Thu. Jul 25th, 2024

A report issued by the International Trade Union Confederation revealed that the Middle East and North Africa region remains “the worst region in the world for workers” in 2024.

The Middle East and North Africa region received a rating of 4.74 in the Global Rights Index for the year 2024, as the report indicated that some countries in the region, such as Qatar, “failed to fulfill their obligations to improve the conditions of migrant workers.”

The report confirmed that 95% of countries in the region violated the right to strike, 89% of them imposed restrictions on freedom of expression and assembly, 53% of countries arrested and detained workers, and workers were exposed to violence in 42% of countries in the region. In addition, all countries violated The region denied the right to collective bargaining and hampered the registration of trade unions.

Regarding the classification of countries, Morocco was placed in the category of countries that witness “regular violations” of workers’ rights, but it topped the list of Maghreb countries and the North African region in respecting these rights, despite the continued prevention of judges from forming unions.

Libya was classified among the countries that do not “guarantee rights due to the collapse of the law,” while Algeria and Tunisia were classified among the countries in which “there is no guarantee of workers’ rights,” and Mauritania is among the countries that witness “systematic violations of workers’ rights.”

At the global level, the report classified Japan, Finland, France, Singapore, and the Netherlands among the countries that witness “repeated violations” of workers’ rights, while Austria, Denmark, Iceland, Sweden, Norway, and Germany were classified among the countries that witness “sporadic violations,” which is the highest classification in the index.

The report indicated that 87% of the countries included in the classification violated the right to strike, and that the percentage of countries obstructing the registration of trade unions rose from 73% in 2023 to 74% in 2024. The report also recorded the killing of trade unionists in six countries, including Bangladesh, Guatemala, Korea and Honduras.

The index included two Arab countries, Tunisia and Egypt, among the worst countries for workers in 2024, indicating that the Egyptian authorities have increased their interference in union affairs by imposing complex regulations in elections, membership requirements, and internal laws and procedures.

In Tunisia, the authorities harassed and persecuted trade union leaders. In this regard, the report pointed to the arrest of Tunisian trade unionist Taher Ramzi last February.

The report concluded with a warning that the numbers and data contained are a “clear and urgent wake-up call” that the future of democracy and human rights are at risk, stressing that “workers are the beating heart of democracy” and that violating their rights threatens democracy itself.

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