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Report of the Committee on the Application of Standards, ILO

The Committee took note of the statement made by the

Government representative and the debate that followed.

The Committee also noted that a high level ILO mission

visited the country on 28R11;30 April 2008, pursuant to a request

of this Committee in June 2007.


The Committee observed that the Committee of Experts’

comments had been referring for a number of years to discrepanc

ies between the legislation and practice, on the one

hand, and the Convention, on the other, concerning the

rights of workers in the public and private sectors without

distinction whatsoever to establish and join organizations of

their own choosing, and the right of workers’ organizations

to draw up their constitutions and rules, to elect their representatives

in full freedom and to organize their activities

without interference by the authorities. The Committee

noted the comments presented by both national and international

workers’ organizations on the application of the Convention,

particularly with respect to the violent repression of

demonstrations, use of disproportionate force by the police

and arrests of trade UNIONists, as well as government interference

in trade UNION activities.


The Committee took note of the Government’s statements

according to which: work had been carried out on the

amendments to Acts Nos 2821 and 2822 in close cooperation

with the social partners, and that the Tripartite Consultation

Board had conducted intensive work in this regard. The

draft bills were on the agenda of the National Assembly. The

Government also referred to consultations with the social

partners on amendments to be made to the Public Employees’

Trade UNIONs Act. While the draft bills did not yet envisage

certain requested amendments, this was because it

was necessary to first amend the Constitution. The Government

was also planning the necessary amendments in this

regard. The Government also referred to a recent Constitutional

Court judgement which found unconstitutional the

provision restricting certain types of work stoppages. As

regards the allegations of excessive police intervention in

relation to trade UNION demonstrations, the Government

representative stated that, while the Government was determined

to take all necessary disciplinary and judicial

measures against the members of the security forces who

used disproportionate and excessive force, it was important

that those demonstrating respected the relevant provisions

of national legislation. He highlighted the important step

taken by the Government in 2008 to declare May Day as a

public holiday.


While noting the information provided by the Government

in reply to the serious allegations made to the Committee

of Experts relating to police violence and arrests of trade

UNIONists and government interference in trade UNION activities,

the Committee noted with concern the information provided

with respect to recent mass arrests of trade UNIONists,

as well as the allegations of a generalized anti-UNION climate.


The Committee observed with deep regret the statements

made of important restrictions placed upon the freedom of

assembly and of expression of trade UNIONists. It once again

emphasized that respect for basic civil liberties was an essential

prerequisite to the exercise of freedom of association and

urged the Government to take all necessary measures to

ensure a climate free from violence, pressure or threats of

any kind so that workers and employers could fully and

freely exercise their rights under the Convention. It urged

the Government to review all cases of detained trade UNIONists

with a view to their release and to reply in detail to all

the pending allegations and to report back to the Committee

of Experts this year on all the steps taken to ensure respect

for the abovementioned fundamental principles.


With respect to the recent draft legislation amending Acts

Nos 2821, 2822 and 4688, referred to by the Government, the

Committee, noting the lack of clarity as to the current situation

and the extent to which consensus had been reached

with the social partners in this regard, expressed the firm

hope that these drafts would address appropriately all the

issues raised by the Committee of Experts over the years and

that the necessary measures would be adopted without further

delay so that the Committee of Experts would be in a

position this year to note significant progress made in bringing

the law and practice into conformity with the provisions

of the Convention. The Committee further called upon the

Government to rapidly put forward and ensure any constitutional

reforms necessary for the application of the Convention.


The Committee urged the Government to elaborate

a plan of action with clear time lines for finalizing the

abovementioned steps. The Committee requested the Government

to accept a high-level bipartite mission with the aim

of assisting the Government in making meaningful progress

on these long outstanding issues. The Committee requested

the Government to provide detailed and complete information

on all progress made on these issues as well as all relevant

legislative texts, in a report to the Committee of Experts

for its upcoming session in 2009.

Full text—ed_norm/—relconf/documents/meetingdocument/wcms_108378.pdf