Situation in Arab Countries: “The independence of the trade union movement is necessary …”, explains Walid Hamdan from ILO-ACTRAV

Press release | 30 October 2011

Geneva, 30 October 2011 (ACTRAV INFO)-Strengthening the labour movement itself is a priority in the establishment of the democratic process in the Arab region which has been marked by popular movements.

According Mr Walid Hamdan, Desk Officer for Arab region at the ILO’s Bureau for Workers’ Activities (ILO-ACTRAV), the trade union movement in this region needs more support from the ILO. “For the ILO, our role is to support the independent free trade union movement in improving change, and the promotion of democracy. The Director-General has been most outspoken on the latest events in the Arab region. He has supported the long-standing issue of democracy in the region”, explained Mr Hamdan.

“If we have an independent trade union movement, we have more impact on the democratic process. This is the case in Egypt and Tunisia. But if there is an absence of an independent trade union movement, the impact of the labour movement is largely limited and sometimes it does not have much impact on the democratic process. We have this situation in Libya, Syria, and Yemen where the impact of trade unions is largely limited. The absence of free trade unions has a negative impact on the process of development, the establishment of decent work, or the improvement of the situation of migrant workers, such as in Libya”, he added.

For more information, contact:

Specialist in workers’ activities
Desk Officer for the Arab region at ACTRAV
Tél :+41 22 799 71 48
Email : hamdan[at]ilo[dot]org