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Democratic workers’ rights crumbling: 2024 ITUC Global Rights Index

The ITUC Global Rights Index is a comprehensive review of workers’ rights in law ranking 151 countries against a list of 97 indicators derived from ILO Conventions and jurisprudence. It rates countries based on the degree of respect for workers’ rights. For 11 years now the Index has tracked a rapid decline in workers’ rights in every region of the world. The 10 worst countries for working people are: Bangladesh, Belarus, Ecuador, Egypt, Eswatini, Guatemala, Myanmar, the Philippines, Tunisia and Türkiye.


Despite a few modest improvements, the general picture shows a relentless attack on civil liberties, workers’ rights and the interests of working people. The Index tells the story of courageous workers and trade unionists who face grave dangers to improve the lives of their colleagues and defend democratic rights. This comes against the backdrop of a continuing, devastating cost-of-living crisis, technological disruption rapidly changing the world of work, and worsening global levels of violent conflict where working people face the catastrophic consequences of war.

  • Twenty-two trade unionists were killed in six countries: Bangladesh, Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, the Philippines, and the Republic of Korea.

  • Conditions are so bad in 12 countries due to the breakdown of the rule of law that they are rated 5+.

  • Only two countries have seen their rating improve in 2024: Romania has moved from 4 to 3 and Brazil is now rated 4, an improvement on 5 last year.

  • Thirteen countries have worse ratings: Costa Rica, Finland, Israel, Kyrgyzstan, Madagascar, Mexico, Nigeria, Qatar, the Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Switzerland and Venezuela.

  • 87% of countries violated the right to strike.

  • 79% of countries violated the right to collective bargaining.

  • 75% of countries excluded workers from the right to establish or join a trade union.

  • 74% of countries impeded the registration of unions.

  • In 65% of countries, workers had no or restricted access to justice.

  • 43% of countries restricted free speech and assembly.

  • Workers were arrested and detained in 74 countries.

  • Workers experienced violence in 44 countries.

  • Europe has an average rating of 2.73, down from 2.56 in 2023, continuing a rapid deterioration from 1.84 in 2014 – the biggest decline seen in any region in the world over the past 10 years.

  • The worst region in the world for working people is the Middle East and North Africa, with an average rating of 4.74, worse than the 4.53 it received in 2023, and the 4.25 rating it had in 2014. The rights to collective bargaining, to join a trade union and to register a trade union were violated by 1all countries in the region.

These figures and trends reinforce a global picture in which hard-won democratic rights and civil liberties are under grave and relentless attack. That is why, this year, the ITUC launched its For Democracy campaign in support of the rights and freedoms that all individuals should enjoy without fear of persecution or oppression.

Se the full report here

Source: ITUC


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