date: 19 September 2012
embargo: For immediate release
The TUC today (Wednesday) called on the European Union (EU) to continue imposing sanctions on Fiji after an International Labour Organisation (ILO) delegation was expelled for looking into possible human and labour rights abuses.
The ILO group was instructed to leave within hours of arriving on the Pacific group of islands, despite being given earlier permission by the government to investigate reports that union activity was being criminalised and union activists targeted across the country.
Those deported from Fiji include world-renowned Sierra Leonean Judge Koroma, a member of the International Court of Justice.
The TUC said the move made a mockery of the military government's commitment to restore democracy by 2014, particularly in the light of recent cases of workers being beaten up and imprisoned for speaking out against the regime.
TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said: 'This decision makes a mockery of the Fijian government's so-called commitment to democracy and human rights.
'Expelling investigators will do little to calm international fears over labour and human rights abuses and sends out a chilling message about the regime's intentions.
'Fiji's behaviour must not go unpunished. It is essential that the EU looks at the possibility of strengthening existing sanctions. Fiji must urgently allow the ILO delegation back into the country or risk being seen as an international pariah.'
NOTES TO EDITORS:
- All TUC press releases can be found at www.tuc.org.uk
- Follow the TUC on Twitter: @tucnews
- On Saturday 20 October thousands of people from across the UK will be heading to London for A Future That Works - a march which starts on the Embankment and ends with a rally in Hyde Park. The day is being organised by the TUC in protest against the government's austerity measures and calls for a new approach which puts growth and an economy that works for ordinary families at the heart of government policy www.afuturethatworks.org
Press release (400 words) issued 20 Sep 2012
This page http://www.tuc.org.uk/international/tuc-21438-f0.cfm
printed 19 May 2013 at 09:59 hrs by 126.96.36.199