ITUC PERC Human and Trade Union Rights (HTUR) Network for the SEE sub- region Meeting

A meeting of the responsinble officers of the SEE trade union national centres was organised by the PERC and the ITUC-HTUR department on 18 and 19 December in Belgrade. The meeting was aimed at building of the SEE section of the PERC HTUR network of HTUR focal persons and the development of a HTUR action plan for the sub-region for promotion and defending trade unions.

Participants highlighted difficulties encountered by their organizations in participating and contributing to HTUR activities, inter alia, the insufficient capacities and language skills and resources; the lack of implementation of the HTURs even when guaranteed by a set of laws, the lack of respect of workers and trade unions rights in SMEs and MNCs and the weaknesses of labour inspections; the changes in law enabling recourse to atypical type of employment and the economic and social difficulties in the region favouring the development of the informal employment relations as well as forced labour and trafficking.

Several participants acknowledged the need for a sub-regional cooperation on HTUR issues. They proposed to organize a round table gathering representatives of employers, governments and trade unions with the presence of the ITUC political leadership in order to enable the debate on workers and trade union rights in the region and the main obstacles to their full implementation. The idea of having an HTUR focal person for the region was welcomed and all participants committed to ensure that their organisations will do so. Finally the ITUC HTUR work was praised as one of main mean to put pressure on governments and employers in the region.

The meeting came to the following conclusions:

• HTUR is an important issue and should be one of the main priorities in the SEE region;

• SEE TU should monitor and collect information on HTUR violations and report on them to the ITUC when necessary;

• SEE TU should nominate a person in charge of HTUR to be part of the PERC HTUR Network. These persons will be in charge of ensuring regular contacts with the ITUC PERC Sarajevo office and ITUC HTUR Department in Brussels;

• Thematic issues on whichthe HTUR network shall focus in the region include:

- EU integration process and possible impact on HTURs;
- The difficult economic and social regional environment and the related development of informal economy, forced labour and trafficking,
- Effective implementation of TUR in companies (SMEs and MNCs) and
the reinforcement of grass root level capacities and knowledge of trade
union rights

Reported by:

Enisa Salimović – ITUC / PERC SEE Office Sarajevo, and
Nadine Thevenet – ITUC HTUR Department, Brussels

HTUR mandate and action plan