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India among ‘worst’ countries for workers’ rights  #WTFnews

= | Aditi Nigam 

Not worker-friendly The report points to rising number of contract workers and violence against workers by the police and hired private security guards by some companies

Pointing to the “weakening” of workers’ rights across almost all regions in the world, a new report has ranked India among the world’s 10 “worst” countries.

ITUC’s Global Rights Index 2016, which ranked 141 countries on a scale of 1-5 on the basis of 97 international indicators such right to organise, collective bargaining, civil rights, freedom of association among others, has ranked India in Group 5 (no guarantee of rights), along with 25 countries, citing rising contracterisation and “disproportionate violence” against workers by the police and hired private security guards by some companies.

The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) is an umbrella organisation of national trade unions across the world. Its affiliates in India are Hind Mazdoor Sabha, Indian National Trade Union Congress and Self-Employed Women’s Association.

According to the report, “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.”

Out of the 25 countries in group 5, “the 10 worst countries for working people are Belarus, China, Colombia, Cambodia, Guatemala, India, Iran, Qatar, Turkey and United Arab Emirates”, it said. At a time when the NDA government in India is going in for massive labour reforms to facilitate “ease of doing business”, the report apprehends that the “situation is likely to get worse as the government has proposed to make changes to the labour laws which would undermine fundamental rights.”

The ‘best’ record

According to the index, the countries with the “best” record are Austria, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Slovakia, Sweden and Uruguay, while the worst ever (5+) record are Burundi, Central African Republic, Eritrea, Iraq, Libya, Palestine, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Syria as there is “no guarantee of rights due to the breakdown of the rule of law” in these countries.

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