Pregnancy Discrimination in Latin America: The Exclusion of "Employment Discrimination" from the Definition of "Labor Laws" in the Central American Free Trade Agreement

By Faber, Emily Miyamoto | Columbia Journal of Gender and Law, Winter 2007 | Go to article overview

Pregnancy Discrimination in Latin America: The Exclusion of "Employment Discrimination" from the Definition of "Labor Laws" in the Central American Free Trade Agreement


Faber, Emily Miyamoto, Columbia Journal of Gender and Law


Regional trading blocs and bilateral trade agreements have become increasingly important within the western hemisphere. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the U.S.-Chile Free Trade Agreement, and the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) have all been passed in the last fifteen years. This Article will focus principally on the labor provisions in NAFTA and CAFTA. (1) Additionally, with the Andean Trade Preference Act set to expire in 2006, the United States initiated negotiations with three Andean countries in May 2004: Peru, Colombia, and Ecuador. The United States Trade Representative (USTR) signed the United States-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement in April 2006, concluded negotiations with Colombia in February 2006, and is participating in ongoing discussions with Ecuador. (2) Furthermore, the Administration announced in 2003 that it intends to launch negotiations for a separate agreement with Panama, and the Senate recently approved a resolution of advice and consent for a United States-Uruguay Bilateral Investment Treaty in September 2006. (3) All of these bilateral and regional agreements represent a "building block" (4) in the attempt to secure a Free Trade Area of the Americas despite its current dim prospects. (5)

Free Trade Areas/Agreements (FTAs) are cross-border arrangements in which the trade barriers--both tariff and non-tariff barriers--among participating nations are reduced, sector-by-sector over time, and often eventually abolished. Unlike a customs union or a common market, each member country of the FTA remains free to determine its own external trade barrier against non-FTA members. For businesses operating within the FTA, the market expands because consumers in member states can purchase their products for a lower price than before the FTA was established, and usually also at a lower price than goods originating outside of the member countries. (6) At the same time, businesses are subjected to increased competition.

While labor rights provisions are now standard in American FTAs, (7) their incorporation has not been without controversy. The movement to incorporate labor rights into FTAs is driven by a number of interests, including labor interests in the United States, international labor rights movements, and human rights activism. The incorporation of labor rights in FTAs, however, is often resisted on two main grounds: (1) as an attempt to lower the less-developed countries' comparative advantage of lower wages, and/or (2) as an infringement on the less-developed countries' sovereignty. (8)

The integration of trade and labor has been incremental. For example, the original NAFTA agreement did not include labor protections; instead, the labor agreement was negotiated separately from, and subsequent to, the passage of NAFTA. (9) More recently, CAFTA explicitly incorporated labor rights into the core text, indicating acceptance of the idea that labor rights and trade should be addressed simultaneously. When one compares the two labor agreements, however, the North American Agreement on Labor Cooperation (NAALC) used an eleven-part definition of "labor laws" that included "elimination of employment discrimination ...," (10) while CAFTA reduced the definition to five labor rights, and excluded "employment discrimination" from its definition of labor law. (11)

In relation to labor protections, pregnancy discrimination is an issue of growing importance in U.S.-Latin America FTAs. Pregnancy discrimination is considered a form of sex discrimination, as it is based on a condition unique to women. (12) This issue first emerged in the NAFTA context following the publication of a 1996 Human Rights Watch report that exposed pervasive pregnancy discrimination in maquiladoras in Mexico. (13) In 2004, Human Rights Watch released a report confirming that pregnancy-based discrimination was pervasive in the Dominican Republic's free trade zone. (14) Women in both of these countries were, and continue to be, routinely required to undergo pregnancy tests or answer intrusive questions regarding their possible pregnant status as a condition of being hired or maintaining employment. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Pregnancy Discrimination in Latin America: The Exclusion of "Employment Discrimination" from the Definition of "Labor Laws" in the Central American Free Trade Agreement
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.