UN Special Rapporteur: Too many workers around the world unable to exercise their rights to associate or assemblePhoto: Carlos Fernandez, Flickr (Creative Commons)

The UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, Maina Kiaia, has recently presented a new report to the UN General Assembly. The report focuses marginalized workers, including global supply chain workers, assessing to what extent they are able to exercise their fundamental rights to associate or assemble.

UN Special Rapporteur: Too many workers around the world unable to exercise their rights to associate or assemblePhoto: Carlos Fernandez, Flickr (Creative Commons)

The report points out that the majority of the world’s workers is hampered in attempts to exercise these rights, due to a combination of different forces that are all putting downward pressure on working conditions and workers’ rights. As multinational corporations are becoming more powerful, states are unable to enforce their norms and standards, or they have an incentive to refrain from enforcing their rules. Furthermore, civil society organizations experience increasing difficulties in their work on labor issues.

The Special Rapporteur therefore recommends that states, businesses and the International Labor Organization all take action to strengthen workers’ rights with respect to association and assembly.

The full report is available here.