The Asia Monitor Resource Centre expresses our staunchest support to the dock workers and the Union of Hong Kong Dockers (UHKD), the affiliate of the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions (HKCTU), who are on strike in the container berths owned by Hong Kong International Terminals (HIT), the subsidiary of Hutchison Port Holdings Trust (HPHT) and Hutchison Whampoa Limited (HWL).
The Asian Network for the Rights of Occupational and Environmental Victims (ANROEV) expresses its deep sadness and outrage at two recent fires within a spate of three months in Karachi and Dhaka. These fires together killed more than 420 workers and have now become the most devastating fires, in terms of the death toll, in Asia.
ANROEV being a victims’ network, spread in more than 14 Asian countries, was bonded together by two similar devastating fires in Thailand and China almost two decades back. Thus ANROEV fully understands the pain and agony that the victims and their families are facing and would like to express deep solidarity with the affected workers and their families. Just when we thought to have buried the ghosts of past, Karachi and Dhaka opened the old wounds again and this time more painful. History keeps on repeating in gruesome way.
Last July, the Guangdong Provincial Party Committee approved the Decision on
Strengthening Social Construction, which states that, as of 1 July this year, civil society groups in Guangdong can register directly with the Department of Civil Affairs. This lowering of the registration threshold was considered by many to be an innovative reform. However, over the last few months, many Shenzhen-based non-governmental organizations (NGOs) helping to defend workers’ rights have come under pressure and were forced to close down. These organizations have consistently provided migrant workers with legal assistance, education, training and social services. They act as a voice for and defender of the long over-looked rights and interests of migrant workers.
For the past 8 months Baba Jan Hunzai and four fellow activists have languished in various jails of Gilgit. Twice in this period he has been removed from jail and tortured by military and police agents. He and his colleagues have been charged under Pakistan’s Anti-Terrorism Ordinance. Baba Jan, however, is not a terrorist. He is a respected political activist of Gilgit-Baltistan (the mountainous north of Pakistan). He is being held due to his activism in support of the oppressed of the region and must be released immediately.
Asbestos is a known carcinogen. Asbestos was once widely used worldwide, but it is now banned or restricted in more than 50 countries. According to WHO estimates, more than 107 000 people die each year from asbestos-related lung cancer, mesothelioma and asbestosis resulting from occupational exposure. About 125 million people in the world are exposed to asbestos at the workplace.
This letter is in support of the more than more than 140 electronics workers in Korea who have developed cancer and other serious occupational diseases (more than 1/3 of whom have already died).
We will be presenting it to the Korean Government in order to support the court decision which ruled in favor of compensation for Samsung workers (but the government has filed an appeal in support of Samsung).