Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) has asked the eSwatini government to abandon the breaches of human and trade union rights that have characterised the Kingdom of eSwatini for nearly fifty years.
The ITUC representing the interest of 200 million workers in 164 countries, in a letter addressed to the eSwatini prime minister said should the government fail to make credible commitments to addressing its demands, it will take further steps, which includes encouraging the Commonwealth to suspend the country.
The ITUC said it condemns in particular the recent surge in violence and repression against peaceful protesters by the security forces in your country.
In the letter signed by ITUC Secretary General, Sharan Burrow, the global body said it is set to hold a global day of action on 6 August where it will draw the attention of governments around the world to the behaviour of the eSwatini government.
The ITUC asked that the eSwatini government the short term, take steps to end the ongoing intimidation, threats of arrests, raids and unprovoked brutal beatings of members of the public by the police, soldiers and agents of the government; release all protesters under the detention of the army and the police.
It also demanded that the government initiate an independent investigation under UN supervision to unearth the murderers of the people and for those found in the wrong to face the law; unban political parties to pave the way for a political negotiated settlement; and
commit formally to a negotiated political reform process involving eSwatini civil society and political parties.
The global workers body said in the long run and in compliance with the Commonwealth Charter, the eSwatini government should undertake a constitutional review in an al-inclusive and consultative process including civil society actors and political parties and establish a Law Reform Commission to embark on a law reform exercise.
Other demands include expressly repeal the 1973 Decree and amend the constitution to allow political parties to contest national elections, removal of all legislative and practical restrictions on political parties to contest democratic multiparty elections and enact legislation to allow for the recognition, registration and operation of political parties.
It also includes enactment of enabling legislation for the establishment of an independent and impartial Commission of Human Rights to undertake activities in the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions in accordance with the Paris Principles; End police brutality against workers participating in peaceful and legal protest actions; give trade unions freedom to choose officials to represent them in negotiations without employers’ interference and guarantee trade union officials’ freedom of association and expression, without fear of victimisation by the employer and your government.
“Should your government not make credible commitments to addressing the demands outlined above, we will take further steps, engaging with individual governments, through multi lateral bodies and, in particular, encouraging the Commonwealth to suspend your country due to persistent and egregious violations of the Commonwealth Charter and other international agreements your government is bound to comply with.
“We hope and trust that your government will take the necessary measures to establish a democratic state without further delay,” the letter stated.