With more than 20% of the world's surface, 17% of its forests, 40% of its biodiversity and 30% of the world´s mineral stocks, Africa is one of the richest regions of the world, and home to over a billion people, of whom 40% are under fifteen. It is also the continent with the highest rates of malnutrition and poverty, characterized by violent conflicts, environmental degradation and health emergencies. The social and economic tensions alongside environmental and climate changes are huge challenges for the region and call for urgent action at local, regional and international level.

In Sustainlabour we work together with trade union organizations in the region to promote the search for alternatives, from a trade union perspective and committed to a sustainable development that guarantees the right to a healthy environment that ensures decent living conditions for all.

During 2010 we worked with 62 trade union organizations from 25 different countries, with a total of 126 participants in our activities. We jointly held the second Conference on Labour and the Environment with ITUC-Africa and undertook various training activities on chemicals.

In 2011 we began a training course with ACTRAV and we are supprting trade unions in the region in mobilising for COP17 in Durban. In addition, we are supporitng trade union campaigns to raise awareness on environmental topics in Uganda and Ethiopia.

Take a look at our activities to find out more about our work in this region.

Sustainlabour in Africa + See more

Trade unions in Ghana support climate action, renewable energy and dumsor crisis solving and oppose new coal plant project

Ghanaian trade unions met in Accra on the 16th July to discuss and agree on a climate action campaign. 

Chemical risk: The muted crisis. A few steps in the right direction at the ICCM3

ICCM 3. Nairobi, 2014.

The constant increase in the production of chemicals, the strong lobby that displays a powerful industry to oppose regulation, the lack of knowledge and responsibility from industries that use most of the substances without assessing risks for workers and the environment, causes that chemicals management is increasingly a serious global problem but unfortunately on of the most "muted" in the world. ICCM met last September to address a sustainable management of chemicals. 

Preparing the United Nations Environment Assembly

When: 24-28 March 2014

Where: Nairobi, Kenya

Preparatory meeting for UNEA which will replace the UNEP governing council after the decisions by governments in Rio+20 to enhance and strengthen the global environmental regulation b ensuring universal membership to UNEP.

The region in news + See more

April 21, 2015

Asbestos lobby and the Rotterdam convention

A handful of countries concentrate production and consumption. Producers block international action and cause unacceptable deaths among workers and communities

December 19, 2014

Governments from all regions of the world urge progressive phase out of highly hazardous pesticides

International delegates at a global forum set up to achieve sound management of chemicals worldwide, have agreed to address the problem of highly hazardous chemicals (HHPs). 

December 15, 2014

Paris draft deal puts workers’ future at risk

The ITUC expressed its deep concern that the current lack of ambition, in particular before 2020, as well as the absence of any reference to the need for a Just Transition and Decent Work for workers when moving towards a low carbon economy put the prospects for labour’s support of the Paris deal in a difficult position.

Resources + See more

Featured trade union action+ See more

United Steelworkers (USW) putting breast cancer out of work

In partnership with the BlueGreen Alliance (an alliance that unites the largest union and environmental organizations), the USW launched a campaign to Put Breast Cancer Out of Work. Through this initiative they aim to prevent breast cancer and other chronic diseases by promoting safer alternatives to the current use of dangerous chemicals.

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