Published: 12/04/2021

The ILO’s Committee on the Freedom of Association (CFA) at its March 2021 session was presented with damning new evidence about the deterioration of workers’ rights in Belarus as well as the increasing repression against actions in defense of democracy.

New information from the ITUC detailed the repressive measures used by the Lukashenko regime since his fraudulent re-election in August 2020 as well as the Government’s ongoing and systematic intimidation, harassment and repression against trade unions.

The evidence:

  • Showed how the Government of Lukashenko has failed “to ensure full respect for the basic civil liberties of trade union members and leaders”
  • Raised concerns about the Government’s continued failure “to ensure that workers could establish their organizations without previous authorization or without obstacles”

The IUF has welcomed the CFA’s conclusions which call on the Belarus government:

  • “to take all necessary measures …to prevent the occurrence of human rights violations and ensure full respect for workers’ rights and freedoms”
  • “to take measures for the release of all of trade unionists who remain in detention and the dropping of all charges related to participation in peaceful protests and industrial actions”
  • “to take the necessary measures to ensure that no person is detained in connection with his or her participation in a peaceful strike”

The CFA report was adopted by the ILO Governing Body at its recent session.

Earlier in the month, representatives of the global labour unions met with Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, the exiled leader of Belarus, and pledged to cooperate with her and independent representatives on the establishment of trade union rights and freedoms in Belarus.

The Committee considers that the current situation in Belarus remains far from ensuring full respect for freedom of association and the application of the provisions of the Convention. The Committee expresses its serious and deep concern that the recent developments[...]indicate steps backward on some of the previously achieved progress in implementing the Commission of Inquiry’s recommendations.
ILO Committee on the Freedom of Association report on Belarus