Population: 676,000
Capital: Malabo
ILO Core Conventions Ratified: 29 – 87 – 98 – 100 – 105 – 111 – 138 – 182

There was no change in this repressive country, where trade union rights are non-existent and independent unions have never been allowed to register.


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.


Background: The corrupt and repressive regime continues to siphon off the oil wealth while the rest of the country live in poverty. In August, four alleged coup plotters were executed within hours of being found guilty by a military court, after "confessing" under torture. A French appeal court authorised a probe into corruption charges against three African heads of state, including President Obiang, in November.

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 2010 the ILO again had to remind the government it had failed to submit the reports due that year. In the event of a dispute, the government has sometimes acted as mediator or it has repressed the workers. In 2008, a Chinese workers' strike on a building site provoked a bloody intervention by the army, in which two workers were killed (see 2009 edition of the Survey).

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