An outline of fundamental labour rights under international laws, national constitutions and Zimbabwean constitutional norms
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Amongst the most important rights provided for in democratic societies and constitutions are labour rights. At the foundation of these is the right to just and dignified work for every adult person. A key component of this is the right to social justice and democracy in the workplace, including the right to fair labour and work relations. Such fundamental labour rights are guaranteed in various international human rights treaties and international labour law instruments. Some of the more important ones are found in the International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), 1966; the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), 1948; Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), 1979; African [Banjul] Charter on Human and Peoples Rights, 1981; the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, 2003; the SADC Declaration on Gender and Development, 1999 and various conventions of the International Labour Organisation. Zimbabwe has ratified these international treaties. A summary of the most important labour rights include: • The right to work • The right to just and favourable conditions of work and right to democracy and social justice at the workplace • The right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring adequate and dignified existence • The right to equal pay for equal work • The right to social security and social welfare • The right to protection from unfair dismissal and the right to an effective and equitable dispute resolution system • The right to protection from discrimination and right to protection from sexual harassment • The right of women to equal and full participation in the process of work • The right to protection from slavery, servitude and forced labour • The right to organize, trade unionism and collective bargaining • The right to strike.