ICFTU OnLine – July 5, 2006

Brussels, 5 July 2006 (ICFTU OnLine): The ICFTU has just published a new report on core labour standards in Togo, to coincide with the WTO’s review, this week, of the country’s trade policy. The ICFTU report denounces the numerous barriers to the effective application of fundamental workers’ rights in Togo.

It explains that although Togo has ratified all eight Core Labour Standards of the ILO, serious restrictions on workers’ rights, discrimination, child labour and forced labour continue to exist on a massive scale. It is, therefore, essential that Togo take decisive steps to ensure compliance with the commitments it accepted in Singapore, Geneva and Doha, in the WTO Ministerial Declarations over 1996-2001, and in the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work.

The worst violations relate to the two ILO Conventions on freedom of association and the right to organise and collective bargaining.

Restrictions on these rights exist in the national legislation, and despite Togo’s ratification of the ILO Conventions, they are not applied in practice.

As regards equal pay and discrimination, the report points to the existence of widespread gender inequalities on the labour market. Women tend to work in agriculture and the informal economy, in jobs without social protection, and are largely underrepresented in the formal public and private sectors.

The report also covers the issues of child labour and forced labour.

Child labour is widespread in Togo, including the worst forms of child labour. Children trafficking is also a serious problem. Although forced labour is prohibited, it continues to exist in practice, the worst manifestation being the trafficking in women and children for forced prostitution, domestic work and other forms of forced labour.

To read the full text of the report click here.