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The Challenges of Evaluating NGO “Success” in Cross-Border Rights Initiatives: the Examples of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines and the Autotrim/Customtrim Initiative under the NAFTA Labor Side Agreement

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Chapter Summary

The purpose of this chapter is to generate further discussion about how to meaningfully evaluate cross-border NGO rights-oriented efforts, given such disparities. NGOs familiar with the failure of the 1980 Protocol documented and publicized the gruesome injuries and deaths caused by landmines and the high number of civilian mine casualties around the world. The Autotrim/Customtrim campaign, like the ICBL, relied on multidisciplinary collaboration of numerous NGOs across borders, careful documentation of harm, public dissemination of relevant information, and comprehensive legal analysis rooted in international laws. NGOs participating in the initiative used the NAFTA Labor Side Agreement's submission process to try to spur more effective enforcement of occupational health and safety laws in Mexico's maquiladora industry. Ultimately, the NAFTA governments opted to disregard NGO concerns that the treaty would negatively affect labor conditions. Workers' rights issues were relegated to a &t;side&t; accord with very weak language and no enforcement procedure.

Keywords: cross-border rights; Customtrim campaign; NAFTA Labor; NGO Initiatives



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