Middle East & North Africa

In the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), the Solidarity Center supports democratic unions and civil society organizations as they defend the human right to freedom of association, promote worker equality and raise awareness of the global economic context in which they labor.

The rich history of union activism in much of the MENA region goes back to the 1920s, when labor movements formed the working-class base of the struggle against colonial authorities. Today, global economic and political dynamics are eroding the universal human rights that democratic trade unions defend. Government efforts to liberalize come at a great cost: the erosion of worker rights and economic fairness.

While in some MENA countries, cumbersome laws facilitate government intervention in trade union operations, generally excluding or discriminating against certain workers based upon political ideology, gender, national status or job class. The Solidarity Center partners with many regional trade unions and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to improve domestic labor law and its implementation, and to give workers a voice in shaping the economic and political development of their countries.

Regionwide programs strengthen workers’ political and economic rights by promoting rule of law, defending freedom of association, building capacity and internal union democracy, and encouraging trade union organizing. Dedicated to advancing workers’ human rights, each trade union and civil society organization in the MENA region grows stronger through alliances with one other and within the global labor movement. This strategic approach is central to the Solidarity Center’s work in MENA.

Media Contact

Kate Conradt
Communications Director
(+1) 202-974 -8369

 

Podcast: Jordan Agricultural Workers Win Rights@Work!

Some of the most essential workers are also among the most overlooked—the women and men who plant, harvest and transport our fruits and vegetables, ensuring our tables are full every day, and especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Worldwide, they also are among...

Unions Protect Agricultural Workers’ Rights: Report

Where unions establish collective bargaining, they initiate the strongest mechanism for protecting agricultural workers’ rights, health and dignity according to a new report prepared for the Solidarity Center by researchers at Penn State’s Center for Global Workers’...

Fighting for Work with Dignity in the Fields: Agriculture Global Supply Chains in Morocco, Colombia, Guatemala and Mexico

Where unions establish collective bargaining, they initiate the strongest mechanism for protecting agricultural workers’ rights, health and dignity. Through analysis of five agribusiness sectors—including palm oil in Colombia, bananas in Guatemala, strawberries in...
Jordan Agricultural Workers Win Landmark Rights

Jordan Agricultural Workers Win Landmark Rights

بالعربية Agricultural workers in Jordan for the first time have fundamental protections on the job, including guarantees for safe and decent working conditions, following a two-year campaign by the Agricultural Workers Union in Jordan and its allies that resulted in...

Women Agricultural Workers Push for Safe Transport in Tunisia

Women Agricultural Workers Push for Safe Transport in Tunisia

While most consumers do not think twice when they select tomatoes, grapes or other readily available fresh produce in grocery stores, many of the agricultural workers around the world who spend their days harvesting vegetables, fruits and grains to fill the plates of...

New Alliance Set to Bolster Palestinian Worker Rights

New Alliance Set to Bolster Palestinian Worker Rights

Workers in Palestine now have even more support for their efforts to achieve rights and respect at work: The National Alliance for Social Justice in Palestine, launched in Ramallah in recent days, seeks to craft Palestinian labor law in line with international labor...

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