Petra Herzfeld Olsson


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Works at Department of Law
Telephone 08-16 13 17
Visiting address Universitetsvägen 10 C
Room C 858
Postal address Juridiska institutionen 106 91 Stockholm

About me

Petra Herzfeld Olsson is  professor of labour law at the Faculty of Law, Stockholm University. Her fields of reserach are labour law, European law and human rights law. She is particularily interested in international aspects of labour law.

In her dissertation Petra investigated the scope of workers' rights to freedom of association in UN-, Council of Europe- and EU law. Her interest in the role of human rights in working life and the interaction between different levels of law has continued to guide her research. During the last years reserach questions related to labour migration has been given a lot of attention. In a number of research projects Petra, often together with other researchers, has dealt with the EU regulation on entry and stay for workers from third countries and its impact on the national level. One example is the book National Effects of the Implementation of EU Directives on Labour Migration from Third Countries (Kluwer Law International 2016). Together with professor Catharina Calleman, she is the editor of an anthology on the conditions for third country national workers in Sweden. From 2018  she leads the research project, A sustainable and inclusive Swedish labour law- the way a head. The project is financed by the Swedish Research Council and will run for three years. Other participants in the project are professor Niklas Bruun and jur.dr Erik Sjödin, Stockholm University, jur.dr Peter Andersson, Gothenburg University and professor Tonia Novitz, Bristol University. Petra has previously worked at the Faculty of Law, Uppsala University, the Swedish Ministry of Employment and the Swedish Intstitute for Working Life.


A selection from Stockholm University publication database
  • 2019. Petra Herzfeld Olsson.
  • 2019. Petra Herzfeld Olsson (et al.).
  • 2019. Petra Herzfeld Olsson, Laura Carlson, Vincenzo Pietrogiovanni.

    This anthology comprises articles written by Swedish labour law researchers representing every university in Sweden. Its theme, labour law and the welfare state, is topical as the current promotion of markets, national, regional and international, arguably cannot legitimately take place without at the same time safeguarding labour and other social rights. One of the most salient characteristics of Scandinavian welfare states can be seen as the fusion of welfare and employment. Swedish trade unions, alone or together with the employer organisations, often have stepped in and adopted measures to complement state-based social security systems. The articles in this anthology address different aspects of the relationship between the Swedish labour law model and the welfare state.

  • 2020. Petra Herzfeld Olsson. Juridisk Tidskrift (3), 638-670
  • 2020. Petra Herzfeld Olsson (et al.). Juridisk Tidskrift (3), 619-623
  • 2020. Petra Herzfeld Olsson. International organizations law review 20 (1), 206-232

    Labour migrants shall according to the ILO and UN conventions on labour migration be provided with equal treatment with local workers with regard to working conditions including pay. Factors like migration law (creating dependence on employers and fears of expulsion) and limited access to justice, challenge the enforcement of the equal treatment principle.  The social dumping argument has been raised by actors arguing for the closure of borders. However, labour migration is a feature of contemporary labour markets and the future world of work. Instead of rising walls measures to overcome obstacles against equal treatment must be considered. Effective monitoring and enforcement are crucial in this respect. The explicit enforcement provisions in the ILO and UN conventions are quite vague. In this paper it will be analysed to what extent the monitoring bodies of the relevant ILO and UN conventions demand for effective monitoring and enforcement of the equal treatment principle in their comments to the state parties and what kind of measures they suggest that the state parties shall take to make the equal treatment principle a reality. The analysis reveals that the monitoring bodies apply a context based interpretation of the provisions in the conventions, suggesting a wide range of measures to overcome the obstacles mentioned. The division between migration law and labour law turns out to be of less importance than the ambition to make equal treatment a reality.

Show all publications by Petra Herzfeld Olsson at Stockholm University

Last updated: August 3, 2020

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