Europe & Central Asia

From Haiti to Kenya, Unions Take Action on COVID-19

Just as the magnitude of the COVID-19 pandemic highlights the massive global economic and social inequality around the world, with workers in the informal economy and supply chains, and  migrant workers—many of whom are women—especially marginalized, so, too, does it offer the potential to build more equal, inclusive and sustainable economies and societies that are… [READ MORE]

Worker Rights Experts Field COVID-19 Queries in Ukraine

In Ukraine, as workers face employer efforts to shortchange their pay, lay them off or take other adverse actions during the COVID-19 crisis, many are turning to Labor Initiatives, a Solidarity Center-supported Ukrainian NGO that provides legal assistance to workers. Teleworking from home under Ukraine’s COVID-19 quarantine, the six-member staff, along with eight legal student… [READ MORE]

Draft Ukrainian Labor Laws ‘A Gift to Oligarchs’

More than a thousand local union leaders and activists from across Ukraine met today to plan an emergency mobilization to protest draft labor law amendments that would enable employers to fire workers based on any reason, undermining anti-discrimination protections; allow employers to unilaterally terminate employment contracts and set contracts with unfixed work schedules; and drastically… [READ MORE]

Union Women Rock 16 Days of Activism Against GBVH

During the recent 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, workers and their unions from Honduras to Kyrgyzstan, Morocco, Nigeria and Bangladesh made big gains raising awareness about gender-based violence and harassment at work (GBVH) and demanding that their governments ratify the new global convention adopted by the International Labor Organization (ILO) that includes GBVH…. [READ MORE]

Disability Rights Progress for Kyrgyzstan Stylists

  • December 17, 2019
  • Elena Rubtsova

A salon has opened at the Center for Protection of Labor Rights for Migrant Women—a partner organization with the Solidarity Center that aims to improve access to decent jobs for people with disabilities, promote safety of workplaces, represent the interests of workers in informal employment and protect the rights of Kyrgyz workers, particularly women, who… [READ MORE]

A First of Its Kind: Kyrgyz Migrant Workers’ Union

  • November 4, 2019
  • Jeffrey C. Wheeler

Since the start of 2019, more than 2,000 migrant workers from Kyrgyzstan have joined together to protect their rights abroad through the new Migrant Workers’ Union. On October 17, more than 100 union delegates came together in the town of Isfana, Kyrgyzstan, for the union’s founding congress. The congress marks a crucial step as the… [READ MORE]

Turkmen Labor Activist Released from Prison after 3 Years

Gaspar Matalaev, a labor and human rights activist who monitored and reported on the systematic use of forced adult labor and child labor in Turkmenistan’s cotton fields, was released today after serving three years in prison on spurious charges stemming from his reporting. Matalaev was arrested in October 2016, two days after Turkmen.news published his extensive… [READ MORE]

Turkemenistan: One of Worst Human Trafficking Records

Belarus, Burundi, Mauritania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Sudan and Turkmenistan are among the 22 countries with the worst human trafficking records in 2018, according to the U.S. State Department’s annual Trafficking in Persons Report. The report notes that for the first time, a majority of victims in 2018 were trafficked within their countries of citizenship,… [READ MORE]

New Domestic Worker Organization in Ukraine

In Ukraine, domestic workers formed the country’s first organization for domestic workers, including childcare workers, this week. The organization’s formation is part of a growing global movement to assert the rights of this vast, mostly hidden and  primarily female workforce, as laid out in International Labor Organization (ILO) Convention 189, Decent Work for Domestic Workers. The… [READ MORE]

Kyrgyz Unions Find Unreported Worker Deaths and Injuries

An independent,12-month monitoring program by a coalition of worker rights advocates in Kyrgyzstan found that the lives and safety of working people are at significantly higher risk than official data indicates—requiring urgent changes to the country’s occupational safety and health (OSH) monitoring system. “I am asking government to take OSH issues into consideration because they… [READ MORE]