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Arab States

Document | 03 January 2012

ACTRAV’s work in assisting trade unions throughout the Arab region (including the sub-regions of Gulf States, the Middle East and the North African Maghreb States), reflects the great diversity of workers across the region.

One challenge is the issue of migrant workers. Another challenge, particularly in the Gulf region, is to assist in the establishment of free and independent trade union organizations. In the two other sub-regions, especially in the Maghreb States, where trade union organizations have undergone internal reforms assistance is still requested.


ACTRAV work includes a wide range of issues such as support for democratic reforms, the use of new techniques for workers’ education and development of training materials. Support is intended to strengthen capacity on trade union rights, especially freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining. In recent years the priority areas for ILO assistance towards the unions in this region have been related to: labor law reforms; employment policies and wage setting reforms; social security and pension reforms; occupational safety and health; gender equality; protection of migrant workers' rights; and domestic workers. Strengthening the capacity of workers’ organizations to help them better represent their members' interests through social dialogue and collective bargaining in particular, is a priority for ACTRAV.

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