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

 


ICFTU visits Nepalese Ambassador in Brussels

Nepal - ICFTU visits Brussels Ambassador in attempt to secure respect for trade union rights

Brussels, 18th February 2005 (ICFTU Online): In the aftermath of Nepalese King Gyanendra's dismissal of government on 1st February 2005, ICFTU General Secretary Guy Ryder held discussions with the Nepalese Ambassador in Brussels yesterday to express alarm at severe restrictions on trade union activity in the country. The royal dismissal of government has been accompanied by the suspension of civil liberties, including trade union rights, the temporary closure of public sector trade unions and the detention of senior trade union leaders across the country.

Several leaders of the ICFTU-affiliated Nepal Trade Union Congress (NTUC) are amongst the detained, including NTUC Senior Vice-President Puskar Acharya and Central Committee member Manju Bhattarai. In poor health, without access to proper medical care and stripped of basic female hygiene requirements, Ms. Manju is also being deprived of sufficient nutrition at her place of detention.

In a three-page note verbale (http://www.icftu.org/displaydocument.asp?Index=991221287&Language=EN) delivered yesterday (17 February) to N. S. Thapa, Nepal's Ambassador to the Benelux and the European Communities, the ICFTU said the arrests of prominent Nepalese trade unionists had instilled a climate of fear which has forced several more into hiding. The document details other trade unionists who have been arrested in the past 18 days which include leaders of teachers' and journalists' trade unions.

"The fate of several of Nepalese labour activists hangs in the balance. We have reports that the names of trade unionists appear on a list of 1400 people who are to be closely observed and who run the risk of detention" said Ryder. "This is strangling trade union voice in Nepal. Meetings of more than 5 people are now illegal and public sector unions have been temporarily closed by royal decree. Unless democratic rights are restored, trade union rights in Nepal are in danger of slowly but surely becoming a misnomer".

The ICFTU voiced concern that the current climate in Nepal would jeopardise union action on key international dates, such as International Women's Day on 8th March 2005. Current rules prevent the holding of union meetings outside of union offices without prior permission from Chief District Officers. It also said that the new restrictions cast serious doubts over significant progress achieved in recent years in labour legislation and industrial relations, owed in great part to support provided by the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

"Our call is firm and simple" continued Ryder. "Nepal's authorities need to take immediate and necessary measures to release detained trade union leaders and protect others from arrest. The real test is how soon unrestricted civilian rule can be restored in the country. This should be done as a matter of urgency".

The intervention of the world's largest trade union organisation to push Nepalese authorities to respect trade union rights has been matched by the personal involvement of the Director General of International Labour Organisation (ILO) Juan Somavia, who has already written twice to King Gyanendra to relay the ICFTU's concerns.

As reports came in that Nepalese authorities have cut off all telephone lines on the country's annual Democracy Day, ICFTU said it was now consulting its Asia and Pacific Regional Organisation (ICFTU-APRO), national affiliates in several parts of the world and Global Union Federations to put in place an internationally-coordinated plan of action aimed at restoring trade union rights in Nepal.

The ICFTU represents 145 million workers in 233 affiliated organisations in 154 countries and territories. ICFTU is also a partner in Global Unions: http://www.global-unions.org/

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>

ALSO:

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>

ALSO:

Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news