The World Federation of Trade Unions, a multinational umbrella body of numerous trade unions, has written to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) aiming to intervene in the protests by farmers.
The WFTU argued in a letter that the Government of India is ill-treating the protesting farmers and farm workers and that it breaches ILO conventions C011 (Right of Association (Agriculture) Convention), C144 (Tripartite Consultation (International Labor Rights Convention), C141 (Rural Workers' Organisations Convention) and C098 (Right to Organisation and Collective Bargaining Convention).
In the letter, the WFTU secretariat said it wants to draw the attention of the ILO to the 'week-long cruel behaviour of the Indian government and the authoritarian treatment of the farmers who are demanding the abolition of the three Farm Acts.'
'The farmers' struggle has continued for more than 70 days, with large number of farmers continuously protesting on the borders of Delhi, the national capital, while many other marches and rallies are taking place across India. Instead of maintaining successful consultations—negotiations, protecting the freedom to association in the agricultural sector and the right to unite farmers and rural employees to protect their interests (based on ratified ILO conventions C011, C098, C141, C144)—the Government of India considers farmers as cross-border rivals,' the letter said.
The WFTU criticized the 'cruel repression' of farmers' 'just struggle' and condemned the use of provocative acts, harassment and inhumane measures by the Delhi police to shut down water and power, ban the internet and even deprive farmers of access to sanitation facilities and toilets.
'As a worldwide radical trade union organization, we call for an urgent end to all unacceptable activities used by the Delhi police under the pretext of upholding law and order. We respect the plight of Indian farmers and we call upon the government of India to condescend to the just demands of those who feed the people of the world. We call on the ILO and the International Organisations to take urgent action and effective steps on the above-mentioned issue, to ensure reasonable discussion between farmers and the government, and to bring an end to the breach and respect of the fundamental rights of farmers as a result of the conventions of the ILO, the Constitution and the laws of India,' the letter said.