102nd International Labour Conference

Full text of the Conclusions of the Committee on the Applications of Standards

List of the 25 countries that were part of the Committee on the Applications of Standards at the International Labour Conference 2013.

Record of decisions | 05 July 2013
1. BANGLADESH
2. BELARUS
3. CAMBODIA
4. CANADA
5. CHAD
6. DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
7. EGYPT
8. FIJI
9. GREECE
10. GUATEMALA
11. HONDURAS
12. IRAN, ISLAMIC REPUBLIC
13. KENYA
14. KOREA, REPUBLIC OF
15. MALAYSIA
16. MAURITANIE
17. PAKISTAN
18. PARAGUAY
19. SAUDI ARABIA
20. SENEGAL
21. SPAIN
22. SWAZILAND
23. TURKEY
24. UZBEKISTAN
25. ZIMBABWE

1) BANGLADESH. CONVENTION 87 FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION AND PROTECTION OF THE RIGHT TO ORGANISE.

The Committee took note of the written and oral information provided by the Government and the discussion that ensued.

The Committee noted that the outstanding issues concerned: numerous allegations of arrests, harassment and detention of trade unionists and trade union leaders, notably in the garment sector and refusals by the registrar to register new trade unions; the need to ensure freedom of association rights to workers in the export processing zones; and numerous provisions of the 2006 Labour Act and the 1977 Industrial Relations Rules which were not in conformity with this fundamental Convention.

The Committee noted the information provided by the Government, in particular that: the Bangladesh Garments and Industrial Sramik Federation (BGIWF) is functioning without any obstacle, pending the decision of the Labour Court before which the Government filed a case for cancellation of its registration in 2008; and amendments to the 2006 Labour Act have been submitted to the parliament, following intensive tripartite consultations and advice from the ILO. The Committee further notes the information on: the number and function of workers’ welfare associations under the EWWAIR Act of 2010 and the Government’s plans, when it expires in 2014, to bring the EPZs under the purview of the Labour Act with ILO assistance; the intention to formulate new industrial relations rules following the adoption of the amendments to the Labour Act; and the technical cooperation provided by the ILO to ensure the further improvement of workers’ rights in EPZs.

The Committee did not address the right to strike in+ this case as the employers do not agree that there is a right to strike recognized in Convention No. 87.

Stressing that a climate of full respect for freedom of association can make a significant contribution towards the effective protection of workers’ safety, the Committee highlighted the fundamental nature of this right. The Committee called on the Government to take the necessary measures to ensure that workers and employers can exercise their freedom of association rights in a climate that is free from threats, pressure and intimidation of any kind and to carry out independent investigations into the allegations of arrest, harassment and violence against trade unionists. The Committee took note of the important commitments made by the Government to bring the law and the practice into conformity with the Convention and urged the Government to ensure that the amendments to the Labour Act would be adopted without delay and would address the numerous points raised by the Committee of Experts concerning the Convention’s application. The Committee expected that these changes would further give rise to a simplified and effective registration process. Noting the Government’s statement that participation committees would not be used as a substitute to trade unions but rather would facilitate trade union activities and collective bargaining, the Committee urged the Government to take the necessary measures to ensure that the amendments to the Labour Act would not undermine trade union rights. Encouraged by the Government’s statement concerning the lapsing of the EWWAIR in 2014, the Committee invited the Government to avail itself of ILO technical assistance aimed at ensuring that workers in export processing zones are fully guaranteed their rights under the Convention. The Committee requested the Government to provide a detailed report on the progress made with respect to all the above matters for examination by the Committee of Experts at its meeting this year. The Committee also invited the Director-General to submit to the 2014 Governing Body meeting a detailed report on the situation regarding the respect of freedom of association in the country.

2) BELARUS. CONVENTION 87 FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION AND PROTECTION OF THE RIGHT TO ORGANISE.


The Committee took note of the written and oral information provided by the Government representative and the discussion that ensued.

The Committee recalled that the outstanding issues in this case concerned the need to ensure the right of workers to establish organizations of their own choosing and organize their activities and programmes free from interference by the public authorities in law and in practice. The Committee further highlighted the long outstanding recommendations from the Commission of Inquiry for amendments to be made to the Presidential Decree No. 2 dealing with trade union registration, Decree No. 24 concerning the use of foreign gratuitous aid and the Law on Mass Activities.

The Committee noted the information provided by the Government on the work of the Tripartite Council for the Improvement of Legislation on the Social and Labour Sphere and, in particular, its decision to support the amendment of Decree No. 2 by repealing the 10 per cent minimum membership requirement for the establishment of trade unions at the enterprise level. The Committee further noted the Government’s stated commitment to social dialogue and cooperation with the ILO.

The Committee noted with regret new allegations of violations of freedom of association in the country, including allegations of interference in trade union activities, pressure and harassment. In particular, while observing that the Government stated that there were no registration refusals in 2012, the Committee took note of the allegations of the refusal to register the BITU primary organization at “Granit” enterprise and the subsequent indication by the Government that this matter was addressed by the Tripartite Council.

The Committee observed with deep regret that no new information was provided by the Government nor has any tangible result been achieved in implementing the recommendations made by the Commission of Inquiry of 2004.

Recalling the intrinsic link between freedom of association, democracy, the respect for basic civil liberties and human rights, the Committee urged the Government to intensify its efforts to bring the law and practice into full conformity with the Convention, in close cooperation with all the social partners and with the assistance of the ILO. The Committee urged the Government to take immediately all measures necessary to ensure that all workers and employers in the country may fully exercise their rights to freedom of expression and of assembly. The Committee invited the Government to accept a direct contacts mission with a view to obtaining a full picture of the trade union rights situation in the country and assisting the Government in the rapid and effective implementation of all outstanding recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry. It expected that the Government would submit detailed information on proposed amendments to the abovementioned laws and decrees to the Committee of Experts at its meeting this year and trusted that it would be in a position to note significant progress with respect to all remaining matters at its next session.

The Committee decided to place this case in a special paragraph of its report.

3) CAMBODIA. CONVENTION 87 FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION AND PROTECTION OF THE RIGHT TO ORGANISE.

The Committee took note of the statement made by the Government representative, as well as the discussion that followed.

The Committee noted that the grave issues in this case concerned a climate of impunity in the country and seriously flawed judicial processes with respect to the trials of the presumed authors of the assassinations of three trade union leaders, as well as the need to ensure an independent and effective functioning of the judiciary. Other matters concerned long-standing discrepancies between the legislation and the practice, and the Convention.

The Committee took note of the information provided by the Government representative concerning the establishment of a coordinating committee to coordinate all relevant ministries to respond to the questions relating to the assassinations of trade union members, as well as a permanent committee on employment policy also charged with responding to questions raised by the ILO. The Government representative also referred to the elaboration of a draft trade union law with the technical assistance provided by the ILO, as well as to the intention of drafting a labour court law.

The Committee deplored the fact that, despite the remand of the Chea Vichea case to the trial court, full, independent and impartial investigations had not been carried out into his assassination and the previously convicted persons were returned to prison without any new evidence being produced. The Committee further noted with concern the allegations of continuing violence, threats and intimidation suffered by trade union leaders and members. Recalling that the freedom of association rights of workers and employers could only be exercised in a climate free from violence, pressure and threats of any kind, it urged the Government to take the necessary measures to bring an end to impunity in relation to violent acts against trade unionists and requested it once again to institute independent investigations so as to ensure that the perpetrators and the instigators of these heinous crimes are brought to justice.

The Committee noted the concerns raised with respect to the judicial system by the Committee of Experts. It recalled its previous recommendation urging the Government to adopt without delay the proposed law on the status of judges and prosecutors and the law on the organization and functioning of the courts and ensure their full implementation and expected that the Government would be in a position to inform on the progress made in this regard without delay.

The Committee further observed that the legislative reform process was still under way and once again called on the Government to intensify its efforts, in full consultation with the social partners and with the assistance of the ILO, to ensure the rapid adoption of the trade union Act by the end of 2013 so as to more fully guarantee the rights under the Convention. It also requested the Government to take further measures to ensure freedom of association rights to public service workers and all types of contract workers. It specifically requested the Government to provide the Committee of Experts with the texts of the anti-corruption law and its strategic plan, and expected that the necessary resources would be provided for their effective implementation. Adequate resources should also be allocated for the proper functioning of an independent judiciary. It also requested the Government to transmit to the Committee of Experts all other draft texts referred to so that it would be in a position to comment as to their conformity with the Convention and expected that it would be in a position to observe concrete progress in this regard in the near future.

4) CANADA. CONVENTION 87 FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION AND PROTECTION OF THE RIGHT TO ORGANISE.

The Committee noted the information provided by the Government representative and the discussion that followed.
It noted that the comments concerned a number of discrepancies between the laws and practices in various provinces, on the one hand, and the Convention on the other. The Committee noted that the issues that were pending related in particular to the exclusion of a variety of workers from the coverage of the labour relations legislation in a number of provinces.

The Committee took note of the information provided by the Government representative that, while it was true that not all workers in Canadian jurisdictions were covered by industrial relations legislation, they were entitled to join associations of their own choosing. In addition, the Government once again stressed that some inconsistencies raised by the Committee of Experts had not given rise to concerns at the national level. The Government representative referred to initiatives and mechanisms designed to bring the provincial and territorial governments and the social partners together to address ILO and international labour issues and promote implementation of its international obligations. The Committee further noted the Government’s indication that resources for its Preventive Mediation Program were increased in 2011. As for the provinces, the Committee noted with interest: the repeal of the Ontario Bill 115 which imposed contract settlements; the Government of New Brunswick’s indication that it is discussing potential amendments to remove or modify the exclusion of domestic workers from the coverage of the Industrial Relations Act; the clarification in Saskatchewan labour legislation of the definition of “employee” and the addition of “supervisory employee”.

The Committee did not address the right to strike in this case as the employers do not agree that there is a right to strike recognized in Convention No. 87.
The Committee recalled that certain legislative texts needed to be amended in some provinces with a view to guaranteeing the full application of the Convention. In particular, it stressed the importance of ensuring to all workers, without distinction whatsoever, the right to form and join the organization of their own choosing. It asked the Government to pursue its efforts to bring these matters to the attention of the provincial authorities and expressed the firm expectation that appropriate solutions in conformity with the Convention would be found in the near future in full consultation with the social partners concerned. The Committee requested the Government to provide detailed information in its next report to the Committee of Experts on the measures adopted in this connection.

5) CHAD. CONVENTION 144. TRIPARTITE CONSULTATION.


The Committee took note of the information provided by the Government and the discussion that ensued.

The Committee noted that the outstanding issues concerned the operation of consultation mechanisms and the lack of information on the effective tripartite consultations required by the Convention.

The Committee noted the Government's indication of the establishment of the Higher Committee for Labour and Social Security in April 2003 and the National Committee on Social Dialogue in November 2009, as well as some discussions that took place between the Government and the trade unions. The Committee noted that the Government did not provide the information on the consultations held between representatives of the Government, employers’ and workers’ organizations on the issues provided for in the Convention related to international labour standards.

The Committee regretted the absence of reports by the Government since 2009 and stressed the importance of social dialogue and the practice of tripartism between governments and the representative organizations of workers and employers as provided for by this Convention. The Committee invited the Government to take all appropriate measures to ensure effective functioning of the procedures required by this governance Convention. The Committee also invited the Government to seek ILO technical assistance including an exchange of good practices with other Member States in order to strengthen social dialogue and to build an effective national mechanism in order to support tripartite consultation required by Convention No. 144.

6) DOMINICAN REPUBLIC. CONVENTION 111. DISCRIMINATION.


The Committee took note of the oral and written information provided by the Government representative and the discussion that followed.

The Committee recalled that it had last examined this case in 2008, and that it raised issues with respect to discrimination in employment and occupation against Haitians and dark-skinned Dominicans, discrimination based on sex, including mandatory pregnancy testing and sexual harassment, and mandatory testing to establish HIV status.
The Committee noted the information provided by the Government in relation to recent developments, including with respect to the strengthened legislative and regulatory framework addressing discrimination generally, and discrimination against migrants in particular, as well as clearly prohibiting HIV testing as a requirement for obtaining or keeping a job. It also noted the inter-institutional agreement aimed at ensuring coordinated action regarding requests for registration of employment contracts of migrants and the issuance of visas and identity documents, as well as the awareness-raising activities that had been undertaken. It noted further the establishment of the Technical Committee for Equal Opportunities and Non-discrimination, and the elaboration of a Strategic Development Plan, 2013-16.

Welcoming the initiatives taken by the Government, the Committee also noted that the practical impact of these measures remained unclear. The Committee, therefore, requested the Government, in collaboration with employers’ and workers’ organizations, to take firm steps to ensure workers were protected against discrimination in practice on all the grounds enumerated in the Convention, including workers of Haitian origin and dark-skinned Dominicans, migrant workers in an irregular situation, women working in export processing zones, and workers in construction and in agriculture. It also urged the Government to continue and reinforce its efforts to raise awareness in this context and to bring an end to the practice of pregnancy testing and HIV testing to gain access to and to maintain a job. The Committee also asked the Government to ensure the efficacy and accessibility of monitoring and enforcement to address discrimination, and to ensure that complaints mechanisms were accessible to all workers in practice, including for those not represented by trade unions.

The Committee welcomed the Government’s request for ILO technical assistance in order to continue to make tangible progress in the application of the Convention, and hoped that such assistance would be provided in the near future. The Committee requested the Government to provide a report to the Committee of Experts, including detailed information regarding all issues raised by this Committee and the Committee of Experts, for examination at its next meeting.

7) EGYPT. CONVENTION 87 FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION AND PROTECTION OF THE RIGHT TO ORGANISE.

The Committee took note of the statement made by the Government representative and of the discussion that followed.

The Committee observed that the comments of the Committee of Experts concerned a number of long-standing discrepancies between the labour legislation and the provisions of the Convention, in particular as regards the Trade Union Act No. 35 of 1976, which was based on a single trade union system.

The Committee noted the Government’s commitment to ensuring freedom of association rights in the country. The Government representative referred to a freedom of association workshop held in April 2013, in collaboration with the ILO, resulting in a broad agreement to establish a national committee to review all labour legislation. The national committee issued a final recommendation to repeal Trade Union Act No. 35 and replace it with the draft freedom of association law that it had discussed and reviewed and which was submitted to the Council of Ministers. This draft was approved by the Council of Ministers on 29 May 2013 and submitted to the Shura Council, currently in charge of legislation, for discussion and approval. In addition, the elections for the current trade union executive councils under Act No. 35 were once again extended for one year or until the promulgation of the new law by the Shura Council, whichever is earlier. Finally, the Government representative stated that the representatives of the newly formed independent unions have been able to freely participate in various national and international activities, meetings and conferences, including in the ILC since 2011.
The Committee did not address the right to strike in this case as the employers do not agree that there is a right to strike recognized in Convention No. 87.

While regretting that many years have passed since the Government was asked to bring its law and practice into conformity with the Convention without any concrete results having been achieved, the Committee noted with interest the recent and positive steps taken by the Government in this regard. The Committee therefore expressed the firm expectation that a law ensuring full respect for the freedom of association rights of workers and of employers would be adopted in the very near future. It requested the Government to provide a copy of the draft that was before the Shura Council to the ILO and to ensure appropriate consultations with the social partners. The Committee expressed its firm expectation that, in the meantime and as the Government had committed, all trade unions in Egypt would be able to exercise their activities and elect their officers in full freedom in accordance with the Convention pending the adoption of the freedom of association law. It encouraged the Government to continue to have recourse to ILO technical assistance and capacity-building for all the social partners.

The Committee requested the Government to provide a detailed report to the Committee of Experts at its meeting this year and expected that it would be in position to observe significant and concrete progress in the country to ensure respect for trade unions rights both in law and in practice.

8) FIJI. CONVENTION 87 FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION AND PROTECTION OF THE RIGHT TO ORGANISE.


The Committee took note of the statement made by the Government representative and of the discussion that followed.

The Committee observed that the outstanding issues in this case concerned numerous and grave allegations of the violations of the basic civil liberties of trade unionists, including arrest, detention and assaults and restrictions of freedom of expression and of assembly. The Committee further observes the issues relating to a number of discrepancies between the labour legislation, in particular the Public Order Amendment (POA) Act, the Employment Relations Promulgation and the Essential National Industries Decree and the provisions of the Convention. The Committee further recalled the Resolution adopted by the ILO Governing Body in November 2012 calling on the Government to accept a Direct Contacts mission under previously agreed terms of reference based on conclusions and recommendations of ILO Committee on Freedom of Association in Case No. 2723.

The Committee noted the Government’s statement that the draft Constitution ensured protections for human and socio-economic rights and the independence of the judiciary and the Government was intensively preparing for democratic elections in September 2014. It further noted the Government’s commitment to: finalise the review of the labour legislation with the social partners within the framework of the Employment Relations Advisory Board (ERAB) so as to bring it into conformity with ratified international labour Conventions; and ensure that all cases of breaches of Fijians’ fundamental rights would be investigated and independently prosecuted by an independent office of the Director of Public Prosecutions. The Government representative indicated that they would welcome the visit of the ILO direct contacts mission on mutually acceptable terms of reference in December of this year.

The Committee did not address the right to strike in this case as the employers do not agree that there is a right to strike recognized in Convention No. 87.

The Committee noted with concern the recently adopted Political Parties Decree and certain provisions of the draft Constitution that were alleged to pose risks to the exercise of freedom of association and the basic civil liberties of trade unionists and the officers of employer organizations. Recalling the intrinsic link between freedom of association, expression, and assembly, on the one hand, and democracy and human rights on the other, the Committee urged the Government to undertake an ex officio independent investigation without further delay into the alleged acts of assault, harassment and intimidation against Felix Anthony, Mohammed Khalil, Attar Singh, Taniela Tabu and Anand Singh and to drop the charges against Daniel Urai and Nitendra Goundar. The Committee urged the Government to amend the POA so as to ensure that the right to assembly may be freely exercised and expected that the ERAB would complete its review of the laws and decrees so that the necessary amendments would be made by the end of the year in order to put them into full conformity with the Convention.

The Committee recalled with regret that the direct contacts mission was not able to take place as scheduled in September 2012. Encouraged by the Government’s latest indication that it would welcome the return of the direct contacts mission, the Committee expressed the firm hope that the mission, as mandated by the ILO Governing Body, would take place as soon as possible so that it could report back to the Governing Body in October 2013.

The Committee persevered in the hope that the mission would be able to assist the Government and the social partners in finding solutions to all the outstanding matters raised by the Committee of Experts. It requested the Government to provide a detailed report for the Committee of Expert’s examination this year and expressed the firm expectation that next year it would be in a position to observe the substantial and concrete progress made.

The Committee decided to place its conclusions in this case in a special paragraph of its report.

9) GREECE. CONVENTION 98. RIGHT TO ORGANIZE AND COLLECTIVE BARGAINING.


The Committee took note of the statement made by the Government representative and the discussion that followed.

The Committee observed that the outstanding issues in this case concerned numerous interventions in collective agreements and allegations that, within the context of austerity measures imposed by loan agreements between the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Greek Government in a context characterized as grave and exceptional, collective bargaining was seriously weakened and the autonomy of the bargaining partners violated.

The Committee noted the information provided by the Government representative concerning the reform of the collective bargaining legal framework through the establishment of decentralization in the implementation of collective agreements due to the economic crisis. She further provided information on the Special Fund for the Implementation of Social Policies (ELEKP) which was established in 2013 and is being operated by the Manpower Employment Organization (OAED) which has assumed responsibilities for the Workers’ Social Fund, including the funding of the Organization for Mediation and Arbitration (OMED). She stated, however, that the statutory minimum wage fixing process which would be established by Ministerial Decree would be defined in consultation with the social partners. She reiterated that the critical economic situation and the complicated negotiations at international level provided no room for consultation with the social partners prior to the legislative reforms. She observed that the national seminar on promoting a balanced and inclusive recovery through sound industrial relations and social dialogue, jointly organized by the ILO and the European Commission on 25 and 26 June, would provide an important opportunity to capitalize on ILO experience to reinforce trust on common goals and confidence between social partners and the Government. She expressed their expectation that this event would initiate the reengagement in social dialogue to implement policies enhancing economic growth, combating unemployment and protecting workers’ living standards.

The Committee recalled that the interference in collective agreements as part of a stabilization policy should only be imposed as an exceptional measure, limited in time and degree, and accompanied by adequate safeguards to protect workers’ living standards. Mindful of the importance of full and frank dialogue with the social partners concerned to review the impact of austerity measures and the measures to be taken in times of crisis, the Committee requested the Government to intensify its efforts, with ILO technical assistance, to establish a functioning model of social dialogue on all issues of concern with a view to promoting collective bargaining, social cohesion and social peace in full conformity with the Convention. The Committee urged the Government to take steps to create a space for the social partners that would enable them to be fully involved in the determination of any further alterations that touch upon aspects going to the heart of labour relations and social dialogue. It invited the Government to provide additional detailed information to the Committee of Experts this year on the matters raised and on the impact of the abovementioned measures on the application of the Convention.

10) GUATEMALA. CONVENTION 87 FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION AND PROTECTION OF THE RIGHT TO ORGANISE.


The Committee took note of the oral and written information provided by the Government and the discussion that took place thereafter.

The Committee observed that the issues in this case concerning this fundamental Convention relate to: acts of violence against trade union leaders and members and the situation of impunity in that regard; certain legislative problems, in particular relating to restrictions on the freedom to form organizations and the right to elect trade union leaders in full freedom; limitations in the trade union rights situation in the export processing zones and in relation to some public sector workers, as well as in relation to the trade union registration process.

The Committee noted that, in June 2012, some Worker delegates to the 101st Session of the International Labour Conference had presented a complaint under article 26 of the ILO Constitution for violation of the Convention. The Committee noted with interest in that regard that the Government, with the involvement and commitment of the President of the Republic, and the Workers’ group of the ILO Governing Body had signed a Memorandum of Understanding, in the presence of the ILO Director-General, on the basis of which tripartite measures would be taken to ensure the full application of the Convention. The Committee noted that the Governing Body would examine in the near future up-to-date information on the progress made in this regard. The Committee welcomed the information that an ILO representative would be sent to Guatemala in the coming days to assist in solving the problems faced. The Committee also welcomed the announced tripartite high level mission.

The Committee took note of the information provided by the Minister of Labour that, in the framework of a policy of strengthening institutions, a number of steps had been taken to resolve the issues raised, particularly with regard to: establishment of a working group with the participation of the Public Prosecutor and trade union representatives to report on progress in investigating cases of violence; ILO technical assistance for the Office of the Public Prosecutor; increasing the Office of the Public Prosecutor’s budget to fight impunity; promulgation by the Office of the Public Prosecutor of a general instruction on criminal prosecutions in the event of non-compliance with judicial rulings; presentation of a Labour Sanctions Bill; moving courts to a single location and reducing the length of judicial proceedings from 19 to six months on average; accelerating the process of registering trade unions to reduce it from 226 to 20 working days; the important strengthening of the labour inspectorate; the reinforcement of the tripartite national committee; and establishing and appointing the Economic and Social Council.

The Committee did not address the right to strike in this case as the employers do not agree that there is a right to strike recognized in Convention No. 87.

The Committee took note with concern of the generalized climate of violence in the country and regretted the new allegations of murders and other acts of violence against trade union leaders and members in 2013. While it took note of the important steps taken by the Office of the Public Prosecutor to investigate acts of violence, and of some concrete results with respect to some investigations, the Committee recalled that the freedom of association rights of workers and employers could only be exercised in a climate that was free from violence, pressure or threats of any kind. It urged the Government to continue taking the steps necessary to provide protection for trade union leaders and members under threat with a view to bringing an end to impunity related to acts of violence affecting the trade union movement, and to carry out investigations so that those responsible would be prosecuted and punished.

The Committee emphasized the urgency of fully implementing the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Government and the Workers’ group of the ILO Governing Body. The Committee urged the Government to take the necessary measures, in consultation with all the social partners, to amend legislation with regard to the issues raised with a view to bringing it fully into conformity with the Convention. The Committee took note that the Government counted on the ILO’s technical assistance and observed that this assistance, which included a tripartite element, would be provided in the coming months and expressed the firm hope that it would be able to note tangible progress made on all matters raised. The Committee requested the Government to send a detailed report in that respect to the Committee of Experts for its next meeting in 2013.

11) HONDURAS. CONVENTION 98. RIGHT TO ORGANIZE AND COLLECTIVE BARGAINING.

The Committee took note of the oral and written information provided by the Government and the discussion that ensued.

The Committee noted that the outstanding issues concerned the need for protection against acts of anti-union discrimination and interference in both law and practice, including in the export processing zones, and the right to collective bargaining to public employees.

The Committee noted the Government's statements according to which the authorities were currently working on a partial reform of the Labour Code with the technical assistance of the ILO, taking into account the recommendations of the Committee of Experts, in order to strengthen the protection in law against acts of anti-union discrimination and interference. Furthermore, there was a proposal of the Secretary of Labour to amend the Labour Code so as to ensure that the representatives of employees of public institutions would be able to present lists of claims, just like other unions; these texts would then be submitted to the Economic and Social Council, before being submitted to Parliament.

The Committee stressed the importance of the reform process being carried out in consultation with all the workers’ and employers’ organizations concerned. Observing that these matters have been pending for many years, the Committee expressed the firm hope that the abovementioned amendments would be submitted to the legislature in the near future so that it would be able to note tangible progress towards full compliance of the legislation and practice with the provisions of the Convention. The Committee requested the Government to accept a direct contacts mission to ensure the effective modification of the law and the practice for the full application of this fundamental Convention and to develop tripartite dialogue to resolve the matters concerned. The Committee requested the Government to provide a detailed report to the Committee of Experts for examination at its next meeting in November 2013.

12) IRAN, ISLAMIC REPUBLIC. CONVENTION 111. DISCRIMINATION


The Committee took note of the oral information provided by the Government representative and the discussion that followed.

The Committee recalled that it had been raising concerns for a number of years including with respect to discrimination in law and practice against women, ethnic and religious minorities, and the absence of an environment conducive to social dialogue on the implementation of the Convention.

The Committee noted the Government’s indication that four technical groups had been established to address the amendment of the Labour Law, the Social Security Act and the Occupational Safety and Health By-laws, and the promotion of social dialogue, and that a number of amendments had been proposed. The Committee also noted the Government’s indication that more detailed information was provided in the report it had recently submitted for the Committee of Experts’ meeting in November 2013.

The Committee expressed deep regret that no concrete results had been achieved since the Committee last examined this case in 2010. The Committee strongly urged the Government to move from promises to meaningful progress regarding the elimination of discrimination against women and ethnic and religious minorities. While welcoming the increase in women’s labour market participation and in the number of female judges indicated by the Government, the Committee noted that there remained significant barriers to women’s equality of opportunity in employment and occupation. The Committee also expressed continued and deep concern regarding the systematic discrimination against members of religious and ethnic minorities, and noted that discrimination against Baha'i remained particularly serious.

The Committee urged the Government to take concrete and immediate action to end discrimination against women and ethnic and religious minorities in law and practice, to promote women’s empowerment and women’s entrepreneurship, to take decisive action to combat stereotypical attitudes underlying discriminatory practices, and to address sexual and other forms of harassment. It also urged the Government to ensure that any new measures would not further restrict access of women to the labour market and reinforce traditional roles and prejudices. Noting with deep concern discrimination in employment and education on the basis of political opinion, in particular with respect journalists, teachers, students and trade unionists, the Committee urged the Government to take effective measures to ensure protection against discrimination on the basis of political opinion and respect for freedom of expression. It also regretted the continued absence of an environment conducive to freedom of association and social dialogue, and urged the Government to address this as a matter of urgency with a view to addressing the gaps in law and practice in the implementation of the Convention.

Emphasizing the seriousness of this case and the lack of progress, the Committee urged the Government to accept a High-level mission to examine all the points raised by the Committee of Experts and the present Committee concerning the application of the Convention. The Committee requested the Government to include in its report to the Committee of Experts due in 2013, complete information regarding all issues raised by this Committee and the Committee of Experts, for examination at its next meeting.

13) KENYA. CONVENTION 138. MINIMUM AGE.

The Committee took note of the oral information provided by the Government representative and the discussion that followed relating to various issues, including the high number of children who were not attending school and who were involved in child labour, the age of completion of compulsory schooling, and the lack of legislation determining hazardous work, and regulating light work and artistic performances.

The Committee noted the Government’s indication that it was taking several measures to keep children in school and that it was committed to the elimination of child labour in the country. The Committee further took note of the Government’s commitment to implement the Convention through various measures, including the ILO/IPEC project to tackle child labour through education (TACKLE) and the ILO/IPEC project to support the implementation of the National Action Plan (SNAP). The Committee also noted the Government’s indication that it intended to conduct a comprehensive labour force survey with a module on child labour.

The Committee noted that several draft laws referred to by the Committee of Experts in its observations were still due for submission to Parliament for debate and adoption. While noting the various measures taken by the Government to combat child labour, the Committee expressed its the deep concern regarding the high number of children who were not attending school and were involved in child labour, including hazardous work, in Kenya. It urged the Government to strengthen its efforts to combat child labour in the country with a view to eliminating it progressively. Moreover, in light of the contradictory data on the number of children working under the minimum age, the Committee urged the Government to undertake a national child labour survey in the very near future.

Noting that the Education Act, which was adopted in January 2013, extended the compulsory schooling age up to 18 years, which was higher than the minimum age for admission to work (16 years), the Committee recalled that the Convention required Member States to set a minimum age for work that is not less than the age of completion of compulsory schooling, and further emphasized the desirability of linking these two ages, as advocated by Recommendation No. 146.

The Committee noted the Government’s indication that it intended to prioritize and expedite the adoption of the necessary legislation to address the existing discrepancies with the provisions of the Convention. It recalled that this Convention had been ratified by Kenya more than 30 years ago, that this case had been discussed by the Conference at its 95th session in June 2006, and that the Government had expressed its intention to adopt the necessary legislation on children and child labour to conform to the provisions of Convention No. 138. The Committee shared the serious concern expressed by several speakers that the review of the draft laws in question, which had been undertaken in consultation with the social partners and with ILO technical assistance, was completed in April 2004, but had yet to be adopted by Parliament. The Committee strongly urged the Government to ensure the adoption, in the very near future, of the necessary provisions to address all the issues of non-compliance with the Convention, including the determination of the types of hazardous work to be prohibited for children under 18 years of age, the regulation of periods of work and establishments where children aged at least 16 years may perform hazardous work, and the regulation of light work activities and of artistic performances.

The Committee requested the Government to accept a direct contacts mission to ensure the full and effective application of this fundamental Convention. It requested the Government to include, in its report to the Committee of Experts, for examination at its next session in 2013, complete information regarding all issues raised by this Committee and the Committee of Experts. The Committee expressed the hope that it would be able to note tangible progress in the very near future.

14) KOREA, REPUBLIC OF. CONVENTION 111. DISCRIMINATION.


The Committee took note of the oral and written information provided by the Government representative and the discussion that followed.

The Committee recalled that it had last examined this case in 2009. The Committee considered issues regarding protection of migrant workers from discrimination and abuse, discrimination on the basis of employment status, equality of opportunity and treatment of women and men, and discrimination based on political opinion.

The Committee noted the information provided by the Government regarding the range of services provided to migrant workers, and the recent changes to the Employment Permit System (EPS) expanding the list of reasons for which workers could change workplaces. Regarding discrimination based on sex and employment status, the Committee noted the Government’s indication that the time limit for filing a complaint had been increased from three to six months, and that labour inspectors had been granted powers to address discrimination against fixed-term, part-time and dispatched workers. It also noted the information provided by the Government regarding the system of appointing honorary equal employment inspectors to assist enterprises to address gender discrimination issues, and the expansion of the requirement for companies with low female participation to file affirmative action plans.

Recalling that the issue of protecting migrant workers from discrimination and abuse required the Government’s continued attention, the Committee urged the Government to take steps, in collaboration with employers’ and workers’ organizations, and without delay, to ensure that the EPS, including the “re-entry and re-employment system”, provided appropriate flexibility for migrant workers to change employers and did not in practice give rise to situations in which they became vulnerable to abuse and discrimination on the grounds enumerated in the Convention. The Committee also requested the Government to continue to strengthen initiatives to ensure migrant workers received all the assistance and information they needed, and that they were made aware of their rights. Given the large and increasing number of non-regular workers, the majority of whom were women, the Committee asked the Government to examine the impact of the recent measures taken to address non-regular employment, to ensure that they were not in practice resulting in discrimination. Given the low labour market participation of women, the Committee requested the Government to take systematic measures to ensure that women could freely choose their employment and had access in practice to a wide range of jobs. The Committee urged the Government to ensure rapid, effective and accessible procedures to address discrimination and abuse in practice. It also urged the Government to take steps to ensure effective protection against discrimination based on political opinion, in particular for pre-school, primary and secondary school teachers, and to ensure that concrete and objective criteria were used to determine the very limited cases where political opinion could be considered an inherent requirement of a particular job.

The Committee urged the Government to avail itself of ILO technical assistance. It requested the Government to include in its report to the Committee of Experts due in 2013, complete information regarding all issues raised by this Committee and the Committee of Experts, for examination at its next meeting.

15) MALAYSIA. CONVENTION 29. FORCED LABOUR.

The Committee took note of the oral and written information provided by the Government representative and the discussion that followed concerning trafficking in persons and the vulnerable situation of migrant workers with regard to the exaction of forced labour.

The Committee noted the information provided by the Government representative outlining the various measures taken to combat trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants, including the implementation of the National Action Plan against trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants (2010-2015) which encompassed capacity building for law enforcement agents and awareness-raising, as well as measures to provide victims of trafficking with shelters. It also noted the Government’s information that, given the high number of migrant workers in certain sectors such as services, plantations, construction, manufacturing and domestic work, the Government had signed Memorandum of Understandings (MOU) with 13 source countries to regulate the employment and recruitment of migrant workers, including a specific MOU on migrant domestic workers.

While noting the policies and programmes adopted by the Government to address trafficking in persons, as well as a number cases initiated under the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act, the Committee noted the concern expressed by several speakers regarding the magnitude of this phenomenon. The Committee therefore urged the Government to reinforce its efforts to combat trafficking in persons. In this regard, it requested the Government to pursue its efforts to strengthen the capacity of the relevant public authorities, including the labour inspectorate, so as to enable them to identify victims and to deal effectively with the complaints received. In addition, it requested the Government to continue to take measures to provide victims of trafficking with adequate protection and compensation. Moreover, noting an absence of information in this regard, the Committee requested the Government to provide information on the specific penalties imposed on persons convicted under the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act.

While noting the bilateral agreements signed between the Government of Malaysia and other countries to regulate the conditions of employment of migrant workers, the Committee noted with regret the absence of information from the Government on any additional measures taken to provide protection to the large number of migrant workers in the country. In this regard, the Committee noted the information provided by several speakers that workers who willingly entered Malaysia in search of economic opportunities subsequently encountered forced labour at the hands of employers or informal labour recruiters, through means of restrictions on movement, non-payment of wages, passport confiscation and the deprivation of liberty. The Committee recalled the importance of taking effective action to ensure that the system of the employment of migrant workers did not place the workers concerned in a situation of increased vulnerability, particularly where they were subjected to abusive employer practices, which might cause their employment to be transformed into situations that could amount to forced labour. The Committee therefore urged the Government to take appropriate measures to ensure that, in practice, victims were not treated as offenders and were in a position to turn to the competent judicial authorities in order to obtain redress in cases of abuse and exploitation. Moreover, noting an absence of information on the number of prosecutions concerning the exploitative employment conditions of migrant workers, the Committee urged the Government to take immediate and effective measures to ensure that perpetrators were prosecuted and that sufficiently effective and dissuasive sanctions were imposed. Lastly, the Committee encouraged the Government to continue to negotiate bilateral agreements with countries of origin, and to ensure their full and effective implementation, so that migrant workers were protected from abusive practices and conditions that amounted to the exaction of forced labour once they were in the country, and also work with the countries of origin to take measures for their protection prior to departure.

The Committee requested the Government to accept a technical assistance mission to ensure the full and effective application of this fundamental Convention. It requested the Government to provide a detailed report to the Committee of Experts addressing all the issues raised by this Committee and the Committee of Experts for examination at its next meeting. The Committee expressed the hope that it would be able to note tangible progress in the application of the Convention in the very near future.

16) MAURITANIE. CONVENTION 81. LABOUR INSPECTION.

The Committee noted the statement by the Government representative and the discussion that followed relating to various issues including the effective functioning of the labour inspection system on the territory of the country, the lack of human and material resources including transport facilities, insufficient salaries and benefits and the lack of independence and stability of employment of labour inspectors.

The Committee noted the Government’s indications concerning its efforts to establish an effective and well-structured labour inspection system with the necessary material and human resources. It noted the information on the recent recruitment of 40 additional labour inspectors and controllers and their subsequent training of two years at the National Administration Institute (ENA) in addition to practical training and indications that labour inspectors had at their disposal improved equipment and material means, as well as a methodological guide and a “toolkit” that had been drafted with ILO support. The Committee also took note of the information that labour inspectors would soon be granted a particular status with financial advantages of a nature so as to guarantee their independence and impartiality and that the Government was in the process of finalizing the annual report for submission to the ILO. It noted the Government’s request for technical assistance.

While noting the information on the progress made, the Committee also noted that the issues concerning the insufficient wages and benefits of inspectors, the lack of independence and stability of employment of labour inspectors, as well as the failure to communicate to the ILO annual reports on the work of the labour inspection services are all issues which had already been raised in the discussion of the case in 2000, as well as in the Committee of Experts reports for three decades. The Committee deeply regretted the lack of progress made since that time.

With regard to the status and conditions of service of labour inspectors in particular and the recruitment of inspectors with sole regard to their competence and qualifications, the Committee emphasized that failing to provide inspectors with remuneration commensurate with their responsibilities was likely to lead to situations in which labour inspectors would find themselves treated with disrespect, detracting from their authority. Emphasizing that these matters have been pending for decades, the Committee expressed the firm hope that the Government would soon take the necessary action in keeping with Article 6 of the Convention to take the announced measures that offered labour inspectors stability of employment and independence as regards changes of government and improper external influences. It further stressed that the publication of annual inspection reports containing the statistical information required under Article 21 of the Convention was important to enable an objective evaluation of the extent to which the progress referred to by the Government had been made.

The Committee emphasized the importance of the functioning of an effective labour inspection system in the country and the need to strengthen the human, financial and material means available to the labour inspection services to enable them to cover all workplaces liable to inspection. It expressed its firm hope that the labour inspectors would have suitably equipped offices and would be able to carry out effective inspections and to prepare and send annual inspection reports to the ILO. It also requested the Government to provide a detailed report to the Committee of Experts addressing all the issues raised by this Committee and the Committee of Experts for examination at its next meeting. The Committee asked the ILO to provide technical assistance to the Government as requested by it to strengthen the labour inspectorate. It requested the Government to put in place a national mechanism to follow up on the application of the Convention in the country.

17) PAKISTAN. CONVENTION 81. LABOUR INSPECTION.


The Committee noted at the outset its disappointment at the failure of the Government to accredit its workers and employers organizations in time for their attendance at the discussion of this case before the Committee.

The Committee noted the oral and written information provided by the Government representative and the discussion that followed concerning the effectiveness of labour inspections and the enforcement of legal provisions in the context of the delegation of competence to the provinces in the area of labour legislation and administration, as well as the recent fire in a garment factory in Karachi, in which nearly 300 workers lost their lives. The specific issues addressed included, amongst others, the human and material resources of the labour inspectorate, restrictive policies for inspections, private and voluntary self-assessments in enterprises and the regular publication and communication to the ILO of annual inspection reports.

The Committee noted the Government’s commitment to address all issues that had been raised and its assurance to the Committee that there were no bans on inspections in any province. It noted the Government’s indications that through the delegation of powers to the provincial governments, the inspection regime would be strengthened and would enable inspectors to work more efficiently and effectively adopting a preventive approach. It also noted the measures announced by the Government to compensate the victims and their families affected by the factory fire in Karachi and to avoid the recurrence of such incidents in the future. The Committee also took note of the information concerning the signing of a Joint Statement of Commitment in the province of Sindh with the ILO and the social partners for the establishment of a Plan of Action to address the issues of labour inspection and occupational safety and health in view of the serious accidents that had taken place in the country. The Committee further noted the Government’s request for technical assistance.

The Committee emphasized the importance of an effective system of labour inspection in all provinces both for employers and workers, including the need for adequate training of labour inspectors and the provision of sufficient human and material resources. While being aware of the financial conditions the country is facing, the Committee expressed the hope that adequate resources would be allocated to the labour inspection services and that priorities would be agreed upon and a strategic and flexible approach adopted, in consultation with the representatives of the social partners. The Committee recalled that the publication of annual inspection reports containing the statistical information required under Article 21 of the Convention was very important to enable an objective evaluation of the extent to which the legal provisions relating to conditions of work and the protection of workers while engaged in their work were being respected in each province.

The Committee requested the Government to include in its report to the Committee of Experts due in 2013, complete information on all issues raised, as well as detailed data in an annual report on the work of the labour inspection services in each province on all the items listed in Article 21 of the Convention, including information on workplaces liable to inspection and the number of workers employed therein, statistics of inspection visits, violations and the penalties imposed, industrial accidents and cases of occupational diseases. It finally expressed the hope that the steps taken concerning the application of this governance Convention would be reflected in the Government’s next report to the Committee of Experts. The Committee welcomed the request by the Government for technical assistance, and hoped that this assistance would enable the Government to effectively apply the Convention.

18) PARAGUAY. CONVENTION 29. FORCED LABOUR.

The Committee took note of the statement by the Government representative and the discussion that followed. The Committee recalled that it had discussed this case in 2008 and in particular the situation of the Paraguayan Chaco indigenous workers who were trapped in debt bondage. The Committee noted that the outstanding issues concerned the need to take measures to strengthen the action of the different entities involved in the fight against debt bondage in the Chaco region.

The Committee noted the comprehensive information provided by the Government representative outlining the various measures taken to combat debt bondage in the Chaco region, in particular the formulation of a national strategy for the prevention of forced labour as well as the carrying out of awareness raising and training activities. Concerning the situation of vulnerability faced by indigenous workers, the Committee noted the information provided by the government representative in relation to the measures taken to combat poverty, including training and professional education courses and the civil registration programme. Finally, the Committee noted that the Government would make an effort to find an effective solution to the devolution of ancestral land to indigenous communities.

The Committee also noted the deep concern expressed by several speakers regarding the persistence of the economic exploitation faced by indigenous workers in certain sectors, particularly the agricultural sector. The Committee therefore expressed the firm hope that the Government would take immediate and effective measures in the framework of a coordinated and systematic action to protect indigenous communities in the Chaco from the imposition of forced labour. The Committee stressed the importance of adopting a tripartite regional action plan, which would define priorities and specific goals, with regard to the prevention and protection of victims, and would identify the entities responsible for the implementation of such measures.

While it considered that the measures adopted to combat poverty were important, the Committee hoped that the Government would take into account the fact that the programmes implemented needed to have the objective of ensuring the economic independence of those who were victims of debt bondage and to include support and reintegration measures for victims. The Committee requested the Government to take measures to improve the economic situation of the most vulnerable categories of the population so that they could escape from the vicious circle of dependence.

With regard to the issue of the prosecution of those who exact forced labour, the Committee expressed its serious concern at the lack of information on cases brought to justice. The Committee urged the Government to take appropriate measures to ensure that in practice victims were in a position to turn to the competent judicial authorities. In this regard, the Committee recalled the importance of having sufficiently specific provisions in national legislation to allow competent authorities to prosecute and punish the perpetrators of such practices. Furthermore, the Committee urged the Government to take measures to strengthen the capacity of the relevant public authorities, in particular the labour inspection, so as to enable them to deal effectively with the complaints received, to identify victims and restore their rights in order to prevent them from being trapped again in situations of forced labour. In this regard, the Committee underlined the importance, given the geographical particularities of the Chaco region, to ensure that the labour inspectorate had adequate resources to access workers in remote areas.

Regarding the need to bring the Act on the prison system (Act No. 210 of 1970) into conformity with the Convention, by ensuring that prisoners awaiting judgment and persons detained without being convicted were not subject to the obligation to perform prison work, the Committee expressed the firm hope that the Government would take the necessary measures in order to ensure that, in the framework of the adoption of the new Penal Code of Procedure, national legislation would be brought into conformity with the Convention.

Noting that the Government had reaffirmed its commitment to put an end to bonded labour in the indigenous communities of the Paraguayan Chaco as well as in other parts of the country that may be affected, the Committee hoped that the Committee of Experts would be able to note tangible progress in its next examination of the case in 2013. It also requested the Office to provide strengthened and expanded technical assistance to encompass all interested parties, including the indigenous peoples.

19) SAUDI ARABIA. CONVENTION 111. DISCRIMINATION.


The Committee took note of the oral information provided by the Government representative and the discussion that followed.

The Committee noted that it had last examined this case in 2005, at which time it raised issues concerning the need to declare and pursue a national equality policy, to provide effective legislative protection for migrant workers against discrimination, in particular to deal with the problems of domestic workers and those who required special protection against the effects of the foreign sponsorship system. The Committee had also raised concerns that women continued to be excluded from certain jobs and occupations, and requested the Government to take effective measures to promote and ensure the equal access of women to employment and all occupations.

The Committee noted the information provided by the Government in relation to recent developments, including the increase in the number of women in employment and the establishment of the National Observatory for Labour and the Virtual Labour Market, which the Government considered would support strategies for decent work without discrimination, including for women, persons with disabilities and marginalized groups. Regarding the exclusion of domestic workers and agricultural workers from the Labour Code, the Government indicated that these workers could still bring cases before the courts, though none had been filed. The Committee also noted the Government’s indication that there had been several initiatives to protect specifically migrant workers, including a programme for the protection of wages, new regulations for employment agencies, and negotiations on bilateral agreements with countries of origin, with an agreement having been concluded with the Philippines.

Acknowledging that no society is free of discrimination, the Committee noted that addressing discrimination was an on-going process requiring regular action. The Committee noted that the national equality policy required under the Convention needed to be concrete, specific and effective. As the impact of the Government’s efforts in this area remained unclear, it urged the Government to ensure it had a national policy designed to promote equality of opportunity and treatment in employment and occupation, for all workers, with a view to the elimination in the very near future of any discrimination on all the grounds set out in the Convention. Given the very high number of migrant workers, it asked the Government to give particular attention to ensuring that the rights of migrant workers, including domestic workers, were being effectively protected, and that they were aware of their rights, and able to obtain appropriate redress in cases of discrimination and abuse. It also encouraged the Government to continue to negotiate bilateral agreements with countries of origin, which would ensure the rights of migrant workers once they were in the country, and also oblige the countries of origin to take measures for their protection.

The Committee requested the Government to accept a direct contacts mission with a view to assessing the situation on the ground and assisting the Government and the social partners to continue to make tangible progress in the application of the Convention. The Committee requested the Government to provide a report to the Committee of Experts, including detailed information regarding all issues raised by this Committee and the Committee of Experts, for examination at its next meeting.

20) SENEGAL. CONVENTION 182. WORST FORMS OF CHILD LABOUR.


The Committee took note of the oral information provided by the Government representative and the discussion that followed concerning the use of children in begging for purely economic ends, as well as the trafficking of children for this purpose.

The Committee noted the Government’s statement that continuous begging in the streets of the city was a penal offence under Senegalese law, while asking for alms was tolerated in light of socio-cultural beliefs. The Committee noted the several measures adopted by the Government in the framework of the partnership for the removal and reintegration of street children (PARRER), including advocacy visits to major religious leaders and Koranic masters, measures of prevention and of removal of children from the streets, and the development of broad awareness-raising campaigns. The Committee also noted the Government’s indication that it had adopted action plans to combat trafficking and child begging, and that, in the context of the modernization of the daaras system, it had taken a number of measures to train Koranic masters and talibé children on the rights of children and their protection, and to improve the living conditions and education of child talibés in daaras.

While noting the policies and programmes adopted by the Government to address begging by talibé children, the Committee shared the deep concern expressed by several speakers regarding the persistence of the economic exploitation of a large number of children in begging, and at the fact that children continued to be trafficked for this purpose, especially from neighbouring countries. The Committee reminded the Government that, while the issue of seeking alms as an educational tool fell outside the scope of the Committee’s mandate, it was clear that the use of children for begging for purely economic ends could not be accepted under the Convention. The Committee emphasized the seriousness of such violations of Convention No. 182. It urged the Government to take immediate and effective measures to eliminate, as a matter of urgency, the use of children in begging for purely economic ends, as well as trafficking of children for this purpose. In this regard, the Committee encouraged the Government to ensure the implementation of the recently validated Framework Plan to combat trafficking, and of the National Plan of Action adopted in February 2013 to eradicate child begging by 2015.

The Committee noted that, although Law No. 2005-06 of 29 April 2005 prohibited the organization of begging for economic gains, the Penal Code appeared to permit the organization of begging by talibé children. Moreover, the Committee expressed its serious concern that Law No. 2005-06 was not applied in practice. In this regard, the Committee deeply regretted that a very low number of marabouts had been prosecuted and given prison sentences, which amounted in practice to a climate of impunity. The Committee therefore strongly urged the Government to take the necessary measures to harmonize the national legislation so as to guarantee that the use of begging by talibé children for economic exploitation was clearly prohibited, and to ensure that this legislation was applied in practice. In this regard, the Committee strongly urged the Government to take immediate and effective measures to strengthen the capacity of the relevant public authorities, in particular the labour inspectorate which would be dedicated to identifying talibé children with a view to removing them from their situation of exploitation. It also urged the Government to strengthen the capacity of law enforcement officials, particularly the police and the judiciary, in order to ensure that the perpetrators were prosecuted and that sufficiently effective and dissuasive sanctions were imposed.

Noting the information highlighted by several speakers that the worst forms of child labour were the result of poverty and underdevelopment in Senegal, the Committee welcomed the decision of the Government to continue to avail itself of ILO technical assistance in order to achieve tangible progress in the application of the Convention, and requested the Office to provide such assistance.

Finally, the Committee requested the Government to provide a detailed report to the Committee of Experts addressing all the issues raised by this Committee and the Committee of Experts for examination at its next meeting.

21) SPAIN. CONVENTION 122. EMPLOYMENT POLICY.

The Committee took note of the detailed written and oral information provided by the Government representative and the discussion that followed.

The Committee noted that the issues concerned the deterioration of the labour market situation in the context of the adjustment measures implemented to deal with the debt crisis in the Eurozone, the difficulties with respect to social dialogue, the increasing youth unemployment and long-term unemployment and the need to ensure that educational policies meet the employment needs of the regions and workers affected by the crisis.

The Committee noted the comprehensive information provided by the Government on the active labour market measures it had implemented on the economic and employment strategy adopted in the context of the European Union to tackle unemployment and the social consequences of the crisis. The Government stressed its commitment to social dialogue in order to overcome the crisis. The labour reform of 2012 provided for internal flexibility measures to enable enterprises to adapt to the current economic circumstances. The new strategy also included specific measures to reduce the youth unemployment rate, strengthen the public employment services and the intervention of private placement agencies, and further coordinate between the national and regional authorities to attain a better balance in the labour market.

The Committee noted that the Preamble of the Convention states that under the terms of the Declaration of Philadelphia it is the responsibility of the International Labour Organisation to examine and consider the bearing of economic and financial policies upon employment policy in the light of the fundamental objective that "all human beings, irrespective of race, creed or sex, have the right to pursue both their material well-being and their spiritual development in conditions of freedom and dignity, of economic security and equal opportunity”.

The Committee considered that the outcome of the Ninth ILO European Regional Meeting was relevant to this case. It noted that the Oslo Declaration: Restoring confidence in jobs and growth, stated, in particular that fiscal consolidation, structural reform and competitiveness, on the one hand, and stimulus packages, investment in the real economy, quality jobs, increased credit for enterprises, on the other, should not be competing paradigms.

The Committee expressed its concern on the persistent deterioration of the labour market and it urged the Government to continue evaluating, with the participation of the social partners, the impact of the employment measures adopted to overcome the current job crisis. The Committee requested the Government to pursue, as a major goal, an active policy designed to generate sustainable employment opportunities in particular for youth and other categories of workers affected by the crisis. The Committee requested the Government to increase its efforts to strengthen social dialogue with a view to maintaining a favourable climate for employment creation and achieving better results in the labour market. The Committee noted that the Office could contribute, through technical assistance, to promoting a sincere and constructive social dialogue among all the parties concerned to address the labour market situation in the context of Convention No. 122.

The Committee requested the Government to provide a report for the next meeting of the Committee of Experts with updated information regarding the application of the Convention.

22) SWAZILAND. CONVENTION 87. FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION AND PROTECTION OF THE RIGHT TO ORGANISE.

The Committee took note of the oral information provided by the Government and the discussion that ensued.

The Committee noted the grave issues in this case concerning this fundamental Convention refer, in particular, to: the revocation of the registration of the voluntarily-unified Trade Union Congress of Swaziland (TUCOSWA) in April 2012 and the determination that the legislation left a lacuna concerning the registration of any federation of workers or employers; and the impact of the various legislative texts, including the 1963 Public Order Act, on the exercise of freedom of association rights.

The Committee welcomed the information provided by the Government on the publication of the Industrial Relations (Amendment) Bill aimed at providing a legislative framework in which federations of trade unions and of employers could be registered, as well as the Principles Guiding Tripartite Labour Relations between the Swaziland Government, Workers and Employers, to which the Government asserted all social partners had agreed and which would enable the effective functioning of the tripartite structures in the country pending the adoption of the Industrial Relations Amendment Bill. The Committee also noted the Government’s statement that all pending legislative issues would be attended to within the framework of the relevant tripartite institutions as a matter of urgency, including the recommendations made by the ILO consultancy in relation to the 1973 King’s Proclamation, the 1963 Public Order Act and the Suppression of Terrorism Act. Finally, the Committee noted that the Government reiterated its commitment to observe and implement Convention No. 87 in respect of federations of workers and employers. The Government undertakes to give full updates by the next session of the Committee of Experts in 2013.

The Committee did not address the right to strike in this case as the employers do not agree that there is a right to strike recognized in Convention No. 87.

The Committee strongly urged the Government to immediately take the necessary steps to ensure that the social partners’ views were duly taken into account in the finalization of the Industrial Relations Amendment Bill and that it would be adopted without delay. It is expected that this action will enable all the social partners in the country to be recognized and registered under the law, in full conformity with the Convention. In the meantime, it also expected that the tripartite structures in the country would effectively function with the full participation of TUCOSWA, the Federation of Swazi Employers and Chamber of Commerce, and the Federation of the Swazi Business Community and that the Government would guarantee that these organizations could exercise their rights under the Convention and the Industrial Relations Act of 2000. The Committee further urged the Government to ensure that immediate, significant and concrete progress shall be made within the framework of the social dialogue mechanisms in the country in relation to the other pending matters on which it has been commenting for many years. Recalling the importance that it attaches to the basic civil liberties of freedom of expression and assembly for all workers’ and employers’ organizations, the Committee urged the Government to ensure full respect for these fundamental human rights and to pursue vigorously the training of police forces to this end. The Committee expected the Government will adopt, in consultation with the social partners, a code of conduct relating to the application of the Public Order Act. The Committee further recalled the intrinsic link between freedom of association and democracy and the importance of an independent judiciary in order to guarantee full respect for these fundamental rights. The Committee called on the Government to accept a high level ILO fact-finding mission to assess the tangible progress made on all of the above-mentioned matters and requested that this information, as well as a detailed report from the Government be transmitted to the Committee of Experts for examination at its next meeting this year.

23) TURKEY. CONVENTION 98. RIGHT TO ORGANIZE AND COLLECTIVE BARGAINING.

The Committee took note of the oral information provided by the Government and the discussion that ensued.

The Committee noted that the outstanding issues concerned numerous allegations of acts of anti-union discrimination in both the public and private sectors and the national mechanisms available to enable complaints about such acts, as well as the need to ensure a legislative framework for free and voluntary collective bargaining.

The Committee noted the information provided by the Government concerning the adoption of the Law on Trade Unions and Collective Labour Agreements No. 6356 and the Law concerning collective bargaining in the public service No. 6289, adopted in the spirit of tripartism and intensive social dialogue, as well as with ILO Standards as a main reference point. It further observed the Government’s enumeration of a number of provisions that were brought into closer conformity with the Convention. The Government also stated that the comments of the workers’ representatives concerning the double threshold system would also be taken into consideration.

The Committee welcomed the elements of progress that had been observed in this case through the adoption of the law concerning collective bargaining in the public service but further noted the need to intensify efforts related to certain categories of public service workers who were not covered by this law as well as other limitations to collective bargaining in the public sector. The Committee expressed the firm hope that the legislation, and its practical implementation, would ensure fuller conformity with the Convention and invited the Government to avail itself of the technical cooperation of the ILO in this regard. In particular, the Committee requested the Government to establish a system for collecting data on anti-union discrimination in the private sector and to ensure the removal of any ambiguities in the new legislation in light of its assessment by the Committee of Experts. The Committee requested the Government to provide all relevant information, including as regards the functioning of national complaints mechanisms and all statistical data related to anti-union discrimination in the private and public sectors. Finally, the Committee requested the Government to supply a detailed report to the Committee of Experts for examination at its next meeting this year.

24) UZBEKISTAN. CONVENTION 182. WORST FORMS OF CHILD LABOUR.


The Committee took note of the oral and written information provided by the Government representative and the discussion that followed.

The Committee noted the issues raised by the International Organisation of Employers (IOE) and the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) relating to the systematic mobilization of children by the State in the cotton harvest, including the extensive use of labour of teenagers, young persons and adults in all regions of the country, as well as the substantial negative impact of this practice on the health and education of school-aged children obliged to participate in the cotton harvest.

The Committee noted the information provided by the Government outlining the laws and policies put in place to combat the forced labour of, and hazardous work by, children. This included the Order issued by the Prime Minister in August 2012 banning the use of children under 15 and the adoption of a Plan of additional measures for the implementation of Convention No. 29 and Convention No. 182 in 2012, including measures to maintain monitoring for the prevention of forced child labour. The Committee also noted the Government's statement that it had established a tripartite Inter-ministerial Working Group with a view to developing specific programmes and actions aimed at fulfilling Uzbekistan’s obligations under ILO Conventions. Lastly, the Committee noted the Government’s statement that the use of compulsory labour was punishable with penal and administrative sanctions and that in this regard, concrete measures were being taken by the Labour Inspectorate officials to prosecute persons for violations of labour legislation.

The Committee noted the information from the Government, as well as other sources, that as a result of the measures taken, school children under 15 years of age had not been mobilized during the cotton harvest in 2012. It nevertheless observed with serious concern information provided by several speakers, including representatives of governments and the social partners, that school children between the ages of 16 and 18 continued to be mobilized for work during the cotton harvest. The Committee reminded the Government that the forced labour of, or hazardous work by, all children under 18 constituted one of the worst forms of child labour. It therefore urged the Government to take the necessary measures, as a matter of urgency, to ensure the effective implementation of national legislation prohibiting compulsory labour and hazardous work for all children below the age of 18.

The Committee noted the Government’s indication that it was willing to engage in broad technical cooperation with the ILO, which would consist of awareness-raising measures and capacity building of the national social partners and various stakeholders, and would also include monitoring of the 2013 cotton harvest with ILO-IPEC technical assistance. In this regard, the Committee requested the Government to accept an ILO high-level monitoring mission during the 2013 cotton harvest,that would have full freedom of movement and timely access to all situations and relevant parties, including in the cotton fields, in order to enable the Committee of Experts to assess the implementation of the Convention at its 2013 Session. Noting the Government’s statement that it would be amenable to the terms of reference put forward by the ILO in this respect, the Committee urged the Government to pursue its efforts to undertake, in the very near future, a round-table discussion with the ILO, UNDP, UNICEF, the European Commission and the representatives of national and international organizations of workers and employers.

The Committee requested the Government to include in its report to the Committee of Experts due in 2013, comprehensive information on the manner in which the Convention was applied in practice, including, in particular, enhanced statistical data on the number of children working in agriculture, their age, gender, and information on the number and nature of contraventions reported and penalties applied. The Committee expressed the hope that it would be able to note tangible progress in the very near future.
The Committee decided to include its conclusions in a special paragraph of the report.

25) ZIMBABWE. CONVENTION 87. FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION AND PROTECTION OF THE RIGHT TO ORGANISE.

The Committee took note of the oral information provided by the Government and the discussion that ensued.

The Committee noted the grave issues in this case concerning this fundamental Convention refer, in particular, to: the revocation of the registration of the voluntarily-unified Trade Union Congress of Swaziland (TUCOSWA) in April 2012 and the determination that the legislation left a lacuna concerning the registration of any federation of workers or employers; and the impact of the various legislative texts, including the 1963 Public Order Act, on the exercise of freedom of association rights.

The Committee welcomed the information provided by the Government on the publication of the Industrial Relations (Amendment) Bill aimed at providing a legislative framework in which federations of trade unions and of employers could be registered, as well as the Principles Guiding Tripartite Labour Relations between the Swaziland Government, Workers and Employers, to which the Government asserted all social partners had agreed and which would enable the effective functioning of the tripartite structures in the country pending the adoption of the Industrial Relations Amendment Bill. The Committee also noted the Government’s statement that all pending legislative issues would be attended to within the framework of the relevant tripartite institutions as a matter of urgency, including the recommendations made by the ILO consultancy in relation to the 1973 King’s Proclamation, the 1963 Public Order Act and the Suppression of Terrorism Act. Finally, the Committee noted that the Government reiterated its commitment to observe and implement Convention No. 87 in respect of federations of workers and employers. The Government undertakes to give full updates by the next session of the Committee of Experts in 2013.

The Committee did not address the right to strike in this case as the employers do not agree that there is a right to strike recognized in Convention No. 87.

The Committee strongly urged the Government to immediately take the necessary steps to ensure that the social partners’ views were duly taken into account in the finalization of the Industrial Relations Amendment Bill and that it would be adopted without delay. It is expected that this action will enable all the social partners in the country to be recognized and registered under the law, in full conformity with the Convention. In the meantime, it also expected that the tripartite structures in the country would effectively function with the full participation of TUCOSWA, the Federation of Swazi Employers and Chamber of Commerce, and the Federation of the Swazi Business Community and that the Government would guarantee that these organizations could exercise their rights under the Convention and the Industrial Relations Act of 2000. The Committee further urged the Government to ensure that immediate, significant and concrete progress shall be made within the framework of the social dialogue mechanisms in the country in relation to the other pending matters on which it has been commenting for many years. Recalling the importance that it attaches to the basic civil liberties of freedom of expression and assembly for all workers’ and employers’ organizations, the Committee urged the Government to ensure full respect for these fundamental human rights and to pursue vigorously the training of police forces to this end. The Committee expected the Government will adopt, in consultation with the social partners, a code of conduct relating to the application of the Public Order Act. The Committee further recalled the intrinsic link between freedom of association and democracy and the importance of an independent judiciary in order to guarantee full respect for these fundamental rights. The Committee called on the Government to accept a high level ILO fact-finding mission to assess the tangible progress made on all of the above-mentioned matters and requested that this information, as well as a detailed report from the Government be transmitted to the Committee of Experts for examination at its next meeting this year.