Africa is a continent where 50 per cent of its countries are experiencing or emerging from civil conflict. Of the estimated 42 million people now living with HIV/AIDS, about 30 million are in Africa.
UNISON has worked in Africa for many years, with its strongest links in Southern Africa, most notably in South Africa established during the apartheid years and in Zimbabwe, where unions face continued repression under the Mugabe regime. UNISON intends to continue developing links with unions throughout Southern Africa and in other regions in the long term.
For many years UNISON has had long standing links with sister unions in South Africa, links that began during their struggle against apartheid. In 2004 UNISON joins South Africans in celebrating the ten year anniversary of freedom and democracy, which have seen huge advances in South Africa's civil society and with it improved trade union and workers' rights.
UNISON has longstanding links with public sector trade unions in Zimbabwe. Trade unions operate under extremely difficult conditions of repression and intimidation. The trade union movement led the call for democratic change in Zimbabwe in the face of deepening political and economic crisis. As a result, there has been a consistent intimidation campaign by the government against trade unionists and workers. Despite this, the unions remain in the forefront of opposition to Mugabe's policies.
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