Fiji’s Expulsion of ILO Mission “Disgraceful”

The decision by Fiji’s Prime Minister, Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama, to expel an International Labour Organization (ILO) mission to investigate evidence of several serious violations of workers’ rights is a disgrace, according to ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow.

The mission, led by Abdul Koroma, a distinguished jurist and former justice at the International Court of Justice, was undertaken with the prior consent of the government and based on terms of reference agreed long ago by the government and the ILO. Nevertheless, the Prime Minister’s office halted the mission in the middle of its first meeting and attempted to impose its own terms on the mission. As no agreement could be reached, the ILO mission was expelled.

“While the regime may try to hide the truth, the evidence of its continuing repression of workers’ rights is nevertheless clear. The international community cannot allow the regime to get away with this latest show of utter contempt for the ILO and the UN system,” said Burrow.

The Fijian regime also faces questioning by the US government on October 2, 2012, over evidence of violations of workers’ rights, with the potential suspension of its trade preferences at stake. This latest move by the government will no doubt have an impact on the outcome of that hearing.

Photo by yantriamold