Somalia: European Parliament Calls on Government to End Repression of Unions

photo: Omar Faruk Osman

The ITUC has welcomed the adoption by the European Parliament of a Resolution on Somalia strongly condemning violations of freedom of association in the country against national union centre FESTU and journalists’ union NUSOJ and demanding that the government implement decisions of the ILO Committee on Freedom of Association.

FESTU General Secretary Omar Faruk Osman has been subjected to criminal investigations since May 2017 for organising a celebration of World Press Freedom Day without prior approval of the Ministry of Information, and allegedly defaming the Minister of Information.

The government is also heavily interfering in trade union internal affairs in violation of ILO Conventions 87 and 98. For example, trade unions need official written authorisation from the government to be able to open bank accounts. This authorisation is rarely granted, leaving trade unions financially weak and undermining their right to collect dues.

‘’We welcome this resolution that asserts that trade unions are essential to guarantee workers’ rights in Somalia, and to contribute to the improvement of the security situation in the country. The government should implement the ILO decisions and cease the repression against legitimate trade union activities,” said ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow.

Somalia is ranked 5+ in the ITUC Global Rights Index

To read the European Parliament Resolution, click here

To read the International Federation of Journalists’ statement, click here