International Development Matters - Issue 106 February 2012

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Nigerian unions suspend strike following Government's decision to reduce fuel prices

The Nigeria Labour Congress and the Nigeria Trades Union Congress have suspended industrial action following the Federal Government's decision to reduce the price of petrol from N141 to N97 and agree to some other demands. Read more about the action here

Read the TUC's letter to the Nigeria High Commission in London condemning the indiscriminate killings of demonstrators by the security forces in the January protest marches.

Read the NLC briefing on removal of fuel subsidy

Workers & Climate Change: the UN climate conference, Durban 2011

This report to the TUC's Executive Committee (January 2012) assesses the UN's climate treaty negotiations in Durban, December 2011. It's significant for UK and EU industrial policy and green growth. The 'Durban Platform' extends the legally binding Kyoto Protocol for a second period beyond 2012; mobilises a $100bn Green Climate Fund for developing nations by 2020; and crucially for the EU, commits all nations to 'binding legal outcome' to tackle carbon emissions by 2015.


Journalists under Constant Threat in Honduras


Gilda Silvestrucci, a member of the Journalists for Life and Freedom of Expression group, received death threats by telephone on 24 January. The ITUC firmly condemns the constant threats against journalists who dare to exercise their profession.

Somalia: Freedom of Press in Danger

Journalist shot dead in Mogadishu

Hassan Osman Abdi, a leading Somalia journalist, was followed from his work place, shot and riddled with bullets on Saturday 28 January. He died on his way to the hospital. The ITUC strongly condemns this murder and calls for urgent measures to stop the attacks on journalists.

Saudi Arabia bans trade unions and violates all international labour standards


A new report from the International Trade Union Confederation on workers' rights in Saudi Arabia has uncovered alarming levels of child labour, discrimination and forced labour.

Read more here

Unions join forces to assist migrant workers in Gulf


Gulf states are relying on as many as 15 million migrant workers from Asia to grow their economies. As the economies of Kuwait and Bahrain thrive on migrant labour, Nepal's largest employer is the Gulf states, where families depend on making money overseas. Kuwait and Bahrain unions have become the first in the Gulf to forge an official trade union relationship with Nepal.

Listen to RadioLabour's interview with Mr Umesh Upadhyaya, General Secretary of the Nepalese trade union GEFONT speaking about the recently signed agreement with unions in Kuwait and Bahrain to help migrant workers.

Nepal: Child Labour and Forced Labour Remain Problems


A new report by the ITUC on core labour standards in Nepal, published to coincide with the World Trade Organisation's (WTO) review of its trade policies, reveals some serious violations of fundamental workers' rights including a high degree of prevalence of forced and child labour.

MV Foundation gets 1 million children into school


The campaign Stop Child Labour congratulates MV Foundations with her enormous success. Recently, this Indian organisation managed to get the 1 millionth child out of work and into school. The key to MV Foundations' success is the area-based approach which involves eradicating all forms of child labour and creating Child Labour Free Zones, where children do not work but receive regular full-time education.

Bangladeshi Garment Workers Lead Charge for Just Labour Legislation


Hundreds of garment workers staged a symbolic sit-in strike on 16 January in front of the National Press Club in Dhaka city, Bangladesh, demanding that Parliament takes up and passes a key piece of labour legislation.

Read more here

Vietnam's AIDS quagmire


Read a special ITUC report on the social stigma which fuels the spread of HIV/AIDS and an international trade agreement threatens access to lifesaving medicine in Vietnam.

Burma Campaign UK Welcomes Political Prisoner Release

On January 13 2012, Burma Campaign UK welcomed the release of a significant number of political prisoners, including members of the 88 Generation Students and journalists from the Democratic Voice of Burma, but also cautioned the international community not to forget those political prisoners still left behind in Burma's jails.

Read the full press release here

ICTU Union Post - January 2012 Issue


The January edition of The Union Post, produced in association with the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, is available for download and online viewing now


Labour leaders demand jobs, growth and equity as Executives gather for World Economic Forum


The international union movement put its case for the reform of capitalism at the World Economic Forum in Davos with five principles for dealing with current economic challenges.

Read more here

World Bank: Economic slowdown will affect developing regions

The World Bank expects slower global economic growth in 2012 than in 2011, according to updated forecasts included in the Bank's Global Economic Prospects (GEP) report issued 18 January. The slowdown will be particularly acute in the euro area, affected by sovereign debt crises. However the Bank expects an "easing" of growth in all other world regions, with the exception of Sub-Saharan Africa and Middle East-North Africa.

Global Employment Trends 2012 - Preventing a deeper jobs crisis

The ILO Employment Department has published its annual Global Employment Trends Report. ILO experts estimate that the world faces a challenge of creating 600 million jobs over the next decade to generate sustainable growth while maintaining social cohesion.

Left Behind by the G20?

Oxfam's new report Left behind by the G20 reveals that the G20 is falling behind on inequality, and inclusive and sustainable growth, with inequality having increased in 14 of the G20 countries since 1990 as economic growth has too often failed to benefit poor people.


ACT NOW: Support striking cleaners

Cleaning workers in the Netherlands have been on strike for 30 days and have now asked for international solidarity. They've created an online campaign on LabourStart which needs your help!

ACT NOW: Tell Bahrain to free Mahdi!

The global union movement is calling for a massive online protest to get Mahdi 'Issa Mahdi Abu Dheeb, the President of the Bahraini Teachers Association (BTA), released from jail for engaging in union activity.

ACT NOW: Justice for Nikos!

On Thursday 24 November 2011, the Greek police arrested Nikos Photopoulos, President of the power workers' union GENOP/DEI, along with more than a dozen of his fellow trade unionists. They will be back in court on 20 January 2012 to face charges that could see them jailed for up to five years. They were protesting against part of the Greek austerity measures.

Send messages of support here


ITUC Spotlight interview with Toni Moore (BWU - Barbados)

"Dignity delayed does not have to be dignity denied"

Toni Moore, deputy general secretary of the Barbados Workers' Union, was at the centre of the negotiations in the final run-up to the adoption in June of the Domestic Workers Convention at the ILO. She outlines the progress made and the new challenges arising from this convention and the situation of domestic workers in Barbados.

Read the full interview here

ITUC Spotlight interview with Myrtle Witbooi (SADSAWU-South Africa)

"Domestic workers' employers no longer refuse to dialogue"

SADSAWU is one of the oldest organisations defending domestic workers' rights in Africa. Myrtle Witbooi, a founding member and general secretary of the union and Chair of the International Domestic Workers Network (IDWN), looks back on her 30 years as a union activist and the challenges linked to this new Convention.

Read the full interview here

ITUC Spotlight interview with Barnes Dlamini (SFTU-Swaziland)

"Their main objective is to instil fear in people"

Trade union activities are being repressed with ever greater ferocity in Swaziland. Repeated arbitrary arrests, intimidation and beatings are used to silence activists. Barnes Dlamini, president of the SFTU (Swaziland Federation of Trade Unions) has been arrested several times over the last year. He gives us an overview of the situation.

Read the full interview here


Demonstrate for a human rights revolution

Global Day of Action: Supporting the people of the Middle East & North Africa
Saturday 11 February 2012, 12pm - 2pm
Trafalgar Square, London

Join Amnesty International in London for a Global Day of Action to show support for peaceful protestors across the Middle East and North Africa who are demanding an end to poverty, corruption, discrimination and repression.

Full details here

Global Labour University: MA programme on 'Labour Policies and Globalisation'

Deadline for applications: Thursday 1 March 2012

The Global Labour University (GLU) invites trade unionists and labour activists to apply to its Masters in "Labour Policies and Globalisation" offered in Germany, or the Masters in "Globalisation and Labour" offered in India. For application and programme details, please click here for more details.

TUC International Women's Day Event

Thursday 8 March 2012, Congress House
Great Russell St, WC1B 3LS

The TUC will be holding an evening event for International Women's Day on Thursday 8 March at Congress House. Further details will follow.

Blood, Sweat & Gear - the human cost of the London Olympics

Saturday 24 March 2012, 10.30am - 5.00pm
Toynbee Hall, 28 Commercial St, London E1 6LS

Will the legacy of the London Olympics be exploited garment workers and the marginalisation of local communities?

Join War on Want activists and East London community groups for a day of discussion and workshops on how we can stop the Olympic dream becoming a nightmare.

Spaces are limited, so register now by completing the form

Useful websites

There are a number of websites with useful information for trade unionists, policy makers and campaigners. Details here: Useful websites

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