Australia expresses concern over ILO team's departure from Fiji

Media release from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

20 September 2012

The Australian Government has today expressed concern to the interim Fiji Government over the departure this morning of an International Labour Organisation (ILO) team from Fiji following a dispute over the terms of reference for the ILO's fact finding mission.

Australia's acting High Commissioner to Suva has met with Fiji Government officials in relation to the ILO mission and to reinforce concerns generally about labour and human rights in Fiji.

The ILO's mission to Fiji was seen by the international community as a step toward improving and upholding workers' rights.

It is regrettable that the ILO's mission has not proceeded.

The Australian Government calls on the Fiji Government to work with the ILO to agree to terms of reference so that the organisation can return to do its job.

The ILO mission was being undertaken in response to complaints made by Fiji trade unions and on the basis of agreed terms of reference with the Fiji authorities.

It was led by Judge Koroma, a member of the ILO Committee of Experts and a former judge of the International Court of Justice.