ITUC: Workers' rights under 'grave, relentless attack' worldwide

New report reveals worst regions, countries for employees

ITUC: Workers' rights under 'grave, relentless attack' worldwide

A scathing report from the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) says that workers' rights are under "grave and relentless attack" from governments and organisations across the world.

ITUC's Global Rights Index revealed "clear signs that governments and companies are accelerating their efforts to trample" on fundamental rights and freedoms of working people and trade unions across the world.

"This year's report makes for difficult reading – a clear and urgent wake-up call that the future of democracy and fundamental rights agreed by most countries at an international level are at risk," said Luc Triangle, ITUC general secretary, in a statement.

The report revealed that the right to strike was violated in 87% of countries, while the right to free speech and assembly was restricted in 43%.

Source: ITUC's Global Rights Index

In around three in four countries, registration of trade unions was impeded (74%), while workers were denied the right to establish or join a trade union (75%).

Workers were also detained or arrested in 74 countries, while they had no or restricted access to justice in 65% of countries, according to the report.

Worst places for workers

The worst region for workers in the world has been revealed to be the Middle East and Northern Africa (MENA), the report revealed.

MENA registered a 4.74 rating in the index, meaning there are systemic violations of rights and the government and/or companies are "engaged in serious efforts to crush the collective voice of workers, putting fundamental rights under threat."

"Every single country in this region has excluded workers from the right to establish or join a trade union, violated the right to collective bargaining, and impeded the registration of unions. A total of 95% of MENA countries have violated the right to strike," the report read.

Workers' conditions in Israel, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia also "worsened" this year, the report added.

Source: ITUC's Global Rights Index

Meanwhile, the top 10 worst countries for workers include:

  • Bangladesh
  • Belarus
  • Ecuador
  • Egypt
  • Eswatini
  • Guatemala
  • Myanmar
  • The Philippines
  • Tunisia
  • Türkiye

"Workers are the beating heart of democracy, and their voices are crucial to assuring the health and sustainability of democratic systems. Conversely, when their rights are violated, restricted, and undermined, democracy itself is on the line," Triangle said.

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