The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) has published a report that ranks countries according to how well they protect the rights of workers. The Global Rights Index gives each country in the world a score out of five, with zero designating a country in which labour rights are sacrosanct and five a country with no protections at all.
Twenty-four countries were given a ranking of five, including China, Egypt, Greece, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar. Among these, Qatar has come under scrutiny for the high death tollamong immigrant workers, and the lack of both job security and labour mobility. The Qatari government recently promised to reform labour laws and base them on a conventional contract system.
The report comments that countries with the rating of five are the worst countries in the world to work in. Although in some cases these countries have laws in place to protect workers, in practice they are not enforced, leaving workers exposed to “autocratic regimes and unfair labour practices”.
India, which last year was criticised for labour abuses by the UN’s Human Rights Council, was also awarded a five.
The ITUC also has a category of “five-plus” for countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia and Syria, where law and order has broken down.