International Development Matters - Issue 104 Deccember 2011

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Bahrain crackdown decried at Embassy visit

Representatives of the TUC, the ITF, NASUWT and UNISON meet with Bahrain's Ambassador to the UK in London on Thursday 18 November to register a joint protest over the treatment of workers and demonstrators in the Gulf state.

Read about the meeting here

Aid effectiveness needs decent work and private sector regulation says TUC

HLF4 Busan At the end of November, governments will gather in Busan, South Korea, to discuss aid effectiveness. TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber has written to Andrew Mitchell, Secretary of State for International Development, urging him to back union arguments for accountable employers and decent work.


TUC and UK NGOs Statement to Rio 2012

The TUC and UK NGOs have published a joint statement of key demands for the UN's Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) in Rio in June 2012. This report demands that the UN takes action for a truly sustainable Green and Fair global economy.

New teaching resource: Fair's Fair - Life and Rights in the Global Sports Industry

Playfair 2012This interactive teaching resource has been produced by the Playfair 2012 campaign and developed by a selection of unions, NGOs in collaboration with a group of teacher members with an interest in international development.

It aims to help pupils aged 9-14 years to debate and explore the links between major world sporting events, trade and global poverty through lesson plans, activity sheets, colour photo cards and a DVD.

Order your free copy of Fair's Fair teaching pack.

Download a PDF version of the pack here


Tackling HIV/AIDS in Southern Africa project report now available

To coincide with Worlds AIDS Day (1 December), UNISON has recently released a report on their HIV/AIDS capacity building project which took place in southern Africa between 2008 and April 2011. Involving thirty-two public sector unions in eleven countries a combined membership of over 700,000 came together to take action on HIV and AIDS.

Download a pdf of the report here.

Read the ITUC statement on Worlds AIDS Day with a focus to promote action on HIV and AIDS in the workplace and to call for renewed international commitment to tackle the pandemic, on the basis of shared ownership of the AIDS response.

TUC affiliate Prospect publishes report on their international work

TUC affiliate Prospect, the union for professionals has produced a report on their contribution to the Millennium Development Goals, overview of their international work including case studies and outcomes of the Bargaining for International Development (BID) project.

View the 'World of Difference' booklet here


UNFCCC - Conference of the Parties in Durban 2011

desert Climate ChangeThe 17th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is taking place in Durban, South Africa. The two-week conference brings international organisations, civil society and the 194 countries that signed up to the UNFCCC together to get the process back on track after the failure of Copenhagen 2009.

Read on for more UNFCCC related stories


Durban Climate Change Negotiations Must Deliver Decisions for Workers and the Planet

Durban 2011The international trade union movement is urging governments meeting at the UNFCCC conference in Durban to step out of their comfort zones and take decisions to extend the Kyoto Protocol, deliver a mandate to negotiate a comprehensive legally binding instrument for all countries, and fund the US$100 billion Green Climate Fund.

Read more here


Workers Increase Pressure for Climate Action As Negotiations Start in Durban

Workers UNFCCC1South African mine workers, Japanese energy workers, Argentinean construction workers, and UK teachers will join more than 250 unionists from 100 countries to showcase national actions to tackle climate change and create jobs in the 'World of Work' pavilion at the UN Climate Change talks in Durban.

Read more here


World's Unions Criticise Decision to Hold 2012 Climate Summit in Qatar

Qatar UNFCCC2The decision to allow Qatar, notorious for its violations of workers' rights, to host the 2012 UN climate change summit has been strongly criticised by the world's main trade union body, the ITUC.





Syria: Regime's Continued Violence Risks Spread of Conflict

With more than 3,000 people killed to date, the Syrian authorities show no sign of seeking a peaceful end to the violent repression engulfing the country. Despite mediation efforts by Turkey, and an agreement with the Assad regime brokered by the Arab League, the President's security forces are continuing to kill innocent civilians engaged in peaceful protest.

Read more here

ITUC Protests Against Lengthy Prison Terms on Turkish Trade Unionists

The ITUC has joined Education International (EI) in its protest over the sentencing of 25 Turkish trade unionists to more than 6 years in prison under false 'anti-terrorist' charges this week.

Read more here

Stop Violence, Impunity and Sexual Harassment at Work

To mark this year's International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, the ITUC and the ICEM are publishing a new report underlining the economic dimension of the conflict and its links to the violence endured by women in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

Forced Labour, Discrimination and Violations of Trade Union Rights All Common in Thailand

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




Philippines: Trade unions face an environment of violence and intimidation

The ITUC is releasing a report on core labour standards in Philippines that finds an environment of violence and intimidation against trade unions - including intimidation, harassment, dismissals, false criminal charges, arrests, threats and even murder.

Ecuador: New ITUC Report Reveals Discrimination and Labour Rights Abuses

A new ITUC report on core labour standards in Ecuador, published on the occasion of the World Trade Organisation (WTO)'s review of Ecuador's trade policies, reveals grave problems with trade union rights and discrimination and several other violations of labour rights.

Precarious work in certified tea production for Unilever in India and Kenya

New report by SOMO and the India Committee of the Netherlands (ICN) reveals labour right violations in Rainforest Alliance certified tea production for Unilever. Workers picking tea for Unilever in India and Kenya are subject to precarious working conditions and labor rights violations, even though this tea carries the Rainforest Alliance certificate.

Somalia: Systematic intimidation of Somali trade unionists

The ITUC has supported the National Union of Somali Journalist (NUSOJ), which is affiliated to the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), in its strong protest against the systematic intimidation of Somali trade unionists.

Read the latest here

Zimbabwe Update

Each month ACTSA produces an update on the current affairs and news from Zimbabwe

ACTSA looks at the issues facing trade unionists, the youth and students of the country, women, church and faith groups and possible human rights violations to inform and inspire our campaigners.

Subscribe to the Zimbabwe Update now

Or download the latest edition here

Human Rights Day 10 December 2011

Human Rights

Read the opening remarks by UN High Commissioner Navi Pillay at the 'Celebrate Human Rights' Press Conference Geneva, 1 December 2011

For more information on the Human Rights Day campaign



'Robin Hood' Tax Gains Some Traction at G20 Summit

Robin Hood tax campaignIf the G20 summit (held in Cannes, France) accomplished anything, it accomplished this: it put the urgent need for a financial transaction tax (FTT) firmly on the global economic agenda. Even though G20 world leaders and economic ministers failed to come to consensus on a FTT, the debate was there and it promises to grow.

Read more here


OECD Economic Outlook - Unions Say: Give workers confidence and jobs


The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)'s Economic Outlook published on 28 November under the title 'The Policy Imperative: Rebuild Confidence' gives a stark picture of collapsing growth with the Euro-zone and UK economies moving into recession on the basis of, what it calls, a 'muddling through' scenario.

New Report Puts Spotlight on Corporate Tax Avoidance

A new report released in London by the Global Union Federation, Education International, documents the massive revenues lost to governments through corporate tax avoidance and the impact of this on education and other vital public services which are at risk from government expenditure cuts.

ILO World of Work Report 2011

On the eve of the G20 leaders summit ILO warns of double dip jobs recession and more social unrest

On the eve of the G20 leaders summit the International Labour Organization (ILO) launched the "World of Work Report 2011", one of its annual flagship reports. The report concludes that the global economy is on the verge of a new jobs recession that will delay economic recovery and may ignite more social unrest.


ACT NOW! Urge your MP to back a Robin Hood Tax

Our friends at 38 Degrees and the Robin Hood Tax campaign have launched a new online action to urge MPs to back the Tax. Please take the action yourself and then get all your union colleagues, friends and family to do the same.

Ecuador: Support dismissed workers

PSI and its affiliates in Ecuador are calling on the Government to end the unfair and unjustified dismissals of more than 3,000 workers, mainly employed in the public administration and health services, and to reinstate those workers who have been sacked.

PSI is asking its affiliates to send similar letters of protest.

Tell the UK government to match its rhetoric on violence against women

To coincide with International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (25 November), the TUC launched a petition calling on the UK government to sign up to the Council of Europe Convention to combat violence against women and domestic violence.


Reconstruction in Haiti


Over the last two years, PSI, CUPE and PSAC have been working to help rebuild the headquarters of the CTSP, Haiti's Confederation of Private and Public Sector Workers. This video tells the story of this important project.

Watch the video here



From Turkey to London 2012: campaigning for a sweat-free Olympics

Asalettin Arslanoglu, Director of Organising, Textile, Knitting and Clothing Workers' Union of Turkey (TEKSIF), provides an insight into the conditions for workers making goods for the major sportswear brands. Poverty wages, below the government's own official poverty line, and systematic union busting are the norm - far from the Olympic values of respect, equality and fair play.

Read his interview here


Latin America 2011 Conference: Making a better world possible

Saturday 3 December, 9.30am - 5pm
TUC Congress House, Great Russell St, London, WC1B 3LS

LATIN AMERICA 2011 is open to all those wishing to find out about recent developments and support the peoples of Latin America in their struggles for self determination and social justice. A range of excellent speakers from Latin America will be sharing their first hand experience of the latest developments in Cuba, Nicaragua, Honduras, Bolivia, Chile and Venezuela as will a host of UK specialists.

Click here for full event details

'The Lady And The Peacock: The Life of Aung San Suu Kyi'

OECDThis new biography by Peter Popham is a must-read - an accessible and engaging book about Aung San Suu Kyi and her part in Burma's struggle for democracy.

Order copies here

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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