FREE
Mark Anner, Praveen Jha, Hilma Mote, Stefanie Lorenzen, Dr. Michael Fichter, Tandiwe Gross, Dr Frank Hoffer, Markus Krajewski, Beate Andrees, Kirill Buketov, Manuela Tomei, Sharan Burrow, Catelene Passchier und Dr. Edlira Xhafa

Towards Decent Work in Global Supply Chains

  • MOOC
  • Self-Paced
  • Englisch
  • Interdisziplinär

Über den Kurs

Welcome to our FREE online course "Towards Decent Work in Global Supply Chains".

This is a compressed online course discussing labour issues in global supply chains as well as policies and strategies to address such issues and achieve decent work.

The mix of video lectures, readings, exercises and interaction with other course participants will enable you to engage in complex debates about main issues and strategies to ensuring work with dignity in global supply chains.

What will I learn?

In this course you will get an overview of the main drivers of the global supply chains as well as the impact of supply chains on development. You will be exposed to some of the main issues regarding working conditions and workers’ rights in global supply chains. The course also helps you to acquire a deeper understanding of the governance framework and some of its main gaps. It also covers some recent regulatory measures aimed at improving working conditions and workers’ rights in global supply chains. Finally, you will also learn more about strategies of trade unions at various levels to ensure decent work.

What do I need to know?

The course requires a working level of English. It draws on the fields of political science and law at the level of a Masters’ programme. However, theoretical concepts are explained in an accessible and well-illustrated way, so it is also possible to participate in the course using skills and knowledge acquired outside formal education.

Course workload

The estimated workload is 5-6 hours per week if you read also the key reading for each unit.

Certificates and Scholarships

You can enrol and complete this course for FREE. If you would like to get a certificate, you have two options:

Certificate of Participation

You can obtain a Certificate of Participation at any time after completing the course. This means watching all the videos and responding to the quiz questions of each video. The Certificate of Participation costs 29€. If you are from a non-OECD country or a trade unionist from an OECD country, you can apply for a scholarship, by sending an email to online@global-labour-university.org indicating your organisation and the country you are from.

Certificate of Accomplishment

Aside of complying with the conditions for a Certificate of Participation, obtaining a Certificate of Accomplishment requires taking an online exam. Options for such a certificate are limited to the periods in which the GLU Online Academy organises an exam phase. The Certificate of Accomplishment costs 49€. Again, if you are from a non-OECD country or a trade unionist from an OECD country, you can apply for a scholarship, by sending an email to online@global-labour-university.org indicating your organisation and the country you are from.

How to use course materials?

You can organise a local workshop on the topics of the course combining the course materials with local experts from trade unions, labour research institutes and universities.

If you work for a university, trade union or any other labour-related institution you are welcome to integrate the course material into your education and training programmes. All video lectures and interviews, readings, online resources, and exercises can be downloaded separately and used for free.

Course structure

Chapter 1: Global Supply Chains: Main drivers and the impact on development

This chapter provides a general overview of the historical, political and economic context in which global supply chains have emerged and some of the key factors and actors facilitating their emergence. It analyses the global supply chains impact on development and employment in developing countries. Finally, the case of Africa illustrates the way the global supply chains tend to perpetuate structural dependencies.

Chapter 2: Working conditions and workers’ rights in Global Supply Chains: Main decent work deficits

This chapter discusses some of the major violations of the core International Labour Standards in the global supply chains, looking particularly at issues of forced labour and child labour, and violations of workers’ rights. It also introduces the Labour Rights Indicators which provides a critical source of data on workers’ rights violations. The chapter concludes with an analysis of some of the root causes of such violations.

Chapter 3: Regulatory instruments and approaches to ensure workers’ rights in global supply chains

This chapter looks at the international and national regulatory framework related to human rights, including labour rights, in global supply chains. It first discusses some of the existing instruments and legal approaches with a focus on the main gaps in holding transnational corporations accountable for violations in global supply chains. The rest of the chapter is then dedicated to new instruments and initiatives seeking to address those gaps.

Chapter 4: Labour strategies for decent work in global supply chains

This chapter discusses various labour strategies to address decent work deficits in global supply chains. These strategies include also new approaches of using existing instruments, such as Global Framework Agreements, and labour market institutions, such as collective bargaining.

Course team

Prof. Dr. Mark Anner (Associate Professor of Labor and Employment Relations, and Political Science, Penn State University, USA)

Dr. Edlira Xhafa (Coordinator of the Global Labour University Online Academy)

Prof. Dr. Stefanie Lorenzen (Professor of Business Law and Labour Law, Berlin School of Economics and Law, Germany)

Tandiwe Gross (Associate Fellow, Global Labour University)

Dr. Frank Hoffer (Executive Director, ACT Foundation)

Ekin Ozturk (Online tutor for the course)

Course instructors (in order of appearance)

Prof. Dr. Praveen Jha (Professor for Economics, Jawaharlal Nehru University, India)

Dr. Michael Fichter (Senior Lecturer, Global Labour University, Germany)


Hilma Mote (Specialist in Workers Activities, ILO/ACTRAV)

Beate Andrees (Chief, Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work Branch, ILO)

Kirill Buketov (Campaign Officer, International Union of Food and Allied Workers - IUF)

Prof. Dr. Mark Anner (Associate Professor of Labor and Employment Relations, and Political Science, Penn State University, USA)

Prof. Dr. Stefanie Lorenzen (Professor of Business Law and Labour Law, Berlin School of Economics and Law, Germany)

Prof. Dr. Markus Krajewski (University Professor at the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany)

Tandiwe Gross (Associate Fellow, Global Labour University)

Manuela Tomei (Director of WORKQUALITY Department, ILO)

Sharan Burrow (Secretary-General, International Trade Union Confederation - ITUC)

Catelene Passchier (Chair of the Workers’ Group and Vice Chair of the Governing Body of the ILO)

Dr. Frank Hoffer (Executive Director, ACT Foundation)