Are labor rights human rights

Labor rights - sources of law

On this page you will find appropriate legal guarantees from international and European human rights treaties, other international law documents and the Federal Constitution. The presentation does not claim to be complete, for example provisions from other regional agreements and thematically similar protective provisions from international humanitarian law are not reproduced here.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Art. 23: “(1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of occupation, to reasonable and satisfactory working conditions and to protection against unemployment.
(2) All people have the right to equal pay for equal work, without any different treatment.
(3) Everyone who works has the right to adequate and satisfactory remuneration, which ensures him and his family an existence commensurate with human dignity and which, if necessary, is to be supplemented by other social protection measures.
(4) Everyone has the right to form professional associations to protect their interests and to join them. "

UN human rights treaty

International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

Art. 6: “(1) States parties recognize the right to work, which includes the right of every individual to the opportunity to earn a living through freely chosen or accepted work, and shall take appropriate steps to protect this right.
(2) The steps to be taken by a State Party to the full realization of this right shall include technical and professional advice and training programs as well as the establishment of principles and procedures for the achievement of steady economic, social and cultural development and full and productive employment under conditions which are conducive to political and Protect fundamental economic freedoms of the individual. "

Art. 7: “The contracting states recognize the right of everyone to just and favorable working conditions, which are guaranteed in particular
(a) A wage that at least secures all employees
i) fair wages and equal pay for work of equal value without distinction; In particular, it is guaranteed that women have no more unfavorable working conditions than men and that they receive the same pay for the same work,
ii) a decent livelihood for them and their families in accordance with this Covenant;
(b) safe and healthy working conditions;
(c) Equal opportunities for everyone to advance in their professional activity accordingly, whereby no other considerations than duration of employment and qualifications may be decisive;
(d) Work breaks, free time, an appropriate limitation of working hours, regular paid vacation and remuneration for public holidays. "

Anti-racism convention

Women's Rights Convention

Migrant Workers Convention

The issue of labor rights / the world of work concerns this agreement as a whole.

Disability Rights Convention

ILO conventions

Workers are protected by dozens of international agreements negotiated within the International Labor Organization. The eight fundamental ILO conventions guarantee the principles of freedom of association, the prohibition of forced labor, the abolition of child labor and the prohibition of discrimination. You can find more information on the ILO conventions in our section on the International Labor Organization and the ILO Conventions:

European human rights treaties

European social charter

A substantial part of this agreement applies to the selected subject area. Workers are protected by the European Social Charter through numerous articles. You will then find the link to the agreement:

European Convention on Human Rights

The European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) does not contain any labor or social rights, with the exception of the right to found and join trade unions anchored in Art. 11 ECHR. According to the understanding of the ECHR as a “living instrument”, the ECHR has meanwhile integrated certain social and labor law claims into the ECHR through interpretation. This methodical approach of “integrative interpretation” holds great innovation potential for the fertility and further development of the ECHR for labor rights.

Swiss Federal Constitution

Art. 8 (3): «Men and women have equal rights. The law ensures their legal and actual equality, especially in family, education and work. Men and women are entitled to equal pay for work of equal value. "

Art. 27: “(1) Economic freedom is guaranteed.
(2) It includes in particular the free choice of occupation as well as free access to private economic activity and its free exercise. »

The Swiss Federal Constitution - with the exception of the right to help in emergencies, the right to primary school education and economic freedom - does not stipulate any binding and justiciable social rights. Most of the social rights guaranteed by international human rights treaties are reduced in the Federal Constitution to merely programmatic social objectives. With regard to the right to adequate working conditions and the right to an adequate standard of living, Article 41 of the Federal Constitution stipulates:

Art. 41: «(1) In addition to personal responsibility and private initiative, the Confederation and cantons are committed to ensuring that: [...]
(d) employable people can earn their living by working under reasonable conditions; [...]
(2) The Confederation and the cantons work to ensure that every person is protected against the economic consequences of old age, disability, illness, accident, unemployment, maternity, orphanage and widowhood.
(3) They strive for the social goals within the framework of their constitutional competences and their available means.
(4) No direct claims to state benefits can be derived from the social goals. "