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Trade Missions and Human Rights

Posted on February 18, 2014

Qatar and human rights - Protest at Qatar's failure to uphold workers rights
Protest at Qatar's failure to uphold workers rights

Following the January controversy regarding the lack of a human rights dimension to the Irish Government trade mission to the gulf, Congress wrote to the Taoiseach expressing our concern. The letter concluded that: "One could draw the conclusion that Ireland’s trade interests are now to trump our human rights commitments. I trust that this is not in fact the case and that the current review of our foreign policy will reiterate such a stance and perhaps begin to develop policy and mechanisms to ensure the integration of our trade and human rights concerns in future trade delegation visits."

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Cambodia Day of Action

Posted on February 10, 2014

Publication cover - Letter re Cambodia - Cover image for Letter re Cambodia
Cover image for Letter re Cambodia


Today, Congress has joined with labour rights groups,  trade unions and individuals across the world who are taking action to demand the immediate release of the 23 Cambodian workers who were detained during protests, in January, when garment workers called for a rise in the minimum wage to USD160. Read our letter here

Blog by TUC's Owen Tudor here
Actions, including the delivery of letters, e-mails, meetings with Ambassadors, and protests outside Embassies will be taking place in cities across the world including Hong Kong, London, Seoul, Brussels, Washington D.C., Berlin, Jakarta and Geneva calling on the Cambodian Government to:

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Congress Submission to review of our Foreign Policy

Posted on February 10, 2014

Publication cover - Congress Submission to Review of Ireland - Cover image for Congress Submission to Review of Ireland
Cover image for Congress Submission to Review of Ireland

Read our submission to the Department of Foreign Affairs review of our Foreign Policy here.

PGFTU visits Congress

Posted on November 21, 2013

Mohammed at EXCO 2 - Mohammed O M Amara from PGFTU and John Douglas, Congress President at EXCO meeting 20 Nov 2013
Mohammed O M Amara from PGFTU and John Douglas, Congress President at EXCO meeting 20 Nov 2013

The Executive Council of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions yesterday (20 November 2013) met with Dr. Mohammed O. M. Amara Palestine General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU). Dr Amara made a presentation to the EXCO in which he outlined the economic impact of the Israeli occupation, including devastating levels of unemployment, and the daily humiliation experienced by Palestinian workers seeking to travel to and from work. Dr Omara requested Irish Trade Unions to promote pressure on Israel in any available forum to obey international law by calling for sanctions on Israel and boycott of Israeli goods, especially of goods/ services from illegal settlements. He also sought our assistance in seeking an end of Israeli strangulation of the Palestinian economy and freedom of Palestinian economic activity in "Area C" in the West Bank. Dr Omara also suggested twinning initiatives between trade unions in Palestine and Ireland at all levels to promote practical projects in Palestine.

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Rana Plaza Six months on

Posted on October 24, 2013

Living Wage

Today (24 October 2013) marks the milestone of six months since 1,129 garment workers were killed in the industrial homicide at the Rana Plaza factory building collapse in Savar on 24 April. Only one brand, Primark, has paid any compensation. IndustriALL and UNI, the two global unions jointly working to make the garment industry in Bangladesh safe and sustainable, stood with survivors and families of the dead at Rana Plaza today for a candlelit vigil at sundown.

Meanwhile, the Clean Clothes Campaign has launched  a new campaign calling on clothing companies to Pay a Living Wage to garment workers. Please support this campaign

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Take action in support of workers in Bangladesh

Posted on May 10, 2013

The collapse of the Rana Plaza in Bangladesh has horrified people all over the world. Everyone wants to see something done about it to ensure that it never happens again.

At the request of the IndustriALL global union federation which represents textile and garment workers around the world, LabourStart have launched an online campaign. IndustriALL’s text, which came in part from their affiliate unions in Bangladesh, demands that the Bangladeshi government “take urgent action to guarantee freedom of association and improve building and fire safety and the minimum wage for the more than 3 million garment workers in Bangladesh.” Please add your voice.

The Clean Clothes Campaign Ireland also have an online action asking Primark to sign the Bangladesh Fire and Building Safety Agreement immediately.

Development Cooperation News

Posted on May 09, 2013

Irish Aid launched their new policy for International Development last week, "One World, One Future.  Read about it here and view the animation here

Congress is pleased to see references to decent work in the new policy as requested in our submission. The new policy states: "strives to ensure economic development compatible with our commitment to decent work and gender equality. 

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And the horror continues .....

Posted on May 02, 2013

Following a series of very successful visits of national representatives from the Patriotica Marcha to Belfast, Dublin and London, we heard of the horror of another murder of one of their activists, local farmer’s leader, Alvaro Queguan.  Mr. Queguan was shot dead by the Colombian Army in the SouthEast of Colombia.  This now brings the total number of their activists murdered to 9, in what is only their first year of operation.

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Colombians for Peace Delegation visit Dublin next week

Posted on April 17, 2013

PatrioticMarch Flyer copy April 2013 - Flyer for public meeting on Colombia April 2013
Flyer for public meeting on Colombia April 2013

Leading members of the Colombians for Peace organisation will visit London, Belfast and Dublin next week [April 21st - 25th] in a bid to increase awareness of the dangerous situation in which the Colombian people live and to garner international support for a just peace process which includes all members of civil society.

This follows on from the highly successful visit of last year's delegation, although the measure of success for the individuals concerned on these visits is generally judged by the increased security risk when they return to their homes, which is a clear and constant danger. 

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Decent Work and Post 2015 Development Agenda

Posted on February 26, 2013

Congress has joined with trade unions around the world to make the case for the inclusion of a specific Decent Work goal as part of any international development framework to replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGS).  The Irish Government is uniquely placed in a very important position in the run up to the UN General Assembly in September - holding the EU Presidency in the first half of 2013 and having been appointed as Co-Facilitators for the preparatory process of the Special Event to be held by the UN to follow up efforts made towards achieving the MDGs. 

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(107 blog posts)