Irish unions have demanded that the Government puts pressure on Hong Kong authorities over the dissolution of independent trade unions there. The Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions (HKCTU) has been forced to disband as a consequence of persistent stigmatisation, vilification and attacks on its activities.
As part of a wider clampdown on human rights campaigners and civil society organisations by security forces and the judiciary, unions and their activists have suffered intimidation and harassment for undertaking basic trade union activities.
In a letter sent to foreign affairs minister Simon Coveney, the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) urged the government to demand that the Chinese and Hong Kong governments respect their obligations under international human rights treaties.
ICTU also called on the Government to closely monitor the labour and human rights situation, and engage with Irish unions to ensure that the Chinese and Hong Kong governments observe their international obligations.
In response Mr Coveney indicated that Ireland and its EU partners were closely following the situation in Hong Kong.
He also said that he had raised the issue with Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi during a visit to China in May this year. And last month Ireland and other EU states suspended their extradition agreement with Hong Kong as a way of expressing their concern in relation to the rule of law in the country.
The Government has given a commitment to monitor and assess the situation in Hong Kong and raise their concern to the Chinese authorities if necessary in the future.
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