Guest lecture: Enforcement of Transnational Labour Standards by International Financial Institutions: a Chinese Perspective: Yifeng Chen, Peking University: 17 January 2019

On Thursday 17 January 2019, Associate Professor Yifeng Chen of Peking University Law School will give a guest lecture on the topic of ‘Enforcement of Transnational Labour Standards by International Financial Institutions: a Chinese Perspective’.

Time: 17 January 2019, 14:15 – 15:45

Venue: Lecture room P617, 6th floor of the Porthania Building (Faculty of Law), University of Helsinki, Yliopistonkatu 3

The lecture is free and open to the public.  A discussion session will follow Professor Chen’s presentation. No registration is required.

Overview of presentation

In seeking popular legitimacy, during the past decades international financial institutions (IFIs) have embarked on a governance vocation and reinvented themselves as actors of global governance. IFIs increasingly absorb labour standards into their operational policies. The inclusion of labour standards into the 2016 Environmental and Social Framework of the World Bank serves as a recent example. The presentation will discuss the role and limitations of IFIs in setting and enforcing labour standards. Engagement with labour issues presents enormous cultural, ideological and institutional changes to IFIs. The presentation will also offer a Chinese observation on the potential of IFIs transforming into public authorities of global environmental and social justice.

About the speaker

Yifeng Chen is an Associate Professor at the Peking University Law School and Assistant Director of the Peking University Institute of International Law. Before joining the faculty of Peking University, Professor Chen was a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Helsinki from 2010-2013 and continues to serve as a docent in international law at the University of Helsinki. He has been a visiting scholar at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law, Lauterpacht Centre for International Law at the University of Cambridge, Stockholm Centre for International Law and Justice, Norwegian Centre for Human Rights, and others.

At the University of Helsinki, Professor Chen worked as senior research fellow on the Academy of Finland research project ‘Implementation of ILO Core Labour Standards in China: Legal Architecture and Cultural Logic’ (2012-2015). He has worked extensively on the history of labour and social laws in Republican China and ILO core labour rights. He currently serves as the executive editor for the Chinese Yearbook of International Law and is a member of the editorial board of Jus Gentium: Journal of International Legal History. His fields of interest include international law, international organizations, international and comparative labour law.


The Finnish China Law Center thanks Ms Le Bao Ngoc Pham, who is completing her Masters in International and Comparative Law (Public International Law), for contributing to this article and for her assistance to the Center.