The survey by the International Confederation Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) reveals that three-quarters of the total (153) union members were killed or went missing in Colombia last year, twice the number recorded in the previous year.
The report notes that trade unionists are regularly the target of attacks not only by paramilitaries and guerillas, but also by the authorities and employers. Further, the state has not mobilized the resources needed to implement effective protection programs.
According to the report, the number of unionists killed or missing rose 50% from 1999. In addition, about 8,500 people were arrested for the union activity, 3,000 injured and 20,000 dismissed from their jobs.
On the List
Along with Colombia, the report lists the following countries as having the most disturbing union rights records:
- Costa Rica,
- South Korea,
- Belarus, and
- Gulf states such as Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates
Although anti-union activities were more prevalent in developing countries, the report highlighted similar activities in the US, Canada and in Belgium.
The survey covered 140 nations, 27 more than in 1999.