Unions Must Take Action, Stop Violence Against Women!

Throughout the Asia-Pacific region, women working in hotels, restaurants, catering and tourism services; in food processing, fisheries, beverage manufacturing, brewery, dairy and meat processing factories; on farms and plantations; and working as domestic workers and home-based workers; face various forms of violence on a daily basis.

This violence includes sexual harassment, sexual assault, physical, psychological and verbal abuse and intimidation, trafficking and forced labour and domestic violence.

This violence occurs in the workplace, during recruitment, training or promotion, when travelling to and from work, and at home.

This violence occurs especially women workers face economic or physical vulnerability at work, including insecure jobs, poverty wages, physical isolation, unsafe work, lack of sanitation facilities and changing rooms, and unsafe public transport or inadequate transport to and from work.

This violence occurs especially when women workers face systematic discrimination in employment, wages and benefits, facilities, training and promotion opportunities.

This violence happens because of men abusing their power and authority at work and in recruitment or promotion, men as co-workers, men as guests or customers, men as spouses or relatives, and all the men who do nothing about it.

This violence happens because governments and employers fail to take action to protect women workers from all forms of violence at work and in the community.

This violence happens because trade unions fail to take action to protect women workers from all forms of violence at work and in the in the community.

This violence violates women workers’ human rights and undermines the human dignity and rights of all workers… all of us.

This violence must stop.

November 25 is designated by the United Nations as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women to bring attention to the widespread, daily violations of women’s human rights as a result of gender-based violence.

On this day there are actions taking place around the world calling for concerted action to stop violence against women in society, in the community, at home and at work.

The International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women must also be our day as trade unions. We must add our voice to the calls to end violence against women, and as trade unions we must take comprehensive and far-reaching action to compel governments, employers and our own members to stop all forms of violence against women.

Join us on November 25 to speak out, take action and stop violence against women.

From the IUF Asia/Pacific

IDefend statement on anniversary of Marcos burial

IDefendOne year after the treacherous burial of a former dictator and a plunderer at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB), iDEFEND (In Defense of Human Rights and Dignity Movement) continues to rage against the whitewash , if not, outright reversal of the bloody record of Marcos’ Martial Law.

The burial marks ground zero of Duterte’s design to amass further power, beyond that which is accorded to him by the 1987 Constitution.

Burying him in a cemetery of heroes does not make a hero out of a dictator. His act to bury a dictator in the LNMB, made legal by the Supreme Court, contravenes the Filipino people’s judgement of the Marcoses and their legacy of violence, plunder and corruption three decades ago.

President Duterte is resurrecting the dark days of the martial law by marking his first year with thousands of extrajudicial killings, allowing the entrenchment of new cronies and barrelling through with anti-people economic programs. Rather than promised change, these policies are designed to further exacerbate poverty and human insecurity.

A bloody dictator has no place in a democracy and a free people has every duty to defend a free society, repudiate despots and institutionalise human rights in all levels of society. Martial Law is unacceptable under any circumstance.

iDEFEND pursues its goal of governance that respects and promotes human rights and human dignity.


Stop the killings, Stop the killers

Kalipunan ng mga Kilusang Masa
04 November 2017
Contact: Lanz Espacio

Stop the killings, Stop the killers

The Kalipunan ng mga Kilusang Masa or Kalipunan is joining the Church in tomorrow’s mass/procession against extra-judicial killings (EJK). We encourage our members from labor, urban poor, farmers, women, and students to join this protest which calls for an end to killings under the administration’s bloody war on drugs.

We strongly believe that despite official denials from the Palace, killing remains an unwritten official policy in the war on drugs despite the handing over of the drug campaign from PNP to PDEA. The killing machine, we presume, remain intact and may just be waiting for another round of kill orders from above. We likewise deem that the only guarantee for the killings to end is by stopping the killers. That would primarily mean a decisive, more civilized approach to the drug problem and demanding accountability from those who were involved from top to bottom, uniformed or not.

We thank the Church for keeping the bells ringing on the issue of EJK. We hope the bells also ring on other social issues, particularly those that ruin the lives of the basic sectors such as unemployment and precarious jobs, agrarian justice, housing, violence against women, mining and ecological crisis.



Kalipunan is composed of Alyansa Tigil Mina, Bagong Kamalayan, Baywatch Foundation, Coalition Against Trafficking in Women – Asia Pacific, Kilos Maralita, LILAK (Purple Action for Indigenous Women’s Rights), Pambansang Kilusan ng mga Samahang Magsasaka, Partido Manggawa, Sentro ng Progresibo at Nagkakaisang Manggagawa, Union of Students for the Advancement of Democracy–Ateneo World March of Women, and Youth and Students Advancing Gender Equality

The treaty on transnational corporations and human rights enters “negotiation mode”

Geneva: November 1, 2017 – The Global Campaign (1) welcomes the end of a successful week of intense work moving towards decisive negotiations on a binding treaty on transnational corporations (TNCs) and human rights, despite challenges from the EU with support from the US.

More than 100 states and over 200 representatives of social movements, trade unions and civil society organizations were at the UN in Geneva during the third session of the UN inter governmental working group (2), from October 23-27, 2017. Members of parliaments from more than 20 countries and the European Parliament (3), as well as more than 700 civil society organizations have indicated strong public support for the process.

The UN working group, tasked with elaborating a treaty on TNCs and human rights was due to finish its third session on October 27, when a representative for the United States – which has not participated in the three-year process after it voted against the resolution 26/9 in 2014, saying this “binding treaty will not be binding for those who voted against it” – unexpectedly joined a key meeting and suggested the working group would need a new mandate from the Human Rights Council to continue its work. However, the Secretariat of the Human Rights Council confirmed that the working group does not need a new resolution and that it will go forward with its work until a treaty is negotiated.
The closing Recommendations of the Chair-Rapporteur of the working group, Ambassador Guillaume Long, Permanent Representative of Ecuador in Geneva, committed to a road-map for the negotiation process for the fourth working group session in 2018 and to further annual sessions.

The Draft Report and Conclusions were approved by consensus and will be submitted for final approval to the UNHRC in March 2018. Furthermore, it was agreed that the Elements paper towards a Treaty proposed by Ecuador in this third session remains open for further comment until the end of February and will then, together with the outcomes from the 2015 and 2016 sessions, form the basis for developing the zero draft treaty for the fourth working group session in 2018.

“This is a victory for supporters of the process towards a treaty. Political pressure from social movements, NGOs and communities affected by TNCs’ human rights violations, was essential to overcoming obstructive tactics used by several parties, especially the EU,” said Lynne Davis, La Via Campesina.

“Current measures to prevent human rights violations and abuses in the operations of TNCs are not sufficient. While TNCs benefit from a wide range of investor protection mechanisms and loopholes in international law, the people who lose their lives, livelihoods and territories because of TNCs’ activities are often repeatedly denied justice,” according to Gonzalo Berron, a researcher at the Transnational Institute.
“Corporate self-regulation is not enough. Human rights defenders confronting TNCs’ operations are being killed, such as Berta Caceres from Honduras and many other cases raised at the UN this week. This process towards a legally-binding treaty is urgently needed. This is the message which communities affected by TNCs’ operations are bringing to their governments and to the UN process,” according to Apollin Koagne Zoupet from Cameroon, representing Friends of the Earth International (FOEI).

As demonstrated during the last three sessions, The Global Campaign is fully committed to contributing to this process with proposals based on the experiences of affected communities and social movements. Mary Ann Manahan, of the World March of Women-Philippines commented “The proposal for a Treaty on Transnational Corporations and their Supply Chains with Regard to Human Rights (4) presented by the Global Campaign is a very significant text to move forward negotiations between the States towards a draft Treaty during the coming year.


Statement the Global Campaign to Reclaim Peoples Sovereignty, Dismantle Corporate Power and Stop Impunity (Global Campaign), a network of over 200 social movements and affected communities resisting land grabs, extractive mining, exploitative wages and environmental destruction, particularly in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Website: https://www.stopcorporateimpunity.org/

We need a treaty to protect human rights from Transnational Corporations´ activities

Geneva, October 24 – The Global Campaign(1) is in Geneva for a Week of Peoples Mobilisation, from October 23 to 27, which coincides with the Third Session of the Intergovernmental Working Group with the mandate to develop a United Nations Treaty for Transnational Corporations and other business enterprises with respect to Human Rights(2).

Communities affected by the activities of transnational corporations, and organizations working to protect Human Rights, have come together to demand an international legally-binding treaty that allows states to fulfill their obligations to protect human and environmental rights against the harmful activities of transnational corporations (TNCs) and other business enterprises.

“Violence and threats from corporations towards environmental and human rights defenders means a binding treaty to end corporate impunity is an urgent historical responsibility, which has, until now, been carried by the people alone. States cannot continue protecting corporations with instruments like social responsibility, voluntary mechanisms, investment protection treaties or free trade agreements. A binding treaty is the only way to truly protect human rights,” said Lucia Ortiz, Economic justice campaigner with Friends of the Earth International.

“We are here with concrete proposals about how to address the severe asymmetry between people and huge companies, and even between many states and TNCs. The Global Campaign has prepared a proposal for a treaty (3) that includes mechanisms to address the problem of access to justice, as the extraterritorial obligations, the creation of an international court and monitoring mechanisms, as well as clear ways to consult, and an active participatory process for people,” said Gonzalo Berron, Researcher with the Transnational Institute

“Corporate influence has seen the strengthening of investor and business rights, through trade treaties, and shrinking space for people and communities to defend their collective rights and territories. Although states are the guarantors of human rights compliance, legislation is fragile both in impoverished countries and richer countries, it is time to have a binding treaty,” said Josua Mata, General Secretary of the national labour centre Sentro ng mga Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagawa (SENTRO) in the Philippines


For more information or to arrange interviews
Sol Trumbo Vila
Telephone +31 610172065
Email soltrumbovila@tni.org

1. The Global Campaign to Reclaim Peoples Sovereignty, Dismantle Corporate Power and Stop Impunity is a network of over 200 social movements and affected communities resisting land grabs, extractive mining, exploitative wages and environmental destruction, particularly in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

2. This mandate is a result of resolution 26/9 adopted by the Human Rights Councils.

3. Treaty Proposal from the Global Campaign https://www.stopcorporateimpunity.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Treaty_draft-EN.pdf