While there are a myriad of dispute settlement mechanisms to protect workers' rights at the international level, most are not characterized by the hallmarks of hard law, but rather by weak legal obligations based on imprecise and hortatory language, non-binding dispute settlement and a lack of enforcement as well as the participation of nonstate actors and voluntary commitments . When and how do these mechanisms effectively protect workers' rights? This provisional thesis focuses on theories of soft law and governance as they apply to workers' rights, as well as the historical importance of workers' rights in international law."