Lessons for Organising in Fiji

Emily Paulin – ITUC Organising Coordinator

The empowerment of trade union organisers on the aspects of organising and recruitment was the number one priority of a workshop that was held by FTUC in collaboration with ITUC .

ITUC Organising Coordinator Emily Paulin conducted a workshop for union organisers in the country earlier this week.

ITUC is a global union movement that defends and uplifts the work of trade unionists through its foundation.

Ms Paulin said an organiser is key to a worker’s decision to join a union.

“We have to learn how to speak their (workers) language and make them realise that they are a force to be reckoned with and they can achieve so much more for themselves when they organise,” she said.

The organiser workshop is part of a the FTUC Organiser project, funded through the ITUC.

Union organisers recruit workers and also secure union representation for them at their workplaces.

The FTUC acknowledges ITUC’s contribution towards the workshop and Ms Paulin for the facilitation of the workshop together with the FTUC staff.

$610k Overpayment : Fiji Times

By Nasik Swami

AUDITOR-General Tevita Bolanavanua’s review of overpaid salaries of the Health Ministry in 2010-2012 revealed the ministry overpaid $610,345.78, out of which only $27,018.91 or 4.4 per cent was recovered.

The review detailed in the Auditor-General’s report of 2013 outlined that because of the failure by management to keep proper records and follow up on salary overpayment, a substantial amount of salary overpayment was not recovered and resulted in loss of public funds.

The report said it was the responsibility of the accounting head of the agency to ensure salaries and wages were paid correctly, so no overpayment was made.

The audit further revealed the ministry was not able to provide the total salaries overpaid during 2013, indicating the ministry did not maintain record and monitor salaries overpaid in 2013.

The Auditor-General recommended the ministry to keep proper records of all salaries overpaid, take appropriate action to recover salaries overpaid and surcharge senior officers responsible for not following up overpayment recoveries.

In response, the management acknowledged the audit recommendations saying that internal control measures needed to be strengthened to ensure that laid down procedures/instructions are followed closely and prompt all stations in liaising with headquarters to avoid any loss to government.

The ministry said it would ensure prompt action was taken when officers owing money to Government applied for resignation, letters would be prepared and sent to them.

The report said it would ensure prompt action was taken when officers owing money resigned without settling their dues, their names were forwarded to the Data Bureau.

http://www.fijitimes.com/story.aspx?id=287329

Women At Work Initiative : ILO

16. The objective of this initiative is to undertake a major stocktake of the status and conditions of women in the world of work, with a view to identifying innovative action that could give new impetus to the ILO’s work to fulfil its constitutional mandate to promote full and lasting gender equality and non-discrimination.
17. The ILO has a long record of achievement in the field of gender equality and non-discrimination, with the fundamental rights Conventions concerned having been ratified by the great majority of member States. Nevertheless, women remain severely disadvantaged at work in several respects, with little evidence of sustained and irreversible movement towards full equality. Overall, women’s labour market participation rates are 26 percentage points lower than those of men; the gender pay gap remains at an average of some 20 per cent; women continue to suffer from segregation in low-quality and undervalued jobs and to be over-represented in informal and non-standard forms of work, as well as unpaid family labour.
18. The initiative should improve understanding of the underlying causes of persistent inequality and what is required to overcome them, including by harnessing the opportunities offered by the processes of rapid change in the world of work. It will benefit from the significantly increased political attention now being given in many member States and internationally to the participation and place of women in labour markets. These issues are now centre stage in discussions on the United Nations post-2015 development agenda, at the G20, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and in the work by the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) for the Beijing +20 process, amid clear recognition that higher women’s participation in inclusive and fair labour markets is a prerequisite of growth and development.
19. It is therefore proposed that with a view to developing a comprehensive and strategic approach towards 2019, the initiative be pursued along three tracks:
(1) policy-oriented research as the basis of an initial consideration of the situation of women at work, and the obstacles to equality and empowerment. This would include forging links with leading academics and institutions with expertise in this field, as a basis for the selection of a limited number of thematic areas for rigorous examination;
(2) consultations with constituents and relevant stakeholders with a view to identifying obstacles to equality and the innovative action needed to overcome them. This might initially involve informal as well as formal tripartite contacts, resulting in a major tripartite forum on gender equality;
(3) advocacy and support to constituents in the implementation of the action identified as key to the attainment of gender equality.

More Emphasis on Prevention : ACTRAV

Unions call for more emphasis on preventing workplace accidents and diseases

A symposium of union participants and ILO experts in Jakarta says preventative culture must become a priority.

Press release | 08 October 2014

JAKARTA(ACTRAV INFO) –Union participants at a regional symposium on occupational safety and health (1-3 October) have agreed that building a preventative safety and health culture must become a priority The symposium, organized by the ILO’s Bureau for Workers Activities (ACTRAV) in cooperation with the ILO Office in Jakarta and the Labour Administration, Labour Inspection and Occupational Safety and Health Branch, was supported by the South-South Cooperation ACTRAV/All-China Federation of Trade Union (ACFTU) Programme.

The trade union representatives from 14 countries drew up a series of recommendations to enhance regional cooperation of trade unions on OSH. They urged action by all the unions in promoting the shift from behaviour based safety and health to prevention, ratification and implementation of the key ILO standards on OSH (Convention No 155, its 2002 Protocol and Convention No 187), training and education of trade union leaders, and awareness-raising among management and workers on hazards and risks as well as preventative measures.

Other recommendations included: campaigning for the right to decent work; promoting workers’ and their representatives’ involvement in design, implementation and monitoring in the field of OSH at all levels from workplace to national; promoting rehabilitation and right to return to work for injured workers; strengthening cooperation with authorities and labour inspectorates to ensure improved workplace compliance and lobby for strengthened and effective inspectorates.

Union representatives stressed on the need for decent work-led rights based approach to health and socio-economic security of workers. To promote this, it is necessary that government take steps to ensure that workers have effective right to organize, to union recognition and to collective bargaining is guaranteed.

In addition, the participants called for the integration of OSH into the Decent Work Country Programmes.

http://www.ilo.org/actrav/media-center/pr/WCMS_312066/lang–en/index.htm

Modern Day Slavery: Biz Shift Trends

Modern-day slavery is a $150 Billion global industry and enslaves 29.8 million people world-wide… Modern-day slavery is comparable to slavery in the 18th and 19th centuries but more insidious… Slavery refers to the condition of treating another person(s) as if they are property– something to be bought, sold, traded or even destroyed. People in modern-day slavery (as in earlier times) are essentially ‘owned’ by their employers, and are controlled through variety of means including; massive recruitment debts that they are unable  to pay off, threats of harm to them or their families, intimidation, cruel punishment…

Today, modern-day slavery takes many forms, and is known by many names, but whatever term is used, the significant characteristic of all forms of modern-day slavery is that it involves either; person(s), group, company… depriving other person(s) of their freedom: freedom to leave one job for another, or freedom to leave one workplace for another, or freedom to control their own body… Today’s slaves are trapped in many venues worldwide, for example; fishing fleets and sweatshops, mines and brothels, electronics and high-tech, textile and garments … and in fields and plantations in countries across the world: Modern-day slavery is ubiquitous.

According to Joanne Bauer; for far too long businesses have ignored the use of forced labor in corporate supply chains– a situation that reflects– failure, not just of business but of society at large to confront the inconvenient truth of modern-day slavery. But, to fully understand modern-day slavery you must acknowledge that it’s a business; an illegitimate business, but still a business to make money and profit at the expense, enslavement, suffering… of humanity… According to Andrew Cockburn; there are more slaves today than were seized from Africa in four centuries of the trans-Atlantic slave trade… So, business must step-up, now; and tackle crisis of modern-day slavery head-on.

According to International Labor Organization (ILO) Report: The ILO estimates that modern-day slavery is $150 Billion per year business, and 20.9 million or more people are working as modern-day slaves, victims of forced labor, trapped in jobs into which they were coerced or deceived and which they cannot leave. This figure represents a conservative estimate, given the strict methodology employed to measure this largely hidden crime. Human trafficking can also be regarded as forced labor, and so this estimate captures the full realm of human trafficking for labor and sexual exploitation or what some call ‘modern-day slavery’.

This means that around three out of every 1,000 persons worldwide are in forced labor at any given time… Women and girls represent the greater share of the total – 11.4 million (55%), as compared to 9.5 million (45%) men and boys. Adults are more affected than children – 74% (15.4 million) of victims fall in the age group of 18 years and above, whereas children aged 17 years and below represent 26% of the total (or 5.5 million child victims).

Of total number of 20.9 million in forced labor, 18.7 million (90%) are exploited in private economies, by individuals or enterprises. And out of these, 4.5 million (22%) are victims of forced sexual exploitation, and 14.2 million (68%) are victims of forced labor exploitation in economic activities, such as; agriculture, domestic work, construction, manufacturing… The remaining 2.2 million (10%) are in state-imposed forms of forced labor, for example; in prisons, or in work imposed by the state military or by rebel armed forces.

The Asia-Pacific region by far is the largest hotbed for exploited laborers, accounting for 11.7 million (56% of the global total)… Africa comes in at number two, accounting for 3.7 million (18%), while another 1.8 million (9%) of exploited laborers are in Latin America, Caribbean. The ‘Developed Economies’ and ‘European Union’ account for 1.5 million (7%), while countries of Central, South-Eastern and Eastern Europe (CSEE) and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) have 1.6 million (7%)… An estimated 600,000 exploited workers, meanwhile, are believed to be in the Middle East… These men, women and children are virtually invisible, hidden behind wall of coercion, threat, economic exploitation. 

The Global Slavery Index is a ranking of 162 countries around the world, based on a combined measure of three factors: Estimated prevalence of modern slavery by population: Measure of child marriage: Measure of human trafficking. The Index provides an estimate of the size of the modern-day slavery problem, country by country… Not all the countries in the world are represented in the Global Slavery Index. The 162 countries that are included, however, represent nearly all of the world’s 7.1 billion people…

The Global Slavery Index is the product of ‘Walk Free Foundation’, in consultation with experts from international organizations, think tanks, academic institutions… A key finding from this year’s Index is that there are an estimated 29.8 million people enslaved around the world… Also according to the Index; the prevalence of modern-day slavery is highest in the following countries: Mauritania, Haiti,  India Pakistan, Nepal, Moldova, Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, Gambia, Gabon… However, when considered in absolute terms, countries with highest numbers of enslaved people are: India, China, Pakistan, Nigeria, Russia, Ethiopia, Thailand, Republic of Congo , Myanmar, Bangladesh… and when taken together, these ten countries account for 76% of the total estimate of 29.8 million enslaved people… Countries with the lowest prevalence of modern slavery are: Denmark, Finland, Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, New Zealand, UK, Ireland, Iceland…

In the article Business of Modern Day Slavery by Andrew Mersmann writes: The reality that modern-day slavery is happening right now shocks most people… By a conservative estimate there are more than 27 million people enslaved right now around the world– more slaves today than at any other time in history. In the U. S., 150,000 children are exploited by the sex trade every year; it’s a supply and demand business, and as long as there is demand for less-than-minimum wage labor, and a demand for non-consensual sex trade, human beings will continue to be bought and sold… The reason it continues to grow and thrive is because human life can be cheap, disposable, for example; in 1850, a slave in the American South cost the equivalent, in today’s currency, of about $40,000. Whereas today, a slave can be had for about $90; there are millions of economically and socially vulnerable people who exploiters would consider viable stock… Because these vulnerable people are, essentially; disposable and easily replaced… then, when a slave becomes– ill, injured, outlive their usefulness and profitability or when they become a burden to the slaveholder, they are routinely dumped or killed…

The largest global industries that profit from the enslavement and forced work of people are the same as ever; agriculture, mining, garment industry… There is a fairly good chance that the cell phone you use every day, the imported fruits and vegetables you eat, perhaps the sneakers on your feet, and the diamonds you wear or covet, were brought into the commerce stream by someone who was not working of their own free will… Some are coerced by seemingly wonderful yet fraudulent job offers or promises of free transport to other countries, where once they arrive, they are kept in physical or financial bondage until they can payback exorbitant travel costs or rents or other ‘fees’ they incurred and supposedly owe a ‘boss’… The cycle is unbreakable and there is never a way out…

In the article Modern-Day Slavery: Motivating Business to Act by  Luk Van Wassenhove and Sameer Hasija write: As many as 27 million people around the world are victims of modern-day slavery, e.g.; forced labor, human trafficking… According to the ‘Trafficking in Persons Report’ by U.S. State Department: It’s estimated that up to 68% of modern-day slavery victims toil in commercial industries such as; manufacturing, construction, domestic work… The extent of the problem is chilling, e.g.;  many items in your home, office… your smart phone, clothing you wear… are at least partly produced by 21st Century slaves… Despite this, there is still no critical mass of public or business outcry and willingness to boycott the purchasing of  goods from providers that use forced, coerced, or bonded laborers…

Compared with many social and environmental issues, modern-day slavery has not seen much enthusiastic response from the business community. Although virtually all business codes of conduct prohibit any kind of forced labor, however this issue is rarely given serious attention. According to Crane and Matten; most businesses simply assume that it doesn’t affect them. Companies just aren’t looking hard enough to find connections to modern-day slavery in their supply chains, elsewhere… According to the Guardian; problem is not so much that we cannot find forced labor cases; but a new approach to enforcing forced labor laws is necessary… In the meantime, forced labor and slavery continue to flourish in global supply chains spread across continents, fueled by your insatiable desire for cheap goods and raw materials…

According to Andrew Wallis; usual narrative around slavery in supply chains of clothes, food, gadgets… is that it’s driven by the evils of big business… But if you simply point the finger at business, you risk alienating the only people with the power to eradicate slavery… Most corporations are not directly or intentionally involved in using forced labor or slaves, but in a world of complex and extended supply chains it’s easy for modern slavery to thrive, often unnoticed, at the bottom of production line. According to a few business leaders; it never really occurred to me that this was an issue, until I came across it in the supply chain, and I realized it was not an isolated incident and something had to be done…

According to Ethan B. Kapstein; modern-day slavery is a product of same political, technological, economic forces that fuel globalization. The current system offers too many incentives to criminals and outlaw states to market humans… It’s important to remember that slavery today seems to thrive in some parts of the world due to economic growth, not despite it. It’s worth remembering that in 19th Century many people argued that slavery would end ‘naturally’ once the practice was no longer economically profitable. However, there is no ‘natural’ end to slavery, and any productive policy must start by recognizing that fact….

The reality of modern-day slavery is that millions of people are trapped and denied freedom and lives of dignity, and bound only to serve and profit the criminals that control them… According to Aidan McQuade; many people continue to believe the myth that slavery is a thing of the past… other people, naively accept the idea that modern-day slavery is some ‘regrettably inevitable’ aspect of international business in a global economy… The routine use of slavery in many of the supply chains will remain the case until leaders from business and politics refuse to tolerate this situation any further and enforce the laws against it.

http://bizshifts-trends.com/2014/10/29/modern-day-slavery-150-billion-global-industry-30-million-servitude-business-must-end-forced-labor-supply-chains/

ILO Waits on Fiji: Fiji Times

By Shalveen Chand

THE International Labour Organization’s Direct Contact Mission has expressed strong hope the Government will soon sign the Tripartite MOU on the future of labour relations in Fiji.

This was the comment of the mission in its report to the ILO.

The mission visited Fiji in October to investigate complaints by trade unions that certain decrees had violated their freedom of association.

After holding discussions with the Government, employers and workers representatives, the International Labour Organizations Direct Contact Mission had drafted the MOU so there was a consensual approach towards maintaining labour rights.

Employers and workers representatives subsequently signed the MoU however, Government is yet to.

In its report, the mission said it remains convinced that the tripartite MOU was the consensual way forward and would serve all interests in the country to build constructive social dialogue based upon trust and respect.

According to the MOU, the election provided a fresh start for labour laws and dialogues. The MOU states that the parties pledge their efforts to reinvigorate labour relations through their pursuit of frank and sincere bipartite and tripartite dialogue in a spirit of genuine respect and good faith.

The MOU said the parties recognised the Relations Promulgation 2007 as a positive and constructive framework in which the labour management co-operation leading to enhanced productivity and collective bargaining for the improvement of workers terms and conditions of employments could be effectively exercised.

The MOU states the parties agree that it can set a level playing field for fair competition across industries and decent work for all workers and employees.

The question as to why Fiji did not sign the MOU has been emailed to Mr Konrote and it remains unanswered.

http://www.fijitimes.com/story.aspx?id=286151

Salaries Overpaid by Ministry: Fiji Times

By Nasik Swami

AN audit of the Ministry of Fisheries and Forests by the Auditor-General in 2012 revealed that the ministry continued to pay remunerations to officers who had either resigned or retired.

The Auditor-General’s report noted that $13,341 was paid by the ministry to the officers resulting in the overpayment of salaries.

The report further stated that the overpayments of salaries resulted from the failure of the ministry to submit salary change advice on time to the Ministry of Finance.

“In addition, ineffective payroll reconciliation process also contributed to the overpayments of salaries,” the report noted.

In the report, the Auditor-General recommended the ministry address the delay in addressing salary change advice by effectively communicating and co-ordinating matters affecting payroll in a timely manner between the administration/stations and the accounts section.

The Auditor-General further recommended the ministry that where an overpayment was substantial, legal proceeding was an avenue that can be considered if other arrangements for recovery are not possible.

The audit also recommended the ministry strengthen its salary reconciliation process to minimise or avoid irregularities in the payments of salaries and wages and also assist in early detection of irregularities for immediate action.

In response, the ministry noted the findings as a great concern and said it was working on improvements to internal processes and internal communication in its corporate service division to avoid instance of overpayments to its retirees and resigning workers.

http://www.fijitimes.com/story.aspx?id=285830

FEO Releases Guidelines for Union Elections

The Fijian Elections Office last week released guidelines for union elections. The guidelines are posted on their website http://www.electionsfiji.gov.fj/trade-union-elections/

 

Trade Union Elections

In accordance with section 154 of the Electoral Decree, 2014, the Fijian Elections Office [FEO] will implement the following guidelines to organize Trade Union elections. The guidelines stated below specify the minimum standards that FEO will uphold in every Trade Union election to enhance transparency and ensure accountability.

All elections will be organized in accordance with the rules of the organization, however the standards below will be incorporated into the process.

 Notice of intention to hold elections

The Trade Union will notify FEO of the intention to organize an election at least six (6) weeks prior to the date fixed for the holding of such elections. The notification should contain the following information:

1.     Total number of registered members of the Trade Union who are entitled to vote,

2.     Positions that will be contested for,

3.     Copy of the registered Constitution of the Union and all amendments registered thereafter which contains specifics on the type of electoral system to be used, the nomination criteria and all other details on the election rules,

4.     Contact details of secretariat should FEO require more information.

The Trade Union may also notify FEO of the intention to organize the election and then work with FEO to finalize the timeline for election.

Download Notice of Intention

 Notice of Trade Union Election

Upon receipt of notice from the Trade Union, FEO will publish in the gazette and daily newspapers, a Notice of the Trade Union Election at least 4 weeks prior to the Election or earlier if prescribed by the rules of the Union. Such notice will contain:

1.     List of offices for which nominations are being sought

2.     List of places where nomination forms may be obtained

3.     Details about the date, time and place(s) where nominations may be filed together with conditions, if any, as per the rules of the Trade Union,

4.     Final date and time for withdrawal of nominations

5.     Total number of members who are eligible to vote in the election(s)

6.     Date, times and locations where voting is to take place.

 

 Nominations

The FEO will designate places for the filing of nominations and also prescribe the time lines and conditions associated with nominations. All nominations will be assessed against the Trade Union rules of eligibility. Following the verification of the nominations, FEO will publish the list of candidates for the election. The secretariat of the Trade Union will circulate the list to all members as far as practicable.

Ballot Papers

The FEO will prepare the ballot paper as per the requirements of the election. Ballot papers will be printed in sufficient quantities in accordance with the total number of voters plus an additional number to be determined by the Supervisor of Elections for contingencies.

List of Voters

The Secretariat of the Trade Union should forward to the FEO a list of eligible members who are entitled to vote in the Election (as per the rules and requirements of the Union) within one (1) week of the Notice of Intention to hold Trade Union Election. This list should contain the full name, address, occupation, name of employer and location.

The list should also contain a list of members who do not qualify to vote with exact reasons. Members who are not qualified to vote, may within five (5) days before Nominations begin, fulfil the necessary requirements to be registered on the Roll of Voters.

The List of Voters will be made available to the Candidates on the payment of a minimal fee through the Secretariat of the Union and must be made available to every candidate upon request.

Voting

Polling on the day of election(s) will be officiated by FEO officials at the locations advertised in the Notice of Trade Union Election. Candidates are permitted to organize agents to be present during voting as observers.

Voting will be by Secret Ballot and only authorized persons are permitted to remain inside a Voting Place.

Counting

Unless Polling is to be conducted on a number of days, counting will be carried out at the location where voting takes place and results from that Voting Place will be announced following the Count.

Final Results

Following the conclusion of the Count, the FEO will announce the results for each candidate. FEO will also announce the final list of new office bearers.

Thereafter, FEO will publish a notice in the Gazette and daily newspaper containing the following information:

1.     Total number of persons on the voter list who were eligible to vote

2.     Total number of ballot papers issued

3.     Total number of votes cast

4.     Total number of invalid votes

5.     Final Results of the Election for each candidate

6.     Final List of elected Office bearers and term

Final Report

The FEO will also prepare a final report on the election and forward a copy to the Registrar of Trade Unions and the Union Secretariat.

Calls for Constitutional Review by UN:Fiji Times

By Shalveen Chand

THE United Nations Human Rights Council has recommended that Fiji consider establishing a constitutional commission to conduct a comprehensive review of the Constitution.

The council suggests that this will thereby ensure it is reflective of the will and aspirations of the citizens of Fiji, seeing that this might help to bring about a more stable political structure.

The Fiji team made a presentation to the UNHRC last week and after discussion with the group led by Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, recommendations were made and Fiji was told to provide an update by March next year.

At the UN meet, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said Fiji accepted 98 out of 137 recommendations made by the Human Rights Review Council.

Fiji told the council that the for the remaining 39 recommendations it was necessary to either consult with the relevant independent institutions, or to refer them to relevant government agencies for input. Out of the 98 accepted recommendations Fiji is already compliant with 12.

It was resolved that the 39 recommendations would be examined by Fiji which would provide responses in due time, but no later than the 28th session of the Human Rights Council in March 2015.

They have recommended that Fiji repeal the Media Industry Development Decree 2010 in order to end intimidation and harassment of those that express criticism of the State.

Member countries said there was a need to change the climate of fear and self-censorship and to ensure that no one was arbitrarily arrested and detained for exercising their rights.

It was also recommended that the legislative and constitutional framework be amended to maintain the separation of powers and cease any executive interference with the independence of the judiciary and lawyers and ensure the processes governing the discipline of lawyers and judges are free from political interference

The Council said Fiji could ensure respect for freedoms of expression, peaceful assembly, and association by amending aspects of decrees such as the Public Order Act Amendment Decree, the Political Parties Decree and the Media Industry Development Decree that unduly restricted fundamental freedoms.

It was suggested Fiji could create and maintain an enabling environment for civil society actors to freely associate, by amending relevant laws and ensuring they are not invoked to curtail the right to freedom of peaceful assembly.

At the UN meet, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said Fiji accepted 98 out of 137 recommendations made by the Human Rights Review Council.

Fiji told the council that the for the remaining 39 recommendations it was necessary to either consult with the relevant independent institutions, or to refer them to relevant government agencies for input. Out of the 98 accepted recommendations Fiji is already compliant with 12.

It was resolved that the 39 recommendations would be examined by Fiji which would provide responses in due time, but no later than the 28th session of the Human Rights Council in March 2015.

They have recommended that Fiji repeal the Media Industry Development Decree 2010 in order to end intimidation and harassment of those who express criticism of the State.

Member countries said there was a need to change the climate of fear and self-censorship and to ensure no one was arbitrarily arrested and detained for exercising their rights.

It was also recommended that the legislative and constitutional framework be amended to maintain the separation of powers and cease any executive interference with the independence of the judiciary and lawyers and ensure the processes governing the discipline of lawyers and judges were free from political interference

The council said Fiji could ensure respect for freedoms of expression, peaceful assembly, and association by amending aspects of decrees such as the Public Order Act Amendment Decree, the Political Parties Decree and the Media Industry Development Decree that unduly restricted fundamental freedoms.

It was suggested Fiji could create and maintain an enabling environment for civil society actors to freely associate, by amending relevant laws and ensuring they are not invoked to curtail the right to freedom of peaceful assembly.

http://www.fijitimes.com/story.aspx?id=285143