Letter to Commonwealth Secretary-General
6 September 2012
As part of the Global Week of Action on Swaziland, the TUC and Action for Southern Africa have urged the Commonwealth Secretary-General to suspend Swaziland from the Commonwealth unless or until it complies with international human rights standards. The call is in support of the demands of the Trades Union Congress of Swaziland (TUCOSWA) and many other organisations. Recently, the influential Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative called for Swaziland to be referred to the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) which is the body responsible for suspending governments who fail to meet the Commonwealth's principles of freedom and democracy.
The TUC/ACTSA letter is as follows.
HE Kamalesh Sharma
London SW1Y 5HX
On the occasion of today's Global Day of Action to mark Swaziland's Independence Day on Thursday 6 September, we would like to express our concerns about Swaziland's failure to adhere to Commonwealth values such as democracy, freedom of association and free speech, and seek a meeting with you about what the Commonwealth can do to address these issues.
Last night, at a meeting in the House of Commons, a wide range of MPs and civil society organisations agreed to redouble our efforts to support the people of Swaziland who are seeking political freedom and economic development. As the recent report from the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative and Civicus - which called for Swaziland to be scrutinised by the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group - demonstrated, the Swazi regime is out of compliance with the fundamental principles that unite the Commonwealth.
Moreover, the ILO Committee on the Application of Standards (CAS) has pointed to serious breaches of ILO conventions relating to fundamental rights at work in recent years.
The Commonwealth Trade Union Group, representing working people across the Commonwealth, supports the call from its Swazi affiliate, the Trades Union Congress of Swaziland (TUCOSWA), for the Commonwealth to suspend Swaziland until and unless it complies with international human rights standards.
This week, trade unions and civil society are standing in solidarity with our sisters and brothers in Swaziland in their week of action for democracy. We would welcome the opportunity to meet with you to discuss what can be done to free the people of Swaziland.
BRENDAN BARBER, TUC General Secretary
TONY DYKES, Director, Action for Southern Africa
Briefing document (500 words) issued 7 Sep 2012
This page http://www.tuc.org.uk/international/tuc-21385-f0.cfm
printed 19 May 2013 at 12:58 hrs by 126.96.36.199