The ITUC Global Rights Index
The World’s Worst Countries for Workers

What is the ITUC Global Rights Index?

The ITUC Global Rights Index depicts the world’s worst countries for workers by rating 139 countries on a scale from 1-5 based on the degree of respect for workers’ rights. Workers’ rights are absent in countries with the rating 5 and violations occur on an irregular basis in countries with the rating 1.

Why has the ITUC released the Global Rights Index?

As the global voice of working people, the ITUC has been documenting and exposing violations of workers’ rights for three decades. This has been done through narrative information published in the ITUC Survey. The ITUC Global Rights Index was developed to increase the visibility and transparency of each country’s record on workers’ rights. In addition, the ITUC Global Rights Index serves as a tool to track trends across the world every time changes in policies or legislation take place.

What is the source of information for the ITUC Global Rights Index?

The ITUC Global Rights Index is based on information recorded in the ITUC Survey, the world’s most comprehensive database on workers’ rights violations. It covers violations in law and in practice. Legal analysts identify legislation that fails to protect workers. Violations in practice are identified by ITUC affiliates in 161 countries.

How does the rating system work?

The ITUC has compiled a list of 97 indicators corresponding to violations recorded in the ITUC Survey. A country will receive a point for each violation matching the indicators. Once all data has been processed and the final scores are tallied, countries are rated on a scale from 1 to 5. A high score effectively means that a large number of violations were committed which in turn results in a poor rating.

What topics does the ITUC Global Rights Index cover?

The ITUC Global Rights Index covers internationally recognised core labour standards, specifically civil rights, the right to bargain collectively, the right to strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
, the right to associate freely and access to due process rights.

Does the Global Rights Index cover vulnerable workers such as migrant workers or workers in the informal economy?

Yes, rights of vulnerable workers are also factored in the ITUC Global Rights Index. These violations are increasingly being recorded, as more and more workers in the informal economy are organised in trade unions.

How does the ITUC ensure the analysis is not biased?

Analysts carrying out the assessment for the ITUC Global Rights Index must justify proposed scores with the events of the year under review published online in the ITUC Survey.

A reported violation is only taken into account if it includes details about dates, victims, description of events as well as complaints lodged with courts. Anecdotal references and statement of opinion by workers are not taken into account.

Moreover, the criteria for the assessment are strictly grounded in internationally recognised core labour standards spelled out in the form of 97 indicators which have to be understood by analysts in light of the standards they are derived from. Finally, all analyst proposals are peer reviewed and compared with the scores of other countries.

Why are some countries not included in the ITUC Global Rights Index?

The ITUC is working towards covering all countries in the ITUC Global Rights Index. Some countries have not been included in the 2014 edition. The reason for this could be that trade unions were unable to submit reports or the information gathered by the ITUC didn´t fulfill the criteria described above.

Why are some economically developed countries ranked unfavourably?

The 2014 ITUC Global Rights Index revealed that workers in some economically developed countries still face repression for demanding better working conditions and a fair share of the wealth they helped to create.

No matter the wealth, size or location of a country, fundamental rights should be assured to workers around the globe.

Why are some countries with a negative human rights record ranked favourably?

The ITUC Global Rights Index measures workers’ rights and therefore the list of composite indicators which forms the basis of our assessment is strictly tied to international labour standards international labour standards Principles and norms related to labour matters, primarily codified in the Conventions and the Recommendations of the International Labour Organization (ILO). Include core labour rights such as freedom of association and the right to organise, the right to collective bargaining and the right to strike, which are all covered by ILO Conventions 87 and 98.

See ITUC Guide to international trade union rights
. While the supervisory mechanisms of the International Labour Organization International Labour Organization A tripartite United Nations (UN) agency established in 1919 to promote working and living conditions. The main international body charged with developing and overseeing international labour standards.

See tripartism, ITUC Guide to international trade union rights
recognise that workers can only enjoy their rights in a climate that is free from violence and threats, it has also been highlighted that the recognition recognition The designation by a government agency of a union as the bargaining agent for workers in a given bargaining unit, or acceptance by an employer that its employees can be collectively represented by a union. of workers’ rights and questions relating to a country’s political evolution must be treated separately. Therefore, the political situation in a country is only taken into account in the ITUC Global Rights Index when it has a specific and direct impact on workers’ rights.

What has been the reaction of employers and governments to the results?

The information in the ITUC Global Rights Index is built upon the ITUC Survey and has not been challenged by governments and employers. Whereas some governments claimed to be working on reforms to improve their overall ratings, others have approached the ITUC to better understand the issues highlighted by the Survey.

Which period does the ITUC Global Rights Index cover?

From April- to the following March. The ITUC will release a new edition of the ITUC Global Rights Index every year.

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