Eva Nordmark comments on the situation concerning union rights in Belarus
Minister for Employment Eva Nordmark has urged the Belarusian Government to fully respect workers’ rights and freedoms and to release the detained trade unionists.
“I take a very serious view of the union rights violations taking place in connection with the protests following the election. The election was neither free nor fair. I urge the Belarusian Government to fully respect workers’ rights and freedoms and to release the detained trade unionists who took part in peaceful protests and strikes,” says Ms Nordmark.
Belarus has ratified the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) core conventions and has thereby committed to respecting the freedom of association, including the right to organise and take part in strikes. The country has been repeatedly criticised by the ILO Committee of Experts for restricting the freedom of association. In Belarus, trade union organisations are not allowed to receive support from foreign organisations to hold meetings, demonstrations or strikes, or to produce or distribute campaign material or hold seminars. The right to strike is very limited and any breach of the extremely strict legislation may result in trade union organisations being banned.