UN should wake up to the threat of NGOs which abuse their power

The recent dissolution of ITUC-affiliated trade union centers in Kazakhstan by the authorities has once again highlighted the questionable practices by union bodies.

National Healthcare Workers’ Union and National Domestic Workers’ Union have been accused of breaching the terms and conditions for submitting documents for re-registration. It is mandatory for all trade unions in Kazakhstan to do so since the implementation of the national act on trade unions in 2014.

There are also reports that NGOs such as Soros Foundation of Kazakhstan (SFK), Freedom House, the National Democratic Institute (NDI) the International Republican Institute (IRI) and others are directly financing the opposition political parties in the country. Kazakhstan’s General Prosecutor conducted inspections of Western-sponsored NGOs and accused them of trying to incite ‘Tulip revolution’.

The role of human rights activists is getting murkier by the day. Violating core values, NGOs, unions and activists are flouting rules in the name of worker welfare. Kazakhstan is not an isolated case.

The recent DC Leaks, of over 2,500 documents from US financier George Soros NGOs, has shed a bright light on how the billionaire uses his vast wealth to create global chaos. Soros has tried to disrupt in Russia as well.

Soros’ main objective has been to destabilize the Russian Federation and put an end to President Vladimir Putin’s political grip on the country. Document shows “what must be done” to destabilize Russia, focusing on many recurrent neo-liberal themes that Soros uses to infect host nations and overturn governments…

After the leaked documents unmasked his designs, the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office declared George Soros’s Open Society Institute and Open Society Institute Assistance Foundation as “undesirable groups”, banning Russian citizens and organizations from participation in any of their projects.

kazaksthan ngo leaks


A set of emails released by Wikileaks as recently as October, 2016, has revealed Indian industrialist Gautam Adani’s $21.7 billion coal mine project in Australia was being targeted by a “foreign funded, highly orchestrated” group which influenced the traditional land owners and legal environmental challenges’ to stop the project.

It was disclosed that the US-based Sandler Foundation funded Australia-based environmentalist group, the Sunrise Project, which offered people financial support and scholarships if they opposed Adani’s mine project. It also boasted of its attempts to hide its funding sources from Australian parliament.

Trade unions across the world are facing credibility crisis, and ITUC is only worsening the reputation. Email leaks suggest ITUC general secretary, Sharan Burrow, has been covertly influencing the 14-member worker group in ILO, abandoning all principles of transparency and fairness.

Reports reveal that she has been colluding with LUC Cortebeeck, the vice-chairperson of workers’ group, with the agenda to further malign Middle-East countries. Her goal is to impose sanctions and inquiries in the Gulf countries.

In a series of emails leaked of ITUC in Global Leaks were sent to Luc, titled “Lobby notes”. She discussed funds available to further their cause and also talked of how critical it is to keep it all “confidential”.

The guiding principles of ILO – transparency and fairness, were thrown out the window.

Luc, who was in Doha at the time as part of tripartite mission in March 2016, was instructed by Ms Burrow to ignore reforms. She dictated negative ‘assessment report’ to him that Luc would later submit to ILO.

Meeting personal agenda and profiteering has become almost a norm in the trade union industry. Although the trade unions have benefitted the workers around the world, of late, their activities have raised several questions.

Tzevelekos, director of the International Mine Initiative in Greece, was recently arrested following his testimony to a special investigating magistrate, who has been handed the results of a 20-month inquiry by the financial police into €9m funding fraud at the NGO.

What happened to the unions in Kazakhstan should act as a warning to those conniving trade unions which believe they can forever hide behind the noble cause of worker welfare. More and more states have begun to pay attention to the activities of unions and their leaders. It is time they put their act in order and become reliable.

For a long time now, global trade union bodies and NGO’s have been drifting away from their duty to present free and fair representation of facts. Instead of trying to work in collaboration with governments and employer groups, they have persisted with a confrontational policy. This has been detrimental to the workers as they find themselves caught up in this ugly battle that unions are waging to serves western interests.

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