Idag gör jag ett inlägg i applikationskommittén om värdet av demokrati och social dialog mellan fria, demokratiska och självständiga parter för att avskaffa tvångsarbete och främja goda levnads- och arbetsförhållanden samt fred och social rättvisa.
I speak on behalf of the Nordic workers.
According to Human Rights Watch, Turkmenistan is one of the most closed and repressive countries in the whole world.
The Government arrests and imprisons people on politically motivated grounds and uses “corrective labour” as punishment for violations for legal procedures restricting the organization of assemblies, meetings and demonstrations.
The Government consistently denies freedoms of association and expression.
There are few, if any, signs of a free, democratic and independent trade union within Turkmenistan.
Journalists in Turkmenistan risk their lives or imprisonment for trying to keep the world informed. Reporters Without Borders found again this year in its Worldwide Index of Press Freedom that the same “infernal trio” of countries has the least press freedom: Turkmenistan, North Korea and Eritrea.
Turkmenistan remains closed to independent human rights scrutiny, and independent human rights groups are banned from operating in Turkmenistan.
I think we can all agree that well-functioning social dialogue is an important tool for eliminating gross labour right abuses, such as compulsory labour for so called economic development.
Social dialogue is also
• the best mechanism in promoting better living and working conditions and
• a means to promote peace and social justice.
Developed democracy is among the enabling conditions for a well-functioning social dialogue.
Such dialogue requires
1. Strong, independent representative workers' and employers’ organizations with the technical capacity and access to the relevant information to participate in social dialogue.
2. Political will and commitment on the part of all the parties to engage in good faith in social dialogue.
It also requires
3. Respect for the fundamental rights of freedom of association and collective bargaining
And it requires
4. An appropriate institutional framework to allow tripartite discussions on important issues such as the abolition of forced labour.
As we understand, there is practically nothing of the above in Turkmenistan.
We are in need of more information and cooperation from the Government of Turkmenistan. The Government must change the laws and its legal practice.
Forced labour must be abolished. The social dialogue must get started with free and independent social partners.
There is no time to lose. Thank you!