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Freedom of association

ILO mission to Fiji aborted

An ILO mission on freedom of association obliged to depart from Fiji without having completed its mandate.

News | 19 September 2012
GENEVA (ILO news) - The Fijian government has stopped the International Labour Organization (ILO) from carrying out a mission to verify complaints over the lack of freedom of association made by local trade unions, the ILO said in a statement issued on 19 September.

The government had initially agreed to the ILO mission, but then called it short during the first meeting on Monday 17 September. The Office of the Prime Minister presented the mission with entirely new terms of reference, which the ILO found unacceptable. As a result, the ILO mission was asked to leave Fiji immediately.

ILO Director-General Juan Somavia strongly condemned the Government’s unilateral decision "which puts a greater spotlight on the critical situation of freedom of association in Fiji (...). As always, I call on the Government to reconsider its position and continue collaborating with the ILO on these important matters for the international community", Somavia said.

The ILO mission was mandated by the ILO Governing Body Committee on Freedom of Association and the unanimously adopted Resolution on Fiji adopted at the ILO’s Asia and Pacific Regional Meeting in December 2011.