Latin America (Trade Unions)

Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 14th July 2006.

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Photo of Geoff Hoon Geoff Hoon Minister of State (Europe), Foreign & Commonwealth Office

In view of continuing social and economic inequality, and the impact of globalisation on labour markets in Latin American countries, trade unions have a key role in protecting employment rights throughout the region. However, the extent to which unions are effective in influencing the economic and social debate, and in achieving the objectives of their members, varies hugely from country to country due to a wide range of social and political circumstances. This Government fully support the rights of trade unions world-wide. We have played a leading role in ensuring that the international framework to promote international labour rights, and to tackle abuses of those rights throughout the world, is in place, particularly through our work with the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the UN specialised agency responsible for developing, promoting and monitoring labour standards. The ILO's 1998 Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work commits all countries to respect, promote and to realise the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining as well as the ending of forced labour, child labour and discrimination in employment.

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