The survival of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker in Tuesday’s recall election may have dealt a blow to North America’s unions, but there are plenty of places where it’s worse to be a workers’ rights advocate.
According to new data on workers’ rights violations from the International Trade Union Confederation, there were 76 murders linked to trade union activities in 2011.
“Colombia is once again the most dangerous country in the world for trade unionists,” the ITUC said in a statement, noting the country’s 29 murders and 10 attempted murders linked to trade union activities.
There are also some surprises as to which countries are the most hazardous for union members. Economic powerhouse South Korea recorded no fewer than six murders linked to union activity, while EU member Poland reportedly had 10 attempted murders.
The study also noted that persecution of unions was “particularly harsh” in the Middle Eastern countries where the Arab Spring took hold.
The study didn’t count Arab Spring casualties as union-linked deaths, but noted that “trade union organisations played a leading role in the revolutions, notably in Tunisia, Egypt and Bahrain. They paid a heavy price. Hundreds of activists were killed in the clashes and thousands were arrested.”
Here are the 10 most lethal countries to be a workers’ rights advocate.