Centre for Labour and Development Studies

The Centre for Labour and Development Studies has been set up to promote interdisciplinary research and further legal awareness about the rights of workers engaged in both the organised and unorganised sectors. The Centre aspires to use an interdisciplinary lens in approaching different aspects of labour law regulation and governance by conceptualising contemporary issues in labour law in terms of interactions between law and socio-economic development.

How We Began

The Centre for Labour and Development was launched on 21st July 2018, in the presence of Justice T S Sivagnanam, Additional Advocate General Mr C. Manishankar, Additional
Advocate General Aravindh Pandian, the Hon’ble Vice-Chancellor Prof. Kamala Sankaran, faculty members and students of TNNLU.

At the launch, there was an emphasis on ensuring that the Centre’s research would not be limited to the traditional linkages between labour law and industrial work but would examine the expanding definitions of work and employment relationships. Justice T S Sivagnanam also stressed the need for interdisciplinary research in this field, focusing on migrant workers, given the contemporary issues faced nationally and internationally.

Past Achievements

The Centre has undertaken a CWDS (Centre for Women’s Development Studies) project on women's labour migration;

Study on the transition between formality and informality in work, supported by the International Labour Organisation; Going forward, the Centre plans to promote independent research on the following focus Areas;

  • Sumangali scheme: A case study of selected districts of Tamil Nadu
  • Ethnographic study of legal challenges of interstate migrant workers
  • Interstate women migrant workers and their unique challenges
  • Analysing the effects of the COVID 19 pandemic on workers of the unorganised sector
  • Manual scavenging: A critical Socio-Legal Study
  • Challenges and opportunities surrounding the new Labour Codes
  • Plight of women domestic workers

Scope of Activities

The Centre’s mission is to focus on the protection of workers’ rights in fields ranging from sanitation to agriculture, with particular attention to women and child labour-related issues. For this purpose, the Centre aims to conduct extensive research and fieldwork and collaborate with organisations like the National Commission for Women (NCW) and V V Giri Institute of Labour, Noida and various state agencies. Such collaborative efforts will aim at academic innovation and facilitation of support to organisations undertaking on-ground efforts. Pursuant to the aim of increasing awareness, the centre will create mechanisms to provide free legal aid services to the labourers/workers, including migrants workers in employmentrelated matters.

Aims & Objectives of the Centre

  • To undertake and promote research in thrust areas of labour laws & its allied areas;
  • To organise multiple programs, including conferences, symposiums, debates, moot courts competitions, seminars, special lectures, workshops and roundtable discussions to educate students and other stakeholders on various aspects of labour laws;
  • To establish an online forum or labour law blog to promote labour law scholarship in unique and special areas;
  • To contribute by way of working papers, research papers, comments, and feedback to labour laws policy formulation;
  • To create open access online resources for the study of labour laws.
  • To provide/suggest constructive policy inputs to state governments/central governments for improvising/enactments of existing laws/new laws concerning labour laws and policies.

Activities Planned For The Academic Year 2021-22

The Centre has identified the following focus areas for the 2021-22 Academic Year. In this academic year, we shall emphasis on the 'impact and plight of workers of the unorganized sector during the COVID pandemic times.' More specific activities within this broad area is outlined as below:

  • To conduct a national quiz on new Labour codes
  • To undertake extensive research in the aforementioned research areas.
  • To conduct a National Seminar/webinar in the above-chosen research areas
  • To organise a lecture series on contemporary issues surrounding labour laws to promote dialogue and awareness
  • To collaborate with identified research bodies including think tanks and regulatory bodies to augment and enhance research capabilities by providing policy-based recommendations to drive further legislative development

Center Coordinators:

         Ms. B. Preetham, Asst. Prof (Law) FIC

Contact Us

Centre for Labour and Development Studies

The Tamil Nadu National Law University, Tiruchirappalli.

E-mail: preethambalakrishnan@tnnlu.ac.in