This report on labor rights in Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala,Honduras, and Nicaragua has been prepared pursuant to section 2102(c)(8) of the Trade Act of 2002 (“Trade Act”)(Pub. L. No. 107-210). Section 2102(c)(8) provides that the President shall:In connection with any trade negotiations entered into under this Act, submit tothe Committee of Ways and Means of the House of Representatives and theCommittee on Finance of the Senate a meaningful labor rights report of thecountry, or countries, with respect to which the President is negotiating.The President, by Executive Order 13277 (67 Fed. Reg. 70305), assigned his functions undersection 2102(c)(8) of the Trade Act to the Secretary of Labor and provided that they be carriedout in consultation with the Secretary of State and the United States Trade Representative. TheSecretary of Labor subsequently provided that such responsibilities would be carried out by theSecretary of State, the United States Trade Representative, and the Secretary of Labor (67 Fed.Reg. 77812).For each of the countries, the report first describes the national legal framework. It thendescribes the administration of labor law, labor institutions, and the system of labor justice. Withregard to each of the defined labor rights, the report describes the relevant legal framework (national laws and international conventions) and practice. Detailed information on the extent towhich Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaraguahave in effect laws governing exploitative child labor is provided in a companion reportmandated by section 2102(c)(9) of the Trade Act.The report relies on information obtained from the U.S. Department of State, including from theU.S. Embassies in the six countries, and from other U.S. Government reports. It also relies upona wide variety of reports and materials originating from the countries, internationalorganizations, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). In particular, this report makes useof International Labor Organization (ILO) studies of current labor laws relating to fundamentalprinciples and rights at work,
as well as observations and recommendations of the ILO’ssupervisory bodies.
In addition, the report draws on consultations held in each of the sixcountries by U.S. Department of Labor officials and a U.S. interagency team with officials of each of the governments and representatives of worker and employer organizations and NGOs
International Labor Organization (ILO),
Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work: A Labor Law Study – Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua
Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work: Central America
], Geneva, 2003, and
Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work: A Labor Law Study – Dominican Republic
Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work: Dominican Republic
], Geneva, 2004.
The ILO has several standing and ad hoc bodies that review, either on an ongoing or complaint basis, the manner inwhich member states implement international labor standards. This report refers to findings by the independent ILOCommittee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations (ILO CEACR) and the ILO GoverningBody Committee on Freedom of Association (ILO CFA). The ILO CEACR performs regular monitoring of ratifiedconventions, while the ILO CFA reviews complaints of violations of freedom of association whether or not the countryhas ratified the relevant conventions. Both committees make recommendations for amending labor law and practice and,on occasion, urge a member state to accept ILO “direct contacts” to provide special high-level assistance in resolvingproblems.
CAFTA Labor Rights Report –