PSI publishes practical guide for trade unions in the use of Inter-American System of Human Rights

The guide launched this Tuesday (8th) aims to help organizations throughout the Americas defend labour and trade union human rights using this important political and legal instrument.

Public Services International (PSI) launches, this Tuesday, October 8, the “Practical Guide to Trade Union Action in the Inter-American System of Human Rights”. The publication is the first of its kind within the framework of the Organization of American States (OAS). It is a user-friendly practical guide that seeks to support trade union organizations make the best use of these valuable political and legal instruments in cases of violations of labor and union rights.

The guide is available in English, Portuguese and Spanish. It is one of the outcomes of the joint project “Fighting setbacks; strengthening trade unions in the promotion of equal opportunities and combating discrimination”, between PSI and the training organization Bildungswerk BUND of the German Trade Union Confederation, DGB.

Download the guide below:

Practical Guide for Trade Union Action in the Inter-American Human Rights System

This guide is part of the project "Fighting setbacks and strengthening trade unions in favour of equal opportunities and combating discrimination" that PSI is implementing in cooperation with DGB Bildungswerk BUND.

Trade union interventions in the Inter-American Commission and Court on Human Rights have the mandate are important because the inter-American standards and mechanisms can be used to put political and legal pressure on the States in the region to increase their commitment to comply with their international human rights obligations.

This practical guide provides detailed information on the different institutional, conceptual, and operational elements of the Inter-American System, detailing how its oversight bodies function, what the inter-American standards are, and the relationship between this system and other international protection systems.

Workers’ organizations should use all the political and legal tools available in the Inter-American System in a coordinated manner to defend previously won rights, promote the legitimate demands of workers, and protect victims of human rights violations. The use of the Inter-American System can be carried out in parallel and in a coordinated way with other systems of international protection of human rights including the International Labour Organization (ILO) supervisory system. However, it is important to remember that although it is necessary to take advantage of all possible international tools, such international bodies do not offer shortcuts: a strong and well-organized base remains fundamental to the fight to protect our rights.


Video based on the publication “Practical Guide to Trade Union Action in the Inter-American System of Human Rights”, produced by Public Services International in association with DGB.

Trade union action in the Inter-American Human Rights System