Carrying out this commitment to worker rights requires an understanding of labor conditions and country-level compliance with international labor standards. The DOL has contracted with the NRC of the National Academies to enhance its understanding of these issues. (A list of acronyms used throughout this workshop summary can be found on page 69.)


The NRC has convened the Committee on Monitoring International Labor Standards to provide expert, science-based advice on monitoring compliance with international labor standards. The committee has undertaken a two-year project with multiple intersecting activities that will

  • identify relevant, valid, reliable, and useful sources of country-level data on labor standards and incorporate them into a database tailored to the current and anticipated needs of the DOL’s Bureau of International Labor Affairs;

  • assess the quality of existing and potential data and indicators that can be used to systematically monitor labor practices and the effectiveness of enforcement in order to determine compliance with national labor legislation and international standards;

  • identify innovative measures to determine compliance with international labor standards on a country-by-country basis and to measure progress on improved labor legislation and enforcement;

  • explore the relationship between labor standards compliance and national policies relating to human capital issues; and

  • recommend sustainable reporting procedures to monitor countries’ progress toward implementation of international labor standards.

The NRC will examine compliance with the international labor standards in the ILO’s 1998 Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at work (see Appendix D), and also acceptable conditions of work, as defined in U.S. trade law.

Workshop on Quality of Information

The committee is charged with assembling data on international labor standards and compliance and organizing these data into an easily acces

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