Tunisia is failing on social justice: Work, freedom and dignity needed now!

Protests over unemployment have hit hard in different parts of Tunisia this week. The protests started in Kasserine last Saturday, after the death of an unemployed man, Ridha Yahyaoui, 28, who was electrocuted on top of a power pole near the governor's office while protesting because his name was removed from the list of hires for public service jobs.

The event sparked a massive round of protests around the country, where the unemployed marched calling for “Work, Freedom, and Dignity”. SOLIDAR calls upon the Tunisian government and the EU institutions to urgently address the current socio-economic crisis in the country, by fostering economic cooperation through innovative and sustainable models to promote social inclusion, the social economy and quality job creation.

Tunisia continues to suffer from high unemployment and informal sector rates, coupled with disproportionate labour market marginalization of women and young people. In this sense, it is necessary to:

  • increase the support to social economy actors in Tunisia, as a key tool to foster the transition from informal to formal economy (ILO Recommendation 204);
  • intensify efforts to improve women’s access to formal and decent employment;
  • eliminate the wage gap between men and women applying the principle of equal pay;
  • increase efforts to effectively combat child labor by instituting specific labor inspections;
  • integrate Persons With Disabilities in the labour market.

In this regard, the EU should support the country in its social consultations aiming to establish an unemployment insurance scheme against job losses, and ensuring the effective implementation of the employment law.

SOLIDAR network for Social Justice in the Middle East and North Africa works to promote decent work and social protection for all.