2015 ITUC Global Rights Index Rating: 5

Police repression:

Police interfered violently in protests demanding free elections of the Hong Kong Chief Executive. Workers, students and ordinary citizens assembled outside government buildings from 26 September 2014 onwards. On 28 September, the Hong Kong government deployed anti-riot police and fired tear gas at tens of thousands of peaceful demonstrators. Even though, many people were injured protests continued blocking main roads in Hong Kong.


The names of HKCTU officials Lee Cheuk-yan (General Secretary) and Mung Siu-tat (Executive Director) were included on a list of persons who are to be summoned to police stations where they will be arrested. Commissioner of Police Andy Tsang announced that the police would arrest the "key organisers" of the Umbrella Movement within three months. Several other members of the HKCTU were arrested during the clearance of the peaceful assembly in the Admiralty area of Hong Kong.

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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