ITUC-Africa condemns Argentina Govt’s resolution that criminalises social protests


By Michael Oche

The African Regional Organisation of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC-Africa) has expressed consternation over new resolution by the Argentina government to crack down on social protests.

On 14 December 2023, the Argentina Ministry of Security issued Resolution 943/2023, which allowed security forces to crack down on protesters without waiting for a court order.

ITUC-Africa general secretary, Akhator Joel Odigie in a statement on Thursday from the Lome office of the organisation, described the resolution as “authoritarian” adding that this “directly infringes upon the basic rights of individuals and trade union entities.”

The new resolution is coming amidst protests in response to the massive wage cuts and transport and tariff hikes, as well as other fiscal adjustments announced President Javier Milei.

“ITUC-Africa firmly denounces this veiled attempt by the Argentinean government to stifle legitimate dissent against the detrimental impact of its policies, veiled behind the guise of preserving order and addressing traffic disruptions. These actions flagrantly curtail fundamental rights and freedoms,” Odigie stated.

Under the new protocol, protesting individuals and organizations will be identified with “video, digital or manual means” – and then billed for the cost of sending security forces to police their demonstrations.

ITUC-Africa while expressing its solidarity with Argentina trade unions in rejecting the new resolution said Resolution 943/2023 does not only assail fundamental freedoms; it aims to silence the collective voice of the Argentinean populace during a pivotal juncture for the nation.

The General Secretary commended the trade unions in Argentina for their resolute stand in defense of justice, freedom, and the sanctity of fundamental rights.

He said, “We urgently implore the Argentine government to swiftly reconsider this resolution and unequivocally uphold the human rights and essential freedoms of workers. We call upon the global community to unite in censuring these authoritarian tactics and to remain vigilant against any erosion of democracy and civil liberties within Argentina.

“ITUC-Africa supports and stands in solidarity with the Argentinean national trade unions, aligns with the positions of TUCA and ITUC in urging the government to redirect its course and genuinely commit to safeguarding democratic and social rights in Argentina.”