Coinciding with Mexico’s trade policy review at the WTO, the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) released a new report on the country’s core labour standards. The report highlights that despite the binding nature of the ILO core labour standards that Mexico has ratified, both in law and in practice the country is in breach of those conventions. Furthermore Mexico has only ratified six of the eight core labour standards of the ILO. The report points out that violations regarding trade union autonomy are constant and that many obstacles prevent the effective right to form an independent union. There are numerous examples of government interference in trade union affairs. The ILO’s supervisory bodies have urged the government of Mexico many times to amend its legislation on the right to strike, given the existing broad restrictions on its effective application.
According to the ITUC survey, legislation against discrimination is not enforced adequately in the country and there is a substantial gap between women and men in terms of remuneration, reaching 50% in many sectors. Sexual harassment is a common practice at the workplace, yet is not adequately addressed by the government. Official figures show that there are at least 3 million child workers between the ages of 6 and 14 in Mexico. The ITUC report draws attention to the high degree of drop-out from school in order to go to work. Access to schooling in a language other than Spanish is frequently unavailable, preventing many children of indigenous origin from completing their education. Forced labour, including of children takes place in Mexico, again particularly affecting indigenous people.