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GENEVA – Key textile sourcing hubs represent five of the top ten worst countries for poor worker rights in a survey for 2018. Bangladesh, Cambodia, Egypt, the Philippines and Turkey are all found in the list, alongside other countries where worker rights pretty much fall off a cliff – including Saudi Arabia and Kazakhstan. The ITUC Global Rights Index claims shrinking democratic space for working people and unchecked corporate greed are on the rise in its annual survey.

The presence of countries such as Bangladesh and Cambodia in this new list, while no great surprise, will be seen by some as a damning inditement by some who believe that more than a decade of efforts by brands and NGOs to press for better worker rights in apparel factories in sourcing countries have had negligible impact.

The ITUC survey suggests mass dismissals of workers for exercising their rights were a common feature in the past year, citing the examples of Myanmar, where 184 union members were made redundant; and Cambodia, where 558 workers were fired after a strike at the Gawon Apparel Factory.

The ITUC Global Rights Index 2018 ranks 142 countries against 97 internationally recognised indicators to assess where workers’ rights are best protected in law and in practice.

The report’s key findings include:

65 per cent of countries exclude some groups of workers from labour law.
87 per cent of countries have violated the right to strike.
81 per cent of countries deny some or all workers collective bargaining.

Further information:https://www.ituc-csi.org/ituc-global-rights-index-2018-20299


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