Last Updated: Friday, 19 December 2014, 13:25 GMT

2007 Annual Survey of violations of trade union rights - Tajikistan

Publisher International Trade Union Confederation
Publication Date 9 June 2007
Cite as International Trade Union Confederation, 2007 Annual Survey of violations of trade union rights - Tajikistan, 9 June 2007, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4c52ca0a23.html [accessed 21 December 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: 7,100,000
Capital: Dushanbe
ILO Core Conventions Ratified: 29 – 87 – 98 – 100 – 105 – 111 – 138 – 182

There are ambiguities in Tajikistan's labour legislation that could leave the door open to serious restrictions. The Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Tajikistan has so far been loyal to the increasingly autocratic government.

Trade union rights in law

Freedom of association, the right to strike and the right to collective bargaining and other trade union rights are recognised in national legislation. At the same time, however, the law appears to give the government a free hand to restrict those rights.

Right to organise limited: The Law on Trade Unions declares that workers, without any distinction, have the right to establish and join organisations; however, different regulations can apply in the armed forces, internal affairs agencies, national security agencies, internal troop and other militarised units. There is no distinction in law or practice between civilian staff and military personnel within these units.

According to the Law on Trade Unions no less than one third of the workforce of an enterprise, organisation or an institution, and in any case no fewer than three employees, must support the formation of a trade union for it to be recognised.

Registration of trade unions: Trade unions are obliged to register their bylaws with a state body which registers non-governmental associations. If registration documents or decisions are incomplete or if they contain some imperfections, or if a registering authority has ascertained that there is some false or doubtful information in the documents, the authority has the right to leave a trade union's application without examination whatsoever. The law doesn't specify whether a trade union has the right to appeal against such a decision. The Code on Administrative Offences penalises any active involvement in a non-governmental association which is not registered with a fine of five to 12 times the minimum monthly wage, or administrative detention for up to 15 days.

Interference in trade union activities?: The Law on Trade Unions states that interference in trade union activities by the state authorities shall not be permitted "except in cases specified by law". The text does not, however, specify what those cases are, and the government has repeatedly failed to respond to requests from the ILO for clarification.

Restrictions on the right to strike: The Labour Code states that restrictions on the right to strike shall be "subject to the provisions of the legislation in force in Tajikistan". Again, the provisions are not specified and the government has repeatedly ignored ILO requests for the text of the provisions referred to. The ILO particularly wanted to know whether the old legislation, inherited from the USSR, which restricted strikes in the transport sector and provided for penalties of up to three years' imprisonment, was still in force.

Right to hold meetings and demonstrations restricted: It is difficult for unions to organise meetings, demonstrations etc. as the Law on Meetings de-facto stipulates that meetings, marches and other mass actions may be conducted only if the authorities permit. A demonstration can be prohibited, for example, if it obstructs or may obstruct traffic or hold up pedestrians, or threatens to hinder or obstruct the work of vitally important services. The organisers of meetings can appeal a prohibition in court. The Code on Administrative Offences penalises the preparation, conducting of and/or encouragement of a prohibited demonstration.

Trade union rights in practice

Right of assembly and demonstration: Trade unions do not initiate and do not organise any public processions and demonstrations on their own initiative. Any public events and demonstrations are carried out only when initiated by state authorities.

Participation of trade unions in elections of the President of the Republic of Tajikistan: According to the Law "On Elections of the President of Republic of Tajikistan" of 1994 with changes from 2005, the Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Tajikistan (FITUT) has the right to put forward a candidate for the post of President of the Republic of Tajikistan. Emomali Rakhmon was put forward as the Union's candidate for President during the extraordinary Congress of FITUT and won the presidential election of 2006, having collected about 86 per cent of the votes. According to Article 65 of the Constitution of Tajikistan the President is elected for a term of seven years.

Trade Union Property: At the end of 2006 the FITUT sought guarantees that the trade union property seized in recent years by the state, notably in 1992, would be returned to the trade unions.

Right to strike: There have been no strikes in Tajikistan in many years.

The main role of the Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Tajikistan is to work towards developing social dialogue in the country.

Copyright notice: © ITUC-CSI-IGB 2010

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