York delegation leads inaugural labour rights forum in Beijing

The York Centre for Public Policy and Law (YCPPL) has been chosen by the Government of Canada to organize and lead the first ever Canada-China Industrial Relations & Labour Rights Forum in Beijing.

Lesley JacobsThe forum, which focuses on industrial relations, workplace discrimination and human rights issues, will be held today and tomorrow at the Beijing Conference Centre. YCPPL was awarded a major grant of $100,000 from the International Trade & Labour Program of Human Resources Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) to organize the forum, which will bring together some of Canada’s top thinkers in industrial and labour rights with key policy-makers and thinkers in China.

Left: Lesley Jacobs

“The Canada-China Forum is the first of its kind and reflects a new initiative of the Government of Canada in the realm of recalibrating their relationship with China involving university-led research units,” says political science Professor Lesley Jacobs, director of YCPPL.

“Working with government officials in Canada and the Capital University of Economics and Business in Beijing, this event will bring together a 17-person Canadian delegation, including academics, senior government officials, representatives from human rights commissioners, and delegates from business, labour and NGOs, to provide a dynamic platform for an important comparative discussion of industrial relations and workplace rights with a view to relating these issues to international labour standards,” says Jacobs.

In addition to Jacobs, York Professor Lorne Foster, director of the Master in Public Policy, Administration & Law program, will also be a principal investigator on this project. Jacobs and Foster, along with political science Professor Daniel Drache and Patrick Monahan, York’s vice-president academic & provost, are in Beijing for the forum. Monahan will make the welcoming remarks to the delegates gathered in Beijing.

Canada’s ambassador to China, David Mulroney, along with a representative from the United Nations International Labour Organization and various Chinese dignitaries, will also deliver speeches to forum delegates.

“Being asked to lead such an event is a tremendous achievement for YCPPL and York University,” says Jacobs. “It offers an opportunity to demonstrate the dynamism and excellence of York University researchers and their research.”

YCPPL encourages research on the role and impact of law in the formation and expression of public policy. More specifically, the centre focuses on constitutional, institutional and legal aspects of the public policy, as well as the international and transnational dimensions of law and public policy.

For more information, visit the YCPPL website.