Last Updated: Monday, 19 February 2018, 14:34 GMT

2012 Annual Survey of Violations of Trade Union Rights - Equatorial Guinea

Publisher International Trade Union Confederation
Publication Date 6 June 2012
Cite as International Trade Union Confederation, 2012 Annual Survey of Violations of Trade Union Rights - Equatorial Guinea, 6 June 2012, available at: [accessed 21 February 2018]
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: 700,000
Capital: Malabo

ILO Core Conventions Ratified:

29 (Forced Labour (1930))
87 (Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise (1948))
98 (Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining (1949))
100 (Equal Remuneration for Work of Equal Value (1951))
105 (Abolition of Forced Labour (1957))
111 (Discrimination in Employment and Occupation (1958))
138 (Minimum Age for Employment (1973))
182 (Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention (1999))

Reported Violations – 2012

Murders: none reported
Attempted Murders: none reported
Threats: none reported
Injuries: none reported
Arrests: none reported
Imprisonments: none reported
Dismissals: none reported

Documented violations – actual number of cases may be higher


Trade union rights are non-existent and independent unions have never been allowed to register. President Obiang remains intolerant of any form of dissent or opposition.


A November referendum on constitutional change, dismissed by the opposition as a shame, consolidated the power of the country's corrupt and autocratic ruler President Obiang, and appeared to pave the way for him to hand over to his son. In February, the government ordered the staff of state radio and television not to cover the pro-democracy Arab Spring movements. In March, the government banned demonstrations and blocked an opposition party from staging a rally. Activists from another opposition party were prevented from staging a Labor Day protest in May.

Trade union rights in law

Lacking and ambiguous legal provisions considerably complicate union organising. Although the government ratified several ILO core conventions in 2001, it has still not adapted its legislation accordingly.

In order to be recognised, a union must have at least 50 members from the same workplace and the same geographical area, and company unions are not provided for by law. Furthermore, a law allowing the unionisation of public administration officials has still not been drafted and the legal framework for collective bargaining is deficient.

Finally, the law does not make it clear whether the right to strike is allowed in public utilities, and which services are deemed to be essential.

Link to additional detailed information regarding the legislation on the ITUC website here

In practice

Trade unions still not recognised: The authorities do not recognise trade unions. In 2004, the government told the ILO that "there were no trade unions in the country as there is no tradition of trade unionism". The Workers' Union of Equatorial Guinea (UST), the Independent Service Union (SIS), the Teachers' Trade Union Association (ASD) and the Rural Workers' Organisation (OTC) have all tried to win recognition, but the authorities have refused. Delegations are no longer sent to the International Labour Conference and in 2011 the ILO again had to remind the government it had failed to submit the reports due that year. It urged the government to bring its legislation into line with core ILO standards and to resume constructive dialogue with the ILO.


No entry for this country for this year

Copyright notice: © ITUC-CSI-IGB 2010

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