ICFTU OnLine – February 14, 2006

Brussels, 14 February 2006 (ICFTU online): A new ICFTU report on core labour standards in Angola, which coincides with Angola’s trade policy review at the WTO this week, identifies shortcomings in the application and enforcement of core labour standards, in particular with regard to trade union rights and child labour.

Although workers have the right to organise and bargain collectively, these rights are denied both in law and practice. Government approval is needed to form trade unions and to carry out many union activities.

Civil liberties remain scarce, even today, several years after the end of the civil war. Given that most formal employment is in the public sector where the Ministry of Public Administration, Employment and Social Security unilaterally sets wages and benefits, collective bargaining remains limited. The right to strike is severely limited as well, with a broad definition of essential services for which the right to strike is restricted. There is also a requirement that two-thirds of the workers present in an assembly are necessary in order to declare a strike.

Child labour is widespread in Angola with estimates of 440,000 children between 10 and 14 years of age involved in an economic activity. Many of the children below the legal age of employment are working on family farms, as domestic workers or as street vendors. Many children remain in hostels and camps for displaced peoples from the civil war, or on the streets, and are subject to sexual exploitation. National legislation does not appear to prohibit the sale and trafficking of children for both economic and sexual purposes, and there is concern about the extent of sexual exploitation of children.

Read the full report.