International Labor Organization Invited Back To Fiji

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Previous delegation told to leave just months ago

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Nov. 19, 2012) – The Fiji interim government has written to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) inviting its Direct Contacts Mission back to the country.

The Contacts Mission was mandated by the ILO to verify claims by trade unions of a lack of freedom of association.

A delegation to Fiji in September was told to abandon its meetings with the unions and to leave the country.

The director of the ILO office in Suva David Lamotte says the government has contacted the ILO’s director-general to invite the mission back in April next year, though they want it earlier.

"The earlier the better, before March, because the ILO Committee on Freedom of Association, they meet again in March next year and one would hope that they would have some positive information in front of them that they could deliberate on. Which I want to stress the purpose of the Contact Mission. The Contacts Mission is not here to make judgment. That’s not our final scope is to collect information," Lamotte said.

[PIR editor’s note: The ILO ranked Fiji amongst the five worst countries in regards to the rights of workers. Cambodia, Ethiopia, Argentina and Peru were the other four nations regarded as having "the most serious and urgent cases regarding freedeom of association."]

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