"Once you get on the ILO's short list, you can't get of it soon and clean," Gennady Fedynich, the Chairman of the REP Trade Union, has commented on the decision of the International Labour Organization (ILO).
The ILO's short list is a list of countries where the workers' and trade unions' rights are grossly violated. Belarus has been put on it along with Ukraine, Algeria and other countries. The decision was made at the ILO conference, which is being held now in Geneva.
Report from the first day of the 107th International Labour Conference
The Conference will consider the "Belarusian issue" on June 1, and the decision will appear on Saturday or Monday (June 3 or 4).
The formal grounds for putting Belarus on the ILO's short list were Presidential Ordinances Nos. 29, 3 and 1.
"Belarus has been put on the ILO's short list mainly because of Ordinance No. 29, which is treated as the use of forced labour. The Belarusian government insists that there is no forced labour in its country. But how should we assess the situation, when a person finds a better job, but he/she cannot leave his current workplace until the end of his/her labour contract, which expires in a year or two? We face pretty plenty such cases in our trade union," said Mr Fedynich.
He himself was included into the delegation of the IndustriAll Global Union to the ILO Conference. Only on May 31, the leadership of IndustriAll received a notification from the Investigating Committee of Belarus that the REP leader, as a figurant of the "trade union case" was prohibited from travelling abroad, although the Global Union's leadership gave personal guaranties of his return.
Gennady Fedynich was not let out of Belarus