Last Updated: Thursday, 23 October 2014, 22:51 GMT

2010 Annual Survey of violations of trade union rights - Eritrea

Publisher International Trade Union Confederation
Publication Date 9 June 2010
Cite as International Trade Union Confederation, 2010 Annual Survey of violations of trade union rights - Eritrea, 9 June 2010, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4c4fec7e5.html [accessed 24 October 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Population: 5,000,000
Capital: Asmara
ILO Core Conventions Ratified: 29 – 87 – 98 – 100 – 105 – 111 – 138

No new developments were reported in Eritrea, where the government keeps the unions under close scrutiny.

Trade union rights in law

Labour law is governed by Labour Proclamation No 118, which gives workers the right to form unions. Unions are not allowed in the armed forces, the police and in essential services. In addition, civil servants not involved in state administration do not have the right to organise until the draft Civil Service Proclamation is passed. Furthermore, the Ministry of Labour and Human Welfare must grant special approval for groups of 20 or more workers seeking to form a union.

Collective bargaining and strikes are allowed and industrial disputes are resolved by a tripartite board composed of workers, employers and Ministry of Labour and Human Welfare officials.

Trade union rights in practice and violations in 2009

Background: The long-running border dispute with Ethiopia continued, draining resources from a country where two thirds of the population rely on food aid. In August, Eritrea was ordered to pay Ethiopia compensation for their 1998-2000 border war and then in December the UN imposed sanctions on Eritrea for its alleged support for Islamist insurgents in Somalia. A Human Rights Watch report accused the government of turning the country into a "giant prison".

Government interference: The activities of the National Confederation of Eritrean Workers (NCEW) are closely monitored by the government. Some of its affiliated unions (such as those representing teachers, women, young people and general workers) come under close scrutiny from the government and the ruling People's Front for Democracy and Justice Party. Free collective bargaining is thus rendered meaningless. In November the NCEW held a conference to mark its 30th Anniversary.

Copyright notice: © ITUC-CSI-IGB 2010

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