Day of action in solidarity with workers of eSwatini.

Keywords : Newsletters Eswatini Democracy Human and trade union rights Eswatini

Amid a surge in human and trade union rights violations in the Kingdom of eSwatini, the ITUC-Africa and ITUC organised a day of action in solidarity with workers of eSwatini.
This day, which was dedicated to actions of solidarity with the workers of eSwatini, was observed all over the world.

The day was marked by actions demanding an end to the kingdom’s culture of impunity, including protests in front of eSwatini embassies and strategic locations in South Africa, letters of protest in Malawi and Zimbabwe, press conferences in Côte d’Ivoire, and social media campaigns around the world.

Lest we forget, the police repression of the demonstrators who were calling for democracy and decent wages has cost the lives of more than 80 people. In addition, despite a court ruling calling on the government to lift the ban, trade union leaders have been forced into exile and meetings and demonstrations have been banned.
The brutal murder of human rights and labour lawyer Thulani Maseko was another illustration of the situation in eSwatini. The killing has been condemned by the UN Human Rights Commission, the African Union, SADC, the ITUC and ITUC-Africa, but to no avail.
Yesterday, therefore, the entire African and international trade union community carried out solidarity actions to call for an end to the violations of human and trade union rights in eSwatini. Unions also urged the government to engage in dialogue with all stakeholders and conduct an independent investigation into the killings of human rights defenders and trade unionists.

Formerly known as Swaziland, the Kingdom of eSwatini remains to this day the last de facto absolute monarchy in Africa, having been established in 1973. The kingdom is plagued by high unemployment, with two-thirds of the population living below the poverty line. In 2021, eSwatini was rocked by waves of protests as human rights deteriorated and political reforms failed to materialise. The authorities’ response was a ban on demonstrations and the deployment of police and army troops who fired indiscriminately with live ammunition at demonstrators.

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