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The ITUC Global Rights Index

Timor Leste (East Timor)

The ITUC does not have an affiliate in East Timor.

In practice

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Government remains passive in face of employer abuse31-12-2011

The East Timor Trade Union Confederation (KSTL) regrets the government’s failure to protect workers’ rights, exposing them to unfair treatment by the employers. The police intervened in trade union actions twice in 2011, yet the government did not react, either to the police violence or to exploitation by the employers.

Mainly unstructured economy is a barrier to organising31-12-2010

More than 80% of the active population of East Timor work in the informal economy. Given the difficulties that workers face to find paid employment, few dare to speak out against employers. The problem is compounded by their limited knowledge of trade union rights.

High unemployment and mainly unstructured economy are barriers to organising30-11-2009

The great majority of East Timor’s working age population are self-employed or work in subsistence agriculture. Given the difficulties workers face in finding a job in the formal economy, few want to risk returning to poverty by challenging an employer’s prerogatives on trade union rights, or wages and conditions of work. The problem is compounded by their very limited knowledge of trade union rights.

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