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23 Jun 2020

International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC)

ITUC releases 2020 Global Rights Index, mapping govt. & employer human rights violations & naming the worst countries

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“2020 ITUC Global Rights Index: The world’s worst countries for workers”, 18 June 2020

The breakdown of the social contract is exposed in the 2020 ITUC Global Rights Index with violations of workers’ rights at a seven-year high. [V]iolations of collective bargaining and the right to strike, and excluding workers from unions, have been made worse in 2020 by an increase in the number of countries which impede the registration of unions…

A new trend identified in 2020 shows…scandals over government surveillance of trade union leaders, in an attempt to instil fear…on independent unions and their members. [T]he existing repression of unions and the refusal of governments to respect rights and engage in social dialogue has exposed workers to illness and death and left countries unable to fight…[COVID-19]…effectively. As we look towards the recovery and rebuild resilient economies, the 2020 ITUC Global Rights Index is a benchmark against which we will hold governments and employers to account.

  • [The Middle and North Africa is the worst region...for working people for seven years running..., coupled with the most regressive region for workers' representation and union rights

  • The ten worst countries for workers in 2020 are: Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, Egypr, Honduras, India, Kazakhstan, the Philippines, Turkey and Zimbabwe. Egypt, Honduras and India are new entries in 2020. Honduras has joined this group for the first time, while India's repressive labour legislation has seen it re-enter[ed].

  • Workers were killed, including at trade union protests, in nine countries: Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Honduras, Iraq, the Philippines and South Africa. The Americas became the deadliest place for workers...

  • The number of countries which denied or constrained freedom of speech increased from 54 in 209 to 56 2020, with extreme cases reported in Hong Kong and Turkey]...

It will take a New Social Contract to rebuild resilient economies. But unless we build trust in democracy, beginning with workplace democracy, we put at risk the very foundation of our societies.