2015 ITUC Global Rights Index Rating: 3

Crackdown on freedom of assembly and speech:

A new public security law was adopted and is scheduled to take effect from July 2015. The law includes a number of controversial changes with a serious impact on the right to freedom of assembly and expression. The legislation includes fines of up to 600 euros for failing to notify authorities about demonstrations in public areas, even in the case of peaceful protests. Public authorities may impose fines of up to 30,000 Euros for protests resulting in "serious disturbances of public safety" near the parliament as well as regional government buildings. Moreover, unauthorised protests near key infrastructure can lead to fines of up to 600,000 Euros.

Criminalisation of strikes:

Some 300 trade unionists are currently facing administrative and penal proceedings. When added together, the prison sentences demanded come to a total of over 120 years in jail. Over the last four years, the Public Prosecution Service has started to refer to Article 315.3 of the Penal Code that establishes penalties of between three and four and a half years in prison for workers. In July 2014, thousands of Spanish workers took part in a rally in Madrid to protest the arrest and possible imprisonment of several hundred workers for taking part in strike action.

The ITUC Global Rights Index Ratings:

1 // Irregular violation of rights
Collective labour rights are generally guaranteed. Workers can freely associate and defend their rights collectively with the government and/or companies and can improve their working conditions through collective bargaining. Violations against workers are not absent but do not occur on a regular basis.

2 // Repeated violation of rights
Countries with a rating of 2 have slightly weaker collective labour rights than those with the rating 1. Certain rights have come under repeated attacks by governments and/or companies and have undermined the struggle for better working conditions.

3 // Regular violation of rights
Governments and/or companies are regularly interfering in collective labour rights or are failing to fully guarantee important aspects of these rights. There are deficiencies in laws and/or certain practices which make frequent violations possible.

4 // Systematic violation of rights
Workers in countries with the rating 4 have reported systematic violations. The government and/or companies are engaged in serious efforts to crush the collective voice of workers putting fundamental rights under threat.

5 // No guarantee of rights
Countries with the rating of 5 are the worst countries in the world to work in. While the legislation may spell out certain rights workers have effectively no access to these rights and are therefore exposed to autocratic regimes and unfair labour practices.

5+ // No guarantee of rights due to the breakdown of the rule of law
Workers in countries with the rating 5+ have equally limited rights as countries with the rating 5. However, in countries with the rating 5+ this is linked to dysfunctional institutions as a result of internal conflict and/or military occupation. In such cases, the country is assigned the rating of 5+ by default.

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