Fri May 20, 2016 9:57AM
Workers dig to clear cement and soil to rebuild a footpath at the Times Square in New York on May 5, 2016. ©AFP
Workers dig to clear cement and soil to rebuild a footpath at the Times Square in New York on May 5, 2016. ©AFP
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This past May marked international Labor Day, otherwise known as May Day. Workers from around the world poured out into the streets, in protest of their labor conditions. In many cases, and as it is customary, many of the protests turned violent. But why are workers so angry about their labor conditions?

When it comes to workers rights, is there an organization that countries follow when it comes to international norms and standards? The name of that organization is the ILO, international labor organization.

The ILO brings together governments, employers and workers representatives of 187 member states. Their major duties involve setting labor standards, develop policies and devise programs promoting decent work for all women and men.

When it comes to Global employment and social trends, one of the conclusions it reached was that job quality remained a global concern. Their finding stated that while the trend in vulnerable employment was improving, it still affected 1.5 billion people worldwide.

It defined vulnerable employment as the share of own-account and contributing family workers in total employment. The problem of vulnerable employment is particularly acute in emerging and developing economies, affecting over half and over three-quarters of the employed population.

And with a slowing global economic recovery, that opens the door for more worker rights being violated, or suppressed.

The International Trade Union Confederation, or ITUC, a confederation of national trade union centers, each of which links trade unions of that particular country, established in on 1 November 2006.

The ITUC did a study in 2015 to see which countries were the worst to work in, titled The 2015 ITUC global rights index. This is their rating system, from 1 to 5+. It begins with irregular violation of rights, to the worst, 5+: no guarantee of rights due to the breakdown of the rule of law.

According to the ITUC, these regions are the worst when it comes to workers rights: The Middle East and North Africa remained the world’s worst region when it came to fundamental rights at work, with a 4.25 rating based on the rating system that we showed before. It should be noted that while European countries were by far considered the best in the world at guaranteeing rights, it was also the region that experienced the largest deterioration in 2015.

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