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We condemn the raids and arrests of trade union leaders in the Philippines

Hon. Rodrigo Duterte President Republic of Philippines


Philippines embassy in Norway Oslo, 10th December 2019

The Svensson foundation strongly condemns the raids and arrests of trade union leaders in the Philippines. The offensive by forces of the army and police has targeted trade union leaders and human rights defenders.

The Arthur Svensson International Prize for Trade Union Rights was this year awarded to France Castro for her struggle throughout many years to organize teachers and to fight for basic workers’ rights in the Philippines. According to ITUC the country does not respect the basic workers’ rights.

State-led stigmatisation of labour organisations and their representatives has been going on for far too long in the Philippines. The recent raids and arrests worsen the situation, effectively preventing workers from forming and joining trade unions, and unions from pursuing legitimate activities.

We urge the government of the Philippines to

1. Stop the attacks and red tagging of legitimate trade union organisations and labour activists 2. Implement the recommendations concluded by the Committee of Application of Standards of the ILO in June 2019 3. Accept the High-Level Tripartite Mission of the ILO to visit the country at the soonest possible time

We support the call of the global unions and affiliates in the Philippines to urge the intervention of Secretary Silvestre Bello of Department of Labour and Employment (DOLE) with the military and police forces for:

1. Discussions and investigations at the national regional Tripartite Bodies on the recent arrests and raids, red tagging of trade unions 2. Expedition of the 43 cases of extra-judicial killings submitted by the trade unions 3. Enforcement of the Guidelines on the Conduct of the relevent authorities relative to the Exercixe of Workers' rights

The Svensson Foundation stands in solidarity with the trade unions in the Philippines and is closely monitoring the trade union and human rights situation in the country.

Yours Espen Løken CEO of Svensson Foundation


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