Workers in Namibia are treated the best

Niël Terblanché

Despite claims to the contrary, Namibia is consistently ranked as one of the countries with the best workers’ rights on the continent.

According to the Global Rights Index for 2022 as compiled by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), the country was ranked second in Africa.

“Namibia’s excellent ranking is a testament to the government’s efforts to ensure that workers are protected and their rights are upheld. This high ranking is a reflection of the country’s commitment to creating an environment that is conducive to fair labour practices and the protection of workers’ rights.

The ITUC ranked 148 countries based on the right to freedom of association, the right to collective bargaining, and the right to strike, giving each nation a score from 1 to 5+.

According to ITUC, the high ranking is a result of various initiatives that have been undertaken by the government and various stakeholders in the country.

“The analysis found that the Namibian government has implemented several policies and laws aimed at ensuring that workers are protected and their rights are respected,” the report reads.

According to ITUC, the Namibian government’s policies cover areas such as the right to form unions, the right to strike, and the right to collective bargaining. Additionally, the government has established various institutions such as the Ministry of Labour, which is responsible for overseeing the implementation of labour laws and ensuring that workers are protected.

“The high ranking of Namibia in the Global Rights Index serves as an example for other countries in the region, highlighting the importance of protecting workers’ rights and promoting fair labour practices,” the report says.

The body found that Bangladesh was rated in the lowest category for workers’ rights, along with countries such as Belarus, Brazil, Colombia, Egypt, Eswatini, the Philippines, Guatemala, Myanmar, and Turkey.

According to the ITUC, only a few select countries in Europe received a green mark of approval, while the rest of the world showed a less positive picture.

The analysis in 2022 also found that 87 percent of countries violated their workers’ right to strike, an increase from 63 percent in 2014.

According to ITUC, trade unionists were murdered in 13 countries last year, with Colombia being the deadliest nation.

At the same time, the Middle East and North Africa received the lowest score on the Global Rights Index, with an average of 4.53.

The Middle East was followed by the Asia-Pacific with 4.22, Africa with 3.76, the Americas with 3.52, and Europe with 2.49. The Asia-Pacific region saw its average rating worsen slightly from 4.17 to 4.22 in 2022.

Countries are rated in clusters from 1-5+ depending on their compliance with collective labour rights. There are five ratings, with 1 being the best rating and 5+ the worst rating a country could get.

The level of economic development, size or location of the country is not taken into account given that fundamental rights are universal and workers in all parts of the world must have access to them.

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