Organizing for social justice. Global report under the follow-up to the ILO Declaration on fundamental principles and rights at work. Report of the Director-General, 2004

Freedom of association, and the recognition of the right to bargain collectively, are not only fundamental human rights at work, but also vital elements of economic, social and political processes. Organizing for social justice takes account of the current trends in exercising these rights as well as the significant challenges that still remain in many parts of the world, particularly in the today’s global economy.

Organizing for social justice continues the assessment of current trends begun in Your voice at work.
Despite a general positive trend, linked to the spread of democracy, high rates of ratification of the fundamental international labour standards, and increased transparency in global markets, serious problems remain. Violations of freedom of association rights of both employers and workers persist in different forms, including murder, violence, detention and refusal to allow organizations the legal right to exist and function. People continue to lose their lives and their freedom for attempting to organize and defend collectively their fundamental rights. Problems range from the tragic and complex case of Colombia to obstacles to extending legislation and protection beyond the sphere of established industrial relations. The ILO provides assistance in resolving problems regarding respect of freedom of association when these arise, for example by supporting governments’ efforts to reform their legislation and procedures, or by intervening to obtain
he release of imprisoned trade unionists.