ITUC-AFRICA 2022 May Day STATEMENT “No peace without social justice”

Keywords : Declarations Human and trade union rights Peace And Security Extending Social Protection Occupational Health and Safety

As we join other workers around the world to commemorate May Day this year, ITUC-Africa extends greetings to workers around Africa. May Day is a memorable occasion since it reminds us of many important struggles in the history of the trade union movement worldwide, particularly in our own countries.

There is no peace without social justice. ITUC-Africa completely endorses this theme chosen by the ITUC this year. This is because, in the wake of rising racism, xenophobic attacks and discrimination, it is undeniable that respect for human rights and social justice are preconditions for true peace.

Social justice is under attack in several countries in Africa. The wealth gap is pervasive and skewed worse against women. The justice system is often inaccessible, especially for poor people. Many Africans, especially the vulnerable ones, continue to see their civic, socioeconomic, political and other rights frequently violated. Given the weak state of the rule of law in Africa, conflicts are common.

We are worried that the supposedly short-term emergency measures erected to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic are becoming a permanent governance feature by several governments. These measures are contributing to the shrinking of political and democratic spaces. They are contributing to the erosion of the spaces for the enjoyment of the human rights of many people – particularly the most vulnerable among us: the youth, women, people with disabilities and indigenous people. People have been forced into precarious and insecure situations evident in the lack of access to conditions and provisions that would allow them to protect themselves from the virus and its impacts.

ITUC-Africa affirms that social justice depends on the enjoyment of human rights, protected participation in democratic processes, and an enabling environment for propagating the rule of law and justice administration. We consider it urgent and critical that we all continue to work to ensure that our people have access to food and nutrition, shelter, potable water and education. These are essential elements in the quest for survival, well-being and social cohesion. If access to these essentials are restricted based on gender, race or class, it leads to dispossession and hopelessness. Dispossession and disillusionment in turn breed desperation that poses a real threat to peace and stability.
ITUC-Africa, therefore, reiterates its call for the rollout of a new social contract and calls on African trade unions to continue to struggle for governments to develop and implement policies that can address the fundamental challenges of peace and social justice.

Happy Celebrations on May Day.

In solidarity!
Kwasi Adu-Amankwah
General Secretary, ITUC-Africa

In PDF / May Day 2022 ITUC-Africa statement

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