The International Labor Organization (ILO) strongly criticized the blatant violations of international labor standards in Belarus during its annual International Labor Conference in June 2021. In its report, the ILO Committee of Experts, like the Committee on Freedom of Association earlier, referred to the serious violations of the fundamental workers’ rights in Belarus. Many workers have been persecuted, beaten up, arrested and dismissed for participating in peaceful demonstrations against the rigged presidential elections in August 2020. Student union members have been expelled from universities. Members of independent trade unions have been systematically intimidated to leave their trade unions or lose their jobs.
The ILO also strongly condemned Alexander Lukashenko’s demand that all private enterprises must establish a trade union within their companies or face liquidation. This is not only a blatant violation of the principle of freedom of association, but it also shows that the official trade unions do not exist to truly represent working people but are state-controlled bodies that are used by Lukashenko to monitor workers.