Trade Union Rights Violations in Cambodia
The Cambodian Ministy of Education arbitrarily fired 11 teachers and Education officers for alleged absenteeism. The discharged staff included the former President of the Cambodia Independent Teachers’ Association (CITA), Rong Chhun. In a joint letter to the government, the International Trade unión Confederation (ITUC) and EI protested these politically-motivated firings. The two Global Unions demanded that the government respect national law and International labour standards.
Violations of Rights of Indigenoius peoples, teachers in the Philippines
The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT), an EI member organisation has denounced further repression in the Philippines against indigenous peoples. The State Prosecutor is seeking to have teachers, indigenous peoples’ leaders, and human rights defenders declared terrorists and oulaws. The list of alleged terrorists includes the ACT Regional Coordinator in the Cordillera región and the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenoius Peoples. EI is supporting the ACT position. The government’s actions are part of a general deterioration of the respect for human rights in the Philippines.
Continuing Trade Union Repression in South Korea
The Korean Teachers and Education Workers Union (KTU) remains illegal based on interference of the government in membership criteria in clear violation of international labour standards. The ILO Committee on Freedom of Association in 2017 called on the government to eliminate legal restrictions on membership that were used to de-legalise the union. EI called on the Republic of Korea to re-certify the union.
In addition, EI called for the immediate release of KCTU President Han Sang-gyun and the withdrawal of the charges against Lee Young-joo, former General Secretary of KCTU and former Vice-President of KTU. Lee Young-joo was arrested in the hospital by the police on 31 December 2017 following a ten-day hunger strike. Both were charged with violating the law due to their involvement in a demonstration on 14 November 2015 against the former government’s regressive labour law reform.