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Farmers’ protests: WFTU asks ILO to take action against India

AM Jigeesh New Delhi | Updated on February 06, 2021

Farmers raise slogans during their ongoing protest against the new farm laws, at the Ghazipur border in New Delhi (File photo)   -  PTI

Instead of ensuring effective consultations, the Indian government is treating the farmers like enemies, a letter from the WFTU has said.

The World Federation of Trade Unions, an umbrella organisation of various trade unions across the world, has written to International Labour Organisation (ILO) seeking its intervention in the farmers’ protest.

In a letter, the WFTU has argued that the Government of India is ill-treating the protesting farmers and agriculture workers and that it is a violation of ILO conventions C011 (Right of Association (Agriculture) Convention), C098 (Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Convention), C141 (Rural Workers’ Organisations Convention) and C144 (Tripartite Consultation (International Labour Standards) Convention).

India is a signatory in these conventions.

The WFTU secretariat said in the letter that it wants to bring ILO’s attention to the “week-lasting cruel attitude of the Indian government and the authoritarian treatment of the farmers who are demanding the repeal of the three Farm Acts.”

“The farmers’ struggle is lasting for more than 70 days with hundreds of thousands of farmers to be continuously camping at the borders of the national capital Delhi, while several other protests and demonstrations are taking place all over India. Instead of ensuring effective consultations -- bargaining, securing the right of association in the agriculture sector and the right to organise for the farmers and rural workers for the defence of their rights (based on the ratified ILO conventions C011, C098, C141, C144) -- it (the Government of India) treats the farmers as enemy across the borders,” the letter claimed.

End ‘unacceptable practices’ immediately

The WFTU condemned the “cruel repression” of the “just struggle” of farmers and said it denounces the utilisation of provocative acts, the defamation, and the inhuman measures of Delhi police to cut down water and electricity, ban on internet and even deprive the farmers access to toilets and sanitation facilities.

“As the world militant trade union movement, we demand the immediate ending of all unacceptable practices in which Delhi police has resorted on the pretext of maintaining law and order. We support the struggles of Indian farmers and we call upon the India government condescend the just demands of those who feed the country's people. We call on the ILO and the International Organisations to take immediate action and concrete measures on the above topic, for the ensuring of the effective consultation of farmers and government, as well as the ending of the violation and the respect of the fundamental rights of farmers as they result from the ILO conventions, the constitution and laws of India,” the letter said.

Published on February 06, 2021

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