The ILO Committee of Experts calls on the government of Belarus to restore the rights and freedoms of workers without delay. It urges the government to take measures for the release of all trade unionists who remain in detention and for dropping of all charges related to participation in peaceful protest action in 2020; refrain from arrest, detention and harassment, including prosecution, of trade union leaders and members engaged in legitimate trade union activities.
The Committee once again urges the Government to ensure that there are no obstacles to the registration of trade unions, both in law and in practice; put an end to interference in the formation of trade unions, including in private companies. The independent unions received the Arthur Svensson award last year for their fearless struggle for democracy and fundamental trade union rights in Europe's last dictatorship.
The Report of the Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations of the International Labour Conference (110th session, 2022) has been published. It contains expert opinions on violations in Belarus of the fundamental ILO conventions: No. 87 Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention, and No. 98 Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Convention.
The Committee is outraged by the slow progress in implementing the recommendations of the ILO Commission of Inquiry made to the Belarusian government back in 2004. The experts state that 17 years later, the situation in Belarus is still far from ensuring full respect for freedom of association, “no significant progress has been made”, moreover, “recent events indicate a step back and a further retreat of the government from its obligations.”
The Committee strongly requests the Government to amend the Law on Mass Activities, the Labour Code and other regulations to enable workers’ organizations to exercise their right to organize mass events and strikes.
Here is the full ILO report on Belarus (page 104-115)