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World Day against Child Labour

Posted on June 15, 2012

This year the World Day Against Child Labour (12 June) provides a spotlight on the right of all children to be protected from child labour and from other violations of fundamental human rights. In 2010 the international community adopted a Roadmap for achieving the elimination of the worst forms of child labour by 2016, which stressed that child labour is an impediment to children's rights and a barrier to development. World Day 2012 highlights the work that needs to be done to make the roadmap a reality. The ILO's Conventions seek to protect children from exposure to child labour. Together with other international instruments relating to children's, workers' and human rights they provide an important framework for legislation established by national governments. However the ILO's most recent global estimate is that 215 million children worldwide are involved in child labour, with more than half this number involved in its worst forms.

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On-going human rights violations in Burma

Posted on May 30, 2012

Congress has written to Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore TD Burma pointing out that Burma is only now at the beginning of a long path towards the establishment of democracy and human rights. The EU must use its leverage to encourage the additional steps it has identified, including the unconditional release of remaining political prisoners and the end of armed conflict with ethnic groups, over the coming year.

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Congress makes case for Decent Work in Development Cooperation

Posted on April 26, 2012

In our submission to the review of the Irish Aid Whitepaper, we make the case for decent work and the importance of a trade union role. People don't usually think of unions when they think about international development but our goals of living wages, workplaces free of child and forced labour, decent public services and the promotion of equality and justice can make a big contribution to eliminating poverty when won.

Congress highly values the partnership that we have with Irish Aid and are grateful for the opportunity to engage with them about their future priorities.

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Rights Groups say Government MUST ACT on UN Pledges

Posted on March 20, 2012

Your Rights, Right Now, a coalition of 17 civil society organisations, of which Congress is a member, has called upon the Government to act on the human rights pledges it has made today (15 March 2012) before the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva.

In all, Ireland has formally accepted 85% of the human rights recommendations made by other UN member states. It has promised to make significant improvements in areas including prison conditions, mental health, children's rights, prevention of ill-treatment, gender equality and combating racism and discrimination. Speaking from the UN's headquarters in Geneva, Deirdre Duffy, Senior Research and Policy Programme Manager with the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) and Your Rights, Right Now's representative before the Human Rights Council, said:

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FREE AT LAST

Posted on March 09, 2012

It was with great delight that we recently heard the news that Lillany Obando was freed after three long years of imprisonment without conviction.

In an interview with Lilliany, conducted by Justice for Colombia UK on the day after her release, she talks with determination about continuing to work to free those political prisoners, still held behind prison bars. She also thanks those who assisted in the campaign to have her released.

Click here to see the full interview and here for more details on JFC UK campaigns.

Not yet time to drop sanctions on Burma

Posted on February 23, 2012

Congress General Secreatry, David Begg, has written to the Tanaiste noting that while there have been some inprovements in Burma of late, it is the strong view of Congress, the International Trade Union Confederation and The European Trade Union Confederation that the time is not yet ripe for a major revision of sanctions policy. Full letter available here. See ITUC document on benchmarks re consideration of removal of sanctions here

EU highlights trade led growth as central to a modern development agenda

Posted on January 30, 2012

In its latest proposals on trade and development the EU identifies trade as one of the key drivers to support development, growth and helping lift people out of poverty.

In order to effectively reduce poverty across the world, the EU wants to focus on those countries most in need. This will require a better differentiation between developing countries and emerging economies.

Guiding principles of the new policy are:

  • Better inclusion of Least Developed Countries into the multilateral trading system
  • EU aid should support domestic reforms in developing countries to help them reap the benefits of increasingly integrated world markets
  • The need to look beyond lowering tariffs on to meeting international technical, social and environmental standards, intellectual property rights, investment, services, competition policy and public procurement.

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Christmas Card Appeal for Colombian Political Prisoner

Posted on December 14, 2011

Picture of_Liliany_Obando - Liliany Obando, academic, human rights defender, trade union consultant and Colombian political prisoner.
Liliany Obando, academic, human rights defender, trade union consultant and Colombian political prisoner.

Send a Christmas Card to Liliany as part of our new campaign

On August 8th 2008 Liliany Patricia Obando was detained by the Colombian authorities. She was dragged away in front of her two terrified children and her elderly mother. The Colombian regime has accused her of 'rebellion' and is currently holding her in appalling conditions in jail without having convicted her of any crime.

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Freed Colombian Political Prisoner comes to Ireland

Posted on December 08, 2011

Rosalba with JFC campaign leaflet - Rosalba Gaviria Toro with the JFC campaign leaflet
Rosalba Gaviria Toro with the JFC campaign leaflet

Rosalba Gaviria Toro, a former Colombian political prisoner, visited Ireland this week to meet with those who campaigned for her release, among them two second-level students from Kenmare.

She is a trade union and human rights activist who visited Ireland this week, as a guest of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions and campaign group, Justice for Colombia Ireland. Detained and imprisoned, without trial, by Colombian authorities in March, 2009 she was released without charge in June 2011.

The head of the Women's Movement for Peace & Human Rights, Ms. Gaviria Toro arrived in Cork on Sunday December 4 and met with trade union activists and members of the Cork Council of Trade Unions.

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12 more dedicated champions

Posted on November 21, 2011

Global Solidarity Training - Group 1 - Back row: Saranne O'Grady, INTO; Breedge Scanlon, INMO; Grainne Murphy ICTU; Ricky Moore UNITE; Joan McCrohan IMPACT;David Keenan CPSU; Eddie Soye CPSU;Front row:  James Moore, CWU; Laura Dooley ICTU; Ingridalison Shortt CPSU; Wilson Mabvaro UNITE; Sue Kelly CPSU.
Back row: Saranne O'Grady, INTO; Breedge Scanlon, INMO; Grainne Murphy ICTU; Ricky Moore UNITE; Joan McCrohan IMPACT;David Keenan CPSU; Eddie Soye CPSU; Front row: James Moore, CWU; Laura Dooley ICTU; Ingridalison Shortt CPSU; Wilson Mabvaro UNITE; Sue Kelly CPSU.

Twelve more union activists have now been added to the Congress Global Solidarity Champions' network.

Training took place between 3rd - 5th November 2011 in the salubrious surrounds of the MANDATE Organising & Training Centre in Dublin. Participants came from a cross section of unions including ASTI, CPSU, CWU, IMPACT, INMO, INTO, TUI and UNITE. There was a packed agenda with participants eager to learn about the plight of workers and union members from Colombia to Palestine and Bangladesh to Dublin.

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(107 blog posts)