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Numerous countries in the Southeast Asian region are among the worst countries in the world to work in, as workers struggle with violations to their rights.
A new report by the International Trade Union Confederation has assessed places where workers’ rights are best protected by scoring them on 97 indicators, including the ability to join unions, organise strikes, freedom from violent conditions and whether they have access to legal protections.
The scale ranks all countries from one to five, with five being the worst. A country is assigned the rating 5+ by default if the rule of law has completely broken down.
A total of 139 countries were surveyed and those in Southeast Asia did not fare well, overall. Countries such as Malaysia, Cambodia, Laos and the Philippines all scored a five, which means there is “no guarantee of rights”.
“Countries with the rating of 5 are the worst countries in the world to work in. While the legislation may spell out certain rights workers have effectively no access to these rights and are therefore exposed to autocratic regimes and unfair labour practices,” the report stated.
Indonesia, Thailand and Myanmar did a bit better with a rating of four, an indication of “systematic violations”.
Singapore scored a three, which means it faces a “regular violation of rights” meaning “governments and/or companies are regularly interfering with collective labour rights or are failing to fully guarantee importanjt aspects of these rights.
“There are deficiencies in laws and/or certain practices which make frequent violations possible.”
At the other end of the scale, Denmark was the only country to achieve a perfect score, meaning it abides by all 97 indications of worker rights.
Other high scoring countries with a rating of one include Uruguay, Togo, Sweden, South Africa and Norway, among others. The United Kingdom scored a three, the US scored a four, while China scored a five.
Click here for a video about the report.
The best countries in the world to be a worker (score of 1):
The worst countries in the world to be a worker (score of 5):
Republic of Korea
United Arab Emirates
Countries which scored a 5+, or the absolute worst, include Central African Republic, Libya, Palestine, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria and Ukraine.