5+ – No guarantee of rights due to breakdown of the rule of law
The ITUC Global Rights Index

Syria

The ITUC does not have an affiliate in Syria.

Syria has been ruled by emergency legislation since 1963 allowing the government to adopt autocratic policies that cannot be challenged effectively by the legislature and the judiciary.
In March 2011, mass protests were held all over the country demanding President Assad’s resignation. The government responded with disproportionate violence, in some instances, civilian gatherings were deliberately targeted. Opposition supporters started to take up arms leading to the escalation of the conflict into civil war which reached Damascus and Aleppo. Hundreds of people were killed in August 2013 after rockets filled with sarin were fired at several agricultural districts around Damascus. More than 3 million people have fled Syria to neighbouring countries since the start of the conflict, most of them women and children.
A 2014 report from the UN commission of inquiry found that government forces continue to perpetrate massacres and conduct widespread attacks on civilians, systematically committing murder, torture, rape and enforced disappearance amounting to crimes against humanity. The report also mentions that members of the extremist Islamic State committed torture, murder, and acts tantamount to enforced disappearance, as well as forcible displacement, as part of an attack on the civilian population in Aleppo and Ar Raqqah governorates, also amounting to crimes against humanity.
It is impossible for workers to enjoy their rights in a country where governmental institutions have fundamentally failed to hold those who are responsible for systematic violations of human rights and humanitarian law accountable. Respect for the rule of law is essential when it comes to the protection of the rights of workers.

In practice

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Official Trade union rejects protests30-11-2010

The official government-controlled trade union centre trade union centre A central organisation at the national, regional or district level consisting of affiliated trade unions. Often denotes a national federation or confederation. (GFTU) has not been involved in the recent strikes but has followed the official government line in describing the reform movement as a conspiracy. The GFTU rejects the suggestion that the political leadership imposes control over the organisation and states that workers at all levels elect their leadership freely and will vote out of office those who do not adequately represent their interests. It also states that the reason for the existence of a single trade union system is that workers themselves reject union diversity because it harms their unity and their interests. The government has used precisely the same argument in its reports to the ILO 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
.

Growing numbers of strikes met with violence31-10-2011

Until 2011, workers generally did not dare exercise 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
, given the potential heavy penalties and repression of any activity deemed to be critical of the government. Fear of reprisals meant response to the calls for general strikes during the year was mixed, with a greater turnout in cities considered to be pro-democracy strongholds than in the capital Damascus.

However 2011 was marked by a series of general strikes, which started in March, and which formed a major part of the protests against the repression of fundamental rights and the lack of decent jobs and prospects for the future. Opposition protestors called nationwide general strikes for 18 May, 23 June and 11 December. In addition, there were general strikes in the city of Hama between 3 and 5 June and in the cities of Homs and Hama on 7 July. The majority of these strikes, calling for an end to repression were met with violence, injury and often killings.

Right to strike hardly exercised31-10-2009

Workers generally dare not exercise 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
, given the potential heavy penalties and the reintroduction of repression of any activity deemed to be critical of the government. However, in November 2009, some 30,000 United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East employees from the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon went on 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
for a brief period. Workers and union members reported they were striking in order to improve services offered to Palestinian refugees, bring an end to service conditions for employees, and increase the number of employees in the region.

GFTU position30-11-2009

Despite its close links with the ruling Ba’ath Party, the General Federation of Trade Unions (GFTU) rejects the suggestion that the political leadership imposes control over the organisation. The GFTU states that workers at all levels elect their leadership freely and will vote out of office those who do not adequately represent their interests. It also states that the reason for the existence of a single trade union system is that workers themselves reject union diversity because it harms their unity and their interests. The government has used precisely the same argument in its reports to the ILO 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
.

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