UN sets up rare labour probe against Venezuela

The United Nations' International Labour Organization rarely creates this type of probe, known as a Commission of Inquiry. The last case was launched against Zimbabwe in 2008. 

UN sets up rare labour probe against Venezuela

World Bulletin / News Desk

The UN's labour body on Wednesday set up an investigation into alleged violations in Venezuela, following a request by a private-sector group long opposed to the Caracas government. 

The entrepreneurial association, Fedecamaras, took its complaint to the Geneva-based ILO, alleging it was the victim of multiple violations committed by President Nicolas Maduro's socialist government. 

Those included breaching freedom of association rights of unions and trade groups seen as opposed to the government; and raising minimum wages without consulting employers -- a violation of ILO rules. 

In a statement, the ILO said its governing body "has discussed this complaint six times since 2015."

It asked Caracas "to take measures to put an end to the alleged interference, aggression and stigmatisation directed against Fedecamaras, its affiliated organisations and its leaders," the statement said. 

The ILO also noted that it had to cancel a high-level trip to the country scheduled for last year after the government objected to the mission. 

"A Commission of Inquiry is generally set up when a member State is alleged to have committed persistent and serious violations of ratified International Labour Conventions, which are binding international treaties, and has repeatedly refused to address them," the statement further said. 

The ILO has only set up 12 such inquiries in its 100-year history.

Venezuela's crushing economic and political crisis has caused widespread shortages of basic goods, in addition to hyperinflation. 

Maduro's government has at times portrayed certain private-sector groups as enemies and agents of foreign powers hostile to Venezuela's interests. 

Last Mod: 21 Mart 2018, 17:43
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