World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Toll of murdered hostages in Iraq peaks at 25

Toll of murdered hostages in Iraq peaks at 25

Brussels, 8 September 2004 (ICFTU Online): The murder of twelve Nepalese and three Turkish migrant workers has prompted the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) to condemn the wave of hostage taking befalling post- war Iraq. Killed in the course of a mere 4 days, these murders take the toll of foreigners kidnapped and subsequently killed in Iraq since March 2003 to 25.

According to information held by the ICFTU, the Nepalese migrant workers, initially believing that they were to work in Jordan, were taken hostage having been smuggled into Iraq to work as cooks and cleaners for a Jordanian firm.

Many more migrant workers have been taken hostage in Iraq including 7 truck drivers from Kenya, India and Egypt, all kidnapped close to Falluja in the space of just one day in July 2004. Released on 1st September 2004 when their employers Kuwait and Gulf Link Transport Company paid a ransom of US$ 500,000, the outcome for these hostages contrasts with the many Iraqis kidnapped for ransom, mostly in Baghdad, whose fate often remains unknown, underlined the ICFTU.

Iraq is still to ratify International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention 87 on the right to freedom of association and ILO Conventions 21, 66, 97 and 143 on migrant workers. The international trade union movement is eager to see progress on this front, and underlines that one way for the interim Iraqi government to progress towards democracy is to make respect for human rights, especially workers' rights, its priority.

Yesterday's (7th September 2004) kidnapping of two Italian women aid workers, captured in central Iraq alongside to two Iraqis in broad daylight, once again put the safety of foreign and Iraqi workers under the spotlight.

"There is clearly a general lack of protection of workers [in Iraq], particularly of migrant workers," said the ICFTU in its letter to Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi. "Iraq has an obligation to protect its workers, whether they be migrants or Iraqis".

"Never has the need been so great as it is now, especially before the climate of safety for Iraqi and migrant workers deteriorates any further," said the world's largest trade union organisation.

The ICFTU represents 148 million workers in 234 affiliated organisations in 152 countries and territories. The ICFTU is also a member of Global Unions:

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Cyclone Gita: 70% Of Tonga Population Affected

The full scale of destruction is beginning to emerge from Tonga in the aftermath of the severe tropical cyclone Gita. Around 50,000 people, or almost 70% of the country’s population, have been affected, a third of whom are children. More>>


Gita: Samoas Clean Up After Being Swamped By Cyclone

Apia in the wake of Gita Photo: Rudy Bartley The clean up is continuing in the two Samoas after Tropical Cyclone Gita hit on Saturday morning. More>>


Grand Coalition : Germany's two main political parties set to govern under Angela Merkel.

The liberal-conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) negotiated through the night in a marathon final push to nail down an agreement. More>>

80 Passengers: Kiribati Ferry Disaster

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) are working with the Government of Kiribati to support children, families and communities affected by the recent Butiraoi ferry disaster. More>>


Campbell On: the US demonising of Iran

Satan may not exist, but the Evil One has always been a handy tool for priests and politicians alike. Currently, Iran is the latest bogey conjured up by Washington to (a) justify its foreign policy interventions and (b) distract attention from its foreign policy failures. More


  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC