News / 30.06.19

ITUC: Belarus has no guarantees for observance of workers' rights and freedoms

According to the 2019 global rights index, Belarus is in the category of countries, where workers are not guaranteed the respect for their rights, the writes.

Every year, the International Confederation of Trade Unions (ITUC) analyzes the data on violations of workers' rights throughout the world and compiles its rating. Belarus has once again been blacklisted.

"Belarus is in the ranking of worst countries in the world; and we notice no improvements"

The rating categorizes countries into six groups. The best – the first one – includes the states, where episodic rights violations are recorded; the second – countries with repeated violations; the third – with regular violations; the fourth – with permanent violations; the fifth – countries without rights guarantees; the fifth plus – countries without guarantees of rights because of imperfect laws.

Apart from Belarus, 33 other countries are in the fifth category, including the only European – Greece and Ukraine.

International organizations urge to prevent criminalization of trade unions and their activities in Belarus

Nine African and Middle Eastern states are included into the worst category; while twelve are in the best category (eleven countries of Northern, Central and Southern Europe, and Uruguay).

The index report states that in Belarus, like in Kazakhstan, "authorities continued repressing independent trade unions, by persecuting and sentencing trade union leaders on trumped-up charges."

The main findings of the 2019 ITUC's report are as follows:

  • 85% of countries violated the right to strike;
  • 80% of countries deprived some or all the workers of the right to collective bargaining;
  • The number of countries, where workers are deprived of the right to form trade unions and join them, increased from 92 in 2018 to 117 in 2019;
  • Workers had no or had limited access to justice in 72% of countries;
  • The number of countries, where workers were arrested or detained, increased from 59 in 2018 to 64 in 2019;
  • Out of 145 countries analyzed in the Index Report, 54 deprive of or restrict the right to the freedoms of speech and assembly;
  • Authorities hampered trade union registration in 59% of the countries;
  • Workers were exposed to violence in 52 countries;
  • In ten countries, trade union activists were killed: in Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, Italy, Pakistan, Philippines, Turkey and Zimbabwe.

The ITUC has been collecting data on violations of workers' rights in the world for about 40 years. This year, the ITUC for the sixth time has presented the finding of its studies in the form of a global index, which is defined by 97 indicators and takes into account the protection level of labour rights at the legislative level and in practice. This study is intended for businesses and governmental officials.

"If nothing changes in the area of workers' rights violations, Belarus may again face the problem of sanctions"

For several years now, Belarus has been included into the ITUC rating as a country, where the situation with workers' rights remains consistently poor both in law and in practice. In 2016, Belarus was ranked among "the top ten world worst countries for workers."

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