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Latest News From The Secretariat

PALESTINE: "DWRC - The Democracy and Workers' Right Center releases report "Independent trade unions in Arab countries: situation, challenges and future perspectives"

'Do you want to know more about the challenges faced by ‪#‎independent‬ ‪#‎trade_unions‬ in the ‪#‎Arab_region‬? Read DWRC report about the regional meeting on “Independent trade unions in Arab countries: situation, challenges and future perspectives” held in Amman, Jordan, between September 20 and 23, 2014, with the participation of 34 trade unionists representing independent sectorial federations and trade unions from Palestine, Egypt, Lebanon, and Morocco. The report consists of the work papers submitted by participants in the meeting, which highlight the situation of the trade union movement in these countries, the nature of the challenges faced by independent trade unions, and the situation of freedom of association and the right to organize.'

NEPAL: "Interview: Tilak Jang Khadka, Secretary General CLASS Nepal Reports on the Post Earthquake Program" by Erna Curry IFWEA Secretariat

"Mainly working population/workers died who lives in raw/weak homes for rent at Kathmandu. Even in rural areas all the working class/farmers died because they only had a shelter made by mud and stone, which is weak and not earthquake resistant. About 500 000 people took flight from Kathmandu. Now daily life and business activities are paused, there is no motion in the market. So it is causing the life of ordinary people to be more vulnerable."

SWEDEN / PALESTINE: "Interview: Niklas Skeppar, International President ABF Sweden Reports on Solidarity Trip to Gaza Palestine" by Erna Curry IFWEA Secretariat

'The report covers ABF Sweden's visit to Gaza, Palestine to explore a partnership for a project, and the impressions of this experience. Niklas Skeppar also relates how he and a colleague were unknowingly filmed for a candid camera reality show 'Welcome to Gaza' at their last checkpoint stop. ▶ Interview includes links to the podcast by Niklas Skeppar and You Tube "Welcome to Gaza" show.

GLOBAL: via Streetnet "International Labour Organization adopts historical labour standard to tackle the Informal Economy" by Sharon Pillay

'The International Labour Organization (ILO) has adopted a new international labour standard that is expected to help hundreds of millions of workers and economic units move out of informality and into the formal economy. The Recommendation – the first ever-international labour standard specifically aimed at tackling the informal economy – was passed by 484 votes in favour and garnered outstanding support from the ILO’s tripartite constituents.'

SOUTH AFRICA: Study Circles Gather on Youth Day and International Domestic Workers' Day at Community House

Youth community gardeners, domestic workers, waste pickers, contract workers, the unemployed: all people with an interest in learning and organising came together today. The domestic workers' study circle performed a drama showing their organisers socialising and handing out pamphlets to migrant workers. They discussed workers rights and the importance of unity. The study circle groups shared what they want to learn this year, and their ideas for activity.

Labour News

Equal Times: "Perú: ante la inacción oficial, las personas LGBT se mantienen en pie de lucha" por Jérémy Joly

'Diecisiete. Este es el número de personas LGBT asesinadas en Perú en 2014. Por sexto año consecutivo, la Red Peruana TLGB, la red de asociaciones de personas LGBT) y Promsex (Centro de Promoción y Defensa de los Derechos Sexuales y Reproductivos) acaban de dar a conocer un abrumador informe sobre la situación peruana. Alberto Hidalgo, politólogo de Promsex, uno de los coordinadores del informe, entrevistado por Equal Times explica así la situación: “asesinatos, agresiones, suicidios... Aun cuando el Estado no nos proporciona datos, las cifras que logramos reunir son terribles. Esta es una realidad dramática y no se toma ninguna medida para modificarla”.'

via Equal Times: PERU "LGBT continue to fight in the face of official inaction in Peru by Jérémy Joly

'Seventeen. That is the number of LGBT people killed in Peru in 2014. For the sixth consecutive year, the Red Peruana TLGB (Peruvian network of LGBT associations) and Promsex (Centre for the Promotion and Defence of Sexual and Reproductive Rights) have just released a damning report on the situation in Peru. As Alberto Hidalgo, a political scientist at Promsex, and one of the report coordinators, explained to Equal Times: “Murders, assaults, suicides... Even though the state does not provide us with data, the figures we manage to gather are horrifying. The situation is drastic, and nothing is being done to tackle it.”'

GUINEA ECUATORIAL / Equal Times: "La inversión en Guinea Ecuatorial no pondrá fin a la vulneración de los derechos humanos" por Donna Cline

'El mes de marzo de 2015 fue especialmente pródigo en vulneraciones de los derechos humanos en Guinea Ecuatorial. El 17 de marzo, las fuerzas de seguridad del Gobierno arrestaron a Guillermo Nguema Ela. Guillermo es líder de la oposición – miembro de la Fuerza Demócrata Republicana – en un país donde un solo hombre controla todo el proceso político, que favorece al partido político en el poder y que fue fundado para aplacar las críticas de Occidente. El Gobierno no ha dado ninguna razón para justificar el arresto de Guillermo, por lo que muchos concluyen que fue arrestado por razones puramente políticas.'

EQUATORIAL GUINEA via Equal Times: "Investment in Equatorial Guinea will not end human rights abuses" by Donna Cline

'March 2015 was a particularly notorious month for human rights abuses in Equatorial Guinea. On 17 March, government security forces arrested Guillermo Nguema Ela. Guillermo is a political opposition leader – member of the Fuerza Demócrata Republicana (Democratic Republican Force) – in a country where one man controls the political process, which is biased towards the ruling political party and was founded to placate Western critics. The government has not offered any reasons for Guillermo’s arrest, leaving many to conclude that he was arrested for purely political reasons.'

INDIA: "Striking Delhi doctors defiant despite arrest threat" by Zain Awan

'Thousands of doctors and medical staff on an indefinite strike in India's capital territory Delhi could face legal action after the Delhi government invoked the Essential Services Maintenance Act, which makes the strike illegal.'

Equal Times: "Londres acentúa recortes presupuestarios a pesar de las manifestaciones contra la austeridad" por Angelo Boccato

'A pesar de que unas 250.000 personas hubieran tomado las calles de Londres el fin de semana pasado para participar en la primera gran movilización nacional contra el programa de austeridad del Gobierno conservador, el Canciller George Osborne acaba de anunciar una serie de planes que contemplan recortes de 12.000 millones de libras (aproximadamente 16.700 millones de euros) en el presupuesto de bienestar social.'

UK via Equal Times: "UK: 250,000 march to “End Austerity Now”...the Tories respond with more cuts" by Angelo Boccato

'Despite some 250,000 people taking to the streets of London last weekend for the first major national mobilisation against the austerity agenda of the Conservative government, Chancellor George Osborne has just announced plans to slash the welfare budget by £12 billion (approximately €16.7 billion).'

SINGAPUR / EQUAL TIMES: "¿Continuará Singapur dando mayor prioridad al crecimiento económico que a los derechos humanos?" por Nithin Coca

'A primera vista parece un país modelo. Con un crecimiento económico sólido y coherente, un elevado nivel de vida y un entorno empresarial libre de la corrupción que plaga a sus vecinos, Singapur es citado a menudo como ejemplo de la manera adecuada de hacer crecer un país rápidamente evitando al mismo tiempo tensiones étnicas y religiosas. Y el mérito de todo esto se atribuye principalmente a Lee Kuan Yew, el Primer Ministro del país con más años de mandato, que falleció el mes pasado.'

SINGAPORE via Equal Times: "Will Singapore continue to put economic growth before human rights?" by Nithin Coca

'On the surface, it is a model country. With strong, consistent economic growth, a high standard of living, and a business environment free of the corruption that plagues its neighbours, Singapore is often cited as the right way to grow a country fast while avoiding ethnic and religious tensions, with credit given mostly to its longest-serving Prime Minister, Lee Kuan Yew, who passed away last month.'

INDIA / GLOBAL via The Economic Times: "International Labour Organisation echoes unions' reservation against labour law amendments" by PTI

'International Labour Organisation (ILO) has put its weight behind trade unions in India which hold that certain proposed amendments to labour laws would go against the interest of workers. ILO will hold two-day national conference of central trade unions on June 29-30 for firming up a paper on issues raised by workers' representatives in various tripartite consultations on labour laws amendments.'

EGIPTO / Equal Times: "La sentencia de muerte de Morsi es sólo la punta del iceberg" by Deena Gamil

'A pesar de que la noticia de la condena a muerte del depuesto presidente Mohamed Morsi ha salido en las portadas de todos los periódicos del mundo, en los últimos meses se han dictado en Egipto centenares de sentencias similares, que no han encontrado eco alguno en los medios internacionales.'

EGYPT: "Egypt: Morsi’s death sentence is just the tip of the iceberg" by Deena Gamil

'Although news of the death sentence handed out to Egypt’s ousted president Mohamed Morsi has made headlines around the world, hundreds of similar sentences issued in Egypt in recent months have been met with international silence.'

ZIMBABWE via NPR: "Zimbabwe To Street Vendors: Pack Up, Clean Up, Ship Out!" by Ofeibea Quist-Arcton

'There are no jobs in Zimbabwe, says Tobias Tsava, another trader. He fears that if he's evicted from the streets, his livelihood will be at risk. Fortunate Nyakupinda earns a living by selling secondhand clothes from the back of her car. "We are all worried," Tsava says. "Most of us are qualified. We have got degrees, diplomas, we are drivers, mechanics, but no jobs. Industry has collapsed."

LIMA / Equal Times "Lima: las víctimas invisibles de la contaminación" by Jérémy Joly

'Mario, como todos los días o casi, circula por la avenida Salaverry, distrito de San Isidro, en Lima. Aprovechando una luz roja, ofrece bebidas y refrigerios a los conductores, o sube a los autobuses para vender sus mercancías a los pasajeros. Como miles de limeños, trabaja en la calle, en medio del tráfico. Estos vendedores deambulan entre los escapes de los coches inconscientes del peligro que les rodea. “Yo no sé si la contaminación tiene un impacto sobre mi salud, yo realmente no me doy cuenta... y de todos modos, si quiero trabajar, no tengo otro remedio”, explica fatalista a Equal Times.'

PERU via Equal Times: "Lima’s hidden victims of pollution" by Jérémy Joly

'Mario, today like most others, is pacing his way up and down Salaverry Avenue in the San Isidro district of Lima. As the traffic light turns red, he seizes the chance to offer drinks and snacks to drivers, or jumps on a bus to sell them to passengers. Like thousands of other Lima residents, he works on the street, in the middle of the traffic. Street vendors amble between exhaust pipes, oblivious to the danger surrounding them. “I don’t know if the pollution is affecting my health. I don’t really know... but in any case I have no other choice if I want to work,” Mario tells Equal Times.'

via Equal Times: "Día Intl. de las Trabajadoras del Hogar – millones de indias continúan trabajando en la sombra" by Sindhu Menon

'“Prohibida la entrada a perros y a indios”, decía un famoso cartel de los años 1930 colgado en el Pahartali European Club, en la región de Chittagong de la India (actualmente Bangladesh), cuando el país se encontraba bajo la ocupación británica. Hoy día, en pleno siglo XXI, en los espacios recreativos y residenciales de las ciudades indias hay un cartel invisible que dice: “Prohibida la entrada a las trabajadoras del hogar”. Saroja, que trabaja en cinco casas distintas en Bangalore, conoce perfectamente esta regla tácita.

INDIA via Equal Times: "On Domestic Workers Day, millions of Indian women continue to work in the shadows" by Sindhu Menon

'“Dogs and Indians not allowed,” proclaimed a notorious 1930s signboard at the Pahartali European Club in the Chittagong region of India (now in Bangladesh), when the country was under British rule. Today, in the 21st century, in recreational and residential spaces throughout Indian cities, there’s an invisible sign which says: “No domestic workers allowed”. Saroja, who works for five different households in Bangalore knows all about this unspoken rule.'

INDIA via Equal Times: 'Explotación y trabajo infantil en los campos de algodón de la India' by David Browne

'Shankar Bai, completamente encorvada, con un saco de arpillera colgado a la espalda, interrumpe momentáneamente su trabajo para echar una mirada al cielo abrasador. hankar se limpia el sudor de la frente y continúa recolectando el algodón blancuzco de las cápsulas abiertas. Hoy va a tener que aguantar por lo menos ocho horas haciendo este duro trabajo deslomador. Junto a esta madre de 30 años, y recolectando tanto algodón como ella, están sus hijos: Kamlesh Singh, de 12 años, Madhav, de 8, y Dungar Singh, de 6. Los otros dos, más pequeños, Gojya, de 4 años, y Kavita, de 3, se han quedado jugando en un solar cercano a los campos.'

INDIA via Equal Times: 'Child labour and exploitation in India’s cotton fields' by David Browne

'Shankar Bai was bent double, a gunny sack slung around her back. Momentarily she stopped work to look up at the burnt-out sky... Shankar stopped picking the bursting pods of raw grey-white cotton and wiped the sweat from her brow. Today she would endure at least eight hours of this back-breaking toil. Working alongside her, picking as much cotton as their 30-year-old mother, were Shankar’s children: Kamlesh Singh, aged 12, Madhav, aged eight, and six-year-old Dungar Singh. Younger siblings Gojya, aged four, and three-year-old Kavita played in the dirt nearby.'

TAILANDIA via Equal Times: 'Tailandia: manos ágiles, vidas precarias' por Daiva Repeckaite

'Nangloo, de cincuenta años, vende flores por la noche en Chiang Mai, la capital regional del norte de Tailandia. Como muchos otros y otras desplazados por la protección forestal y los esfuerzos para eliminar los refugios de los rebeldes y productores de opio, preferiría seguir viviendo en el campo. Sin embargo, su vida se rige por la supervivencia. “Es mejor vivir en la ciudad. En las montañas no tenemos tierra para cultivar. Si tuviéramos tierra en las montañas, preferiría vivir allí”, asegura Nangloo, que vive con otros miembros de la etnia lahu en el barrio pobre de Tha Sala.'



Solidar: Call for Solidarity

Solidarity to Provide Aid to the Victims of the Earthquake that hit Nepal

A powerful magnitude 7.9 earthquake has struck Nepal and caused major destruction in the whole country. According to official numbers more than at least 3,900 people and injured 7,000people have lost their lives. It is feared that the number of deaths will keep rising. The epicentre of the earthquake was located only about 80 kilometres west of the capital Kathmandu. This was the strongest earthquake in the last 80 years. The Nepalese government has declared a state of emergency.

SOLIDAR members AWO International, ASB Germany, Danish People’s Aid, SOLIDAR Suisse, Samaritan Austria, Volkshilfe Austria, Norwegian People’s Aid together with their Nepalese partners, are working to raise funds and to deploy missions to the epicentre to help those people in need with first aid, shelter, medications, food and other support.

You can help the people in Nepal by making a donation to the SOLIDAR Foundation for Humanitarian Cooperation:
IBAN: BE53 7310 0861 1753
ACCOUNT HOLDER: SOLIDAR Foundation for humanitarian, development and European cooperation ASBL
Mentioning the following sentence when doing the payment: Nepal Solidarity

The incoming funds will be channelled to our members and their partners active in Nepal. SOLIDAR Foundation will regularly update on the use of the funds.

Do not hesitate to contact us in case you have any questions or remarks. The Nepalese count on your solidarity!



SOUNDZ OF THE SOUTH: 'Train Cypher against Xeno/afrophobia attacks in Azania'

in South Africa : 'Train Cypher against Xeno/afrophobia attacks in Azania [uncut video] by  Soundz of the South Sos  With Khusta, Java, Bongs, Ntska Freeze, Anela, Phillippi High Speaks Shot by C'de Anele, Organised by Solitude and C'de Anele'

watch the video at




via Equal Times: Brazil: "Waste pickers of Brazil unite"

'In Ourinhos, Brazil, waste pickers got organised, got out of the informal economy and, in the process, managed to secure a better standard of living.'

▶ watch here


via Equal Times:  India "Child labour and exploitation in India's cotton fields"

"Some 20 per cent of workers in Gujurat's cotton fields in India are thought to be children. They are unwilling recruits of a massive forgotten army of child labourers, who work alongside their mothers and fathers from day to hard-scrabble day, families at the very base of India’s labour pyramid."

▶ watch here

via International Labour Organisation (ILO): "Very few of the estimated 53 million domestic workers worldwide are covered by labour laws. In 2011, the ILO's Member States adopted the Domestic Workers' Convention (N°189) to protect their rights, promote equality of opportunity and treatment, and improve working and living conditions. So far, 17 countries have ratified this convention. Let's keep the momentum!"

▶ watch here




International Labour Organisation's World Employment Social Outlook:
'It's not just employment trends which are changing. It's the very nature of jobs. Here's what that means.'

▶ watch here


TURKEY via ILO: 'Like hazelnuts? In Turkey, they're often harvested by children. But that's starting to change.'
TURKEY via ILO: 'Like hazelnuts? In Turkey, they're often harvested by children.But that's starting to change.'

▶ watch here


EQUAL TIMES  Video Series on Informal Work:

▶ In Morocco, some 70,000 people work in call centres, mostly for French companies. But another 30,000 endure hard working conditions in informal call centres.In English:
En français:
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EQUAL TIMES  Video Series on Informal Work:

▶ In Rwanda, moto-taxi drivers have secured better wages and social protection, thanks to the organising efforts of cooperatives and trade unions.
In English:
En français:
En Español:
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INDONESIA via LO-TCO Biståndsnämnd 'Indonesian workers need stronger unions, increased minimum wages and social security, according to Prihanani Boenadi of the Indonesian metalworkers union FSPMI.'
watch the interview here



EQUAL TIMES  Video Series on Informal Work:

in India : 'Twelve-year-old Muhammad earns US$ 8 per month working in India gemstone industry. Nobody knows how many other children do the same. In English:  En français:  En Español:

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BANGLADESH via International Labour Organisation:

'Who says a woman can't be an electrician?'

▶ watch the video here