New editions of ICTUR World Maps
The International Centre for Trade Union Rights
In 2006 ICTUR produced some of our most successful
publications to date, the world maps on freedom of
association and other core labour standards. Since
then, trade unionists, lawyers and educators have
written to ICTUR from all over the world to express
their support for the maps, to order copies, to say how
useful they have found them for getting a clear picture
of how ILO Conventions are ratified and respected (or
not) around the world.
Access the maps online: Freedom of Association and Child
This month ICTUR published new updated editions of both
the freedom of association map and the child labour map.
The maps illustrate ratification of the relevant ILO
standards on each category of rights, and pick up on key
aspects of compliance. In each case ICTUR has sought to
provide the most objective view possible, citing
verifiable facts such as the ratification of
conventions, and the occurrence of specific events. It
was widely agreed that it would be unhelpful to simply
make value judgements about whether a country was 'good'
or 'bad' and that such an approach would be too great an
oversimplification of the many complex variables that
make up labour rights compliance.
For freedom of association ICTUR relied on clearly
reported murders and arrests identified either by the
ITUC's annual Violations Survey or by ICTUR's own trade
union rights monitoring programmes. For child labour,
the need for objectivity at first seemed more
challenging, but - using a methodology developed in
discussion with workers education organisations and
leading human rights organisations - it was decided that
the map should highlight all countries in respect of
which the 2010 ILO Committee of Experts had made
observations, and all countries identified as connected
with child soldier problems in the 2010 Report of the
Secretary-General to the General Assembly Security
Council on Children in armed conflict.
Finally, in order to fill in some key 'gaps' left by
this rather formalistic approach, ICTUR used a regional
text analysis to complement each map, adding background
and detail to cases that would otherwise be missed or
that require further explanation to assist students and
educators (at whom the maps are primarily aimed).
Although necessarily written by ICTUR in order to fit
the specific space demands of describing an entire
region in just 300 words the text boxes were based
closely upon materials produced by the ITUC and ILO.
Each map refers the reader to those organisations, and
to International Union Rights journal, for further and
more detailed information.
THE INTERNATIONAL CENTRE FOR TRADE UNION RIGHTS
ICTUR is a body with the fundamental purpose of
defending and improving the rights of trade unions and
trade unionists throughout the world. In 1993 ICTUR was
recognised as an important international organisation
and granted accredited status with both the United
Nations and the International Labour Organisation.
The fundamental right of workers to organise is under
global threat. From Britain to Bulgaria, from North
America to New Zealand, from the Philippines to Saudi
Arabia anti-union laws undermine the right to organise.
But union rights are not only under legal threat. In
Africa and Latin America, and elsewhere, trade unionists
face assassination, assault, kidnapping and detention.
Much violence is state-sponsored and carried out by
Sometimes it is carried out by the military or law
enforcement agencies, sometimes by secret or special
forces, or by employers' own security forces with state
Trade union rights are vital for workers facing the
global power of employers. With economic integration,
uncontrolled capital flows and new technology, labour
everywhere depends on its right to organise.
ICTUR was established in 1987. It aims:
. To defend and extend the rights of trade unions and
trade unionists throughout the world . To collect
information and increase awareness of trade union rights
and their violations . To carry out its activities in
the spirit of the United Nations Charter, the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights, the International Labour
Organisation Conventions and appropriate international
FUNDING ICTUR is primarily funded by affiliation fees
from member unions, NGOs and individuals, together with
the incomes generated from subscriptions, sales and
other revenues generated by the journal, International
Union Rights. The international office also undertakes
research projects and consultancies for trade unions and
NGOs which campaign for trade unions and workers'
PortsideLabor aims to provide material of interest to
people on the left that will help them to interpret the
world and to change it.
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