Abusing Workers’ Rights is a Threat to Peace: IPB Reacts to the 2020 ITUC Global Rights Index (EN/FR)

Abusing workers’ rights is a threat to peace.

The IPB has always considered the respect for human and workers rights as critical pillars for peace in our nations. Abuse these fundamental rights and the floodgates are open to weaken peace, democracy and social justice. Take away the freedom of expression, protest, association and the balance of power tips further toward authoritarianism and raw and abusive  corporate power.

If there were a Doomsday Clock for human and workers’ rights, then the second hand would have moved closer to midnight with the publication of the 2020 International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) Global Rights Index.

ITUC is the global union trade union centre representing 200 million trade unionists from union centres in over 160 countries.

The 2020 results should ring alarm bells throughout the IPB family.

To summarize the results from 144 countries:

  • 85% of countries violated the right to strike.
  • 80% of countries violated the right to collectively bargain.
  • 56 countries denied or constrained freedom of speech.
  • Workers were exposed to violence in 51 countries.
  • Workers had no or restricted access to justice in 72% of countries.
  • Workers experienced arbitrary arrests or detention in 61 countries.

The report was published at a time when Facebook was exposed for developing and marketing new workplace software attuned to aid union busting, when Google and Amazon have victimized staff for promoting union organisation. In the USA alone, over 90% of union campaigns face union busting intimidation tactics.

If trade unions and workers are refused the right to organise, negotiate and protest, then the oxygen they require to live and breathe is denied.

Sharan Burrow, the ITUC General Secretary, commented “The Global Rights Index exposes a breakdown in the social contract that governments and employers have with working people. There’s a trend to restrict working rights through violations of collective bargaining, withholding the right to strike and excluding workers from unions.”

The IPB has joined its voice to the call for a just recovery and a new social contract as we emerge from the devastation wreaked by the Covid-19 pandemic. Policies to build back better must deepen respect for human and worker rights; in poll after poll, people are giving record support to the trade union movement.

It is time that this support is adapted into government and business policy. We have the instruments – from the International Labour Organization (ILO) to the United Nations, and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights in particular. Every government and business should put into practice due diligence measures to stamp out the adverse consequences of their actions on human rights. Now that would be “building back better.”

Written by Philip Jennings, IPB Co-President.

Access the full 2020 ITUC Global Rights Index here.

Read the statement in French here.

Statement of Solidarity with the Poor People’s Assembly and Moral March on Washington

June 17, 2020

The International Peace Bureau, a Nobel Peace Prize recipient organization, was proud and fortunate to collaborate with the Poor People’s Campaign on last spring’s Online World Conference 2020: Abolish Nuclear Weapons, Resist and Reverse Climate Change, for Social and Economic Justice.  The Poor People’s Campaign’s recognition of the seminal importance of building on Martin Luther King, Jr.’s nonviolent commitments – to challenge the mutually reinforcing triple evils of racism, poverty and militarism, with the addition of your commitment to environmental sustainability – is precisely what our time requires, and it inspires people around the globe, as well as across the United States.

We are encouraged by The Mass Poor People’s Assembly and Moral March on Washington and have promoted it among our affiliated organizations.  The Covid-19 pandemic, which has disproportionately taken the lives of people of color and wreaked economic devastation while massively increasing the wealth of those already rich, underlines the urgent need for greater economic security and equality. It also illuminates the absolute failure of the United States record military spending while assaulting people’s access to health care, housing, food stamps and education.

We trust that the Assembly will help to fuel the mass protests to end white supremacy and to create a just U.S. society; protests that began following the police murders of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and George Floyd.  Militarized police, militarized culture,  and the diversion of vast amounts of limited national financial resources to the military-industrial complex from addressing essential human needs are assaults on basic human rights that must be ended.

We stand and will act in solidarity with the Poor People’s Assembly and Moral March on Washington, and we look forward to future collaborations with the Poor People’s Campaign to eliminate poverty, racism, militarism and to reverse the climate emergency.

For more information on the Assembly and Moral March, visit https://www.poorpeoplescampaign.org/.

GCOMS/ENAAT Press Release: Fund Peace, Not Arms Dealers

On Europe Day, the Global Days of Action on Military Spending (GDAMS) and the European Network Against Arms Trade (ENAAT) call the EU to fund peace, not arms dealers.

The way out from the COVID-19 crisis: will the EU work for peace or prepare for war?

8 May 2020, Brussels, Barcelona

The EU High Representative Mr Borrell stated on April 24 that the world will look very different after the COVID-19 crisis and will depend on the choices made today.  On the eve of Europe Day celebrating peace and unity, the EU bears a large responsibility for how this future will look like, and has a key choice to make: work for sustainable peace by seriously tackling the root causes of conflicts, or continue the path to militarism and prepare for war. Continue reading “GCOMS/ENAAT Press Release: Fund Peace, Not Arms Dealers”

IPB Statement: Reaction to the Newest SIPRI Figures

Military Spending on the Rise while Health Budgets Remain Insufficient in Confronting the COVID-19 Pandemic

With the release of SIPRI’s newest report, showing global military spending in 2019 at a new high of US$1,917 billion, the International Peace Bureau (IPB) is calling for an end to the military spending pandemic, starting with an annual reduction of military expenditure of 10% and a complete ban on nuclear weapons. Continue reading “IPB Statement: Reaction to the Newest SIPRI Figures”

IPB Statement: Call to the G20 to Invest in Healthcare Instead of Militarization (EN/FR/DE/ES/SV/FI/CA/JP/KO)

IPB is calling for a dramatic reduction of military spending in favour of healthcare and meeting social needs

The world’s oldest peace NGO, the Nobel Prize-winning IPB has called on G20 world leaders who are gathering via virtual means this coming week to send a message of peace and solidarity to the world as they address the global health emergency. Continue reading “IPB Statement: Call to the G20 to Invest in Healthcare Instead of Militarization (EN/FR/DE/ES/SV/FI/CA/JP/KO)”

No to War – Statement on the U.S. Assassination of General Soleimani EN/FR

The illegal assassination of Iranian General Soleimani was an act of war by the United States that must not be tolerated. Whatever the crimes of Soleimani have been, the United States has no legal or moral right to take such unilateral action or for the recent bombings of five Iranian related facilities in Iraq and Syria. Continue reading “No to War – Statement on the U.S. Assassination of General Soleimani EN/FR”

IPB MacBride award 2019 for Elayne Whyte Gómez and Bruce Kent

Every year the IPB awards a special prize to a person or organisation that has done outstanding work for peace, disarmament and/or human rights. These were the principal concerns of Sean MacBride, the distinguished Irish statesman who was Chairman of IPB from 1968-74 and President from 1974-1985. MacBride was a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize (1974), deputy General Secretary of the UN and founder if the disarmament committee of the UN. Continue reading “IPB MacBride award 2019 for Elayne Whyte Gómez and Bruce Kent”