack of access to permanent residency; and, jurisdictional limitations with respect to the regulation of employers and third-party recruiters. Ultimately, this presentation will argue that the regulatory regime governing the TFWPs operates largely at the expense of migrant workers’ rights, creates mechanisms which produce precariousness and dependence for both migrant workers and sending countries, and fails to live up to the promise of the “triple win” scenario.


Labour Migration and Development Speaker Series 2014-2015

The LLDRL and the Oppenheimer Chair organized a speaker series on labour migration and development throughout the 2014-15 session.

This lecture series aimed to provide a platform for emerging and established scholars to share their research and perspectives on issues relevant to labour migration, development and human rights.


Like Your Own Child? Employers’ Perspectives and the Regulation of Domestic Work in Ghana

Dzodzi Tsikata, O’Brien Fellow in Residence

31 March, 2014

Organized by the McGill Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism, in collaboration with the Labour Law and Development Research Laboratory.

Read more...


Regulating Employment: Between Universality and Selectivity

A Legal Workshop with Guy Davidov of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Faculty of Law

March 28, 2012


Luncheon Conference with Patrick Carrière

March 30, 2011

Patrick Carrière, distinguished consultant on labour law and former Senior Legal Officer of the Freedom of Association branch at the International Labour Office in Geneva, presented a lecture on the evolution of the International Labour Organization, its current politics and future prospects. The conference, held at the Faculty of Law, McGill University, provided a rare opportunity to dialogue with a former leading ILO official and was highlighted by M. Carrière's rich anecdotal experience on a range of critical labour issues such as the freedom of association and child labour.


The first Dean Maxwell & Isle Cohen Doctoral Seminar in International Law

"Implementing International Law in the Domestic Legal Order"

28 June 2010

Organized by the Hans & Tamar Oppenhemier Chair in Public International Law in collaboration with the LLDRL, the Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism and the Centre for International Sustainable Development Law, the first Dean Maxwell and Isle Cohen Doctoral Seminar in International Law provided  twelve doctoral and post-doctoral researchers in international law, the opportunity to present and discuss their research ideas with fellow researchers and professors from the Faculty.


Labour Law and Economic Crisis: A European Perspective

December 2, 2009

The LLDRL, in collaboration with CRIMT and McGill University's Faculty of Law, organized a lecture by Sir Bob Hepple, Emeritus Professor at Clare College, Cambridge University entitled "Labour Law and Economic Crisis: A European Perspective" on December 2, 2009. A recording of the conference can be found here.


Conferences

Le travail domestique et son exploitation: Critiques féministes du droit et de l'économie politique

Salle Marie-Gérin-Lajoie, UQAM, 21-22 October 2015

Official schedule.


Special Forum on Race, Discrimination and Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in North America

Faculty of Law, McGill University, 22-23 November 2013

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights & the Faculty of Law of McGill University present a Special Forum on Race, Discrimination and Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in North America. The event will take place in the Maxwell Cohen Moot Court (NCDH 100) at the Faculty of Law.

The chair, Commissioner José de Jesús Orozco Henríquez (Mexico, rapporteurship on human rights defenders), Commissioner Rose-Marie Belle Antoine (St. Lucia and Trinidad & Tobago, rapporteurship on the Rights of Persons of African Descent and Against Racial Discrimination) and Commissioner Dinah Shelton (U.S., rapporteurship on the rights of indigenous peoples) will be in attendance.

This event is supported by the Faculty of Law and the Labour Law and Development Research Laboratory.

To register, please contact Mr. Hilaire Sobers (osobers [at] oas.org). Space permitting, it will also be possible to register on the day of the event at the welcome table. Free and open to the public.

Bilingual program


Labour Law Research Network Inaugural Conference

June 13-15, 2013

The first inaugural LLRN conference took place in Barcelona, June 13-15, 2013. The Labour Law and Development Research Laboratory is a founding member and contibuted to organizing and and financing the initiative.


Social Justice, Law and Equality: A Conference to Honour Judge Juanita Westmoreland-Traoré

March 16-17, 2012


Black Histories, Black Futures

February 12, 2011

Video and audio recordings of the February 12, 2011 Black Histories, Black Futures Conference are available online. Also on Canal Savoir.


Decent Work for Domestic Workers

March 29, 2010

The LLDRL, in collaboration with CRIMT and McGill University's Faculty of Law, held an international seminar entitled "Regulating Decent Work for Domestic Workers" on March 29, 2010.

More than forty years after having recognized the urgency of a study on the working conditions of domestic workers, the International Labour Organization (ILO) is on track to adopt an international convention on decent work for domestic workers. At the 301st session (March 2008), the International Labour Office's Board decided to include the issue of decent work for domestic workers on the agenda of the International Labour Conference's 99th session (2010). In order to facilitate the discussion during this Conference, it prepared a report, which includes information on countries around the world, and an inventory and analysis of the laws and regulations adopted in various countries.

The conference, jointly organized by the laboratory and CRIMT, brought together international and interdisciplinary researchers interested in the issue of domestic labour, as well as a group of eminent specialists in the field (public officials, members of associations). The intended objective was to reflect on aspects of the domestic economy and the governance of paid labour in the domestic sphere. The themes addressed included the articulation of various social relationships identified by the laboratory and focused on questions such as the regulation of domestic labour in family settings, labour inspections in family settings, unpaid labour, domestic worker agencies, informal labour.

The participants also discussed legislation, legal provisions, and their impacts in various countries (India, Brazil, Southeast Asia), as well as the Canadian experience in this area. It involved, by means of a comparative approach, identifying the main issues related to the regulation of this work.

Visit the Website featuring proceedings from the International Seminar: Regulating Decent Work for Domestic Workers.

 


Announcements

LLDRL team member Armel Brice Adanhounme shortlisted for Polanyi-Levitt Prize

13 May 2013

Armel Brice Adanhounme, a Banting postdoctoral fellow at McGill University’s Faculty of Law and associate researcher at the Interuniversity Research Centre on Globalization and Work (CRIMT), was recently shortlisted for this year's Kari Polanyi-Levitt Prize for his paper, “Assessing Chinese Investments in sub-Saharan African Countries: An Institutional Perspective.”

Read more...


CDPDJ renders landmark opinion on the systemic discrimination of migrant workers in Québec

On 21 February 2012, the Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse rendered an opinion urging the Québec government to change its immigration law and programs to put an end to the systemic discrimination of migrant workers. The opinion of the Commission, titled La discrimination systémique à l’égard des travailleuses et de travailleurs migrants [.pdf], concludes that live-in caregivers, seasonal agricultural workers and other foreign temporary low-skilled workers are victims of systemic discrimination on the basis of their ethnic or national origin, race, social condition, language and, in the case of live-in caregivers, their gender. An English summary is available here [.pdf].


Adoption of the ILO Convention on Domestic Workers

The 100th ILO annual Conference has adopted an unprecedented set of international standards aimed at improving the working conditions of domestic workers worldwide.

Read the Convention on Domestic Workers (2011) and accompanying Recommendation.


Professor Rose-Marie Belle Antoine appointed to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

The LLDRL is thrilled to announce the appointment of Professor Rose-Marie Belle Antoine to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, at the 41st Regular Session of the Organization of American States (OAS) General Assembly, in San Salvador, in June 2011.