Statement by Foreign Affairs Minister and Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour on the establishment of a Commission of Inquiry for Venezuela

News release

March 28, 2018            Gatineau, Quebec       Employment and Social Development Canada

Today, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, issued the following statement regarding the decision of the Governing Body of the International Labour Organization (ILO) to establish a Commission of Inquiry to examine allegations relating to the violation of international labour standards by the Venezuelan government:

“Canada supports the decision of the ILO’s Governing Body to establish a Commission of Inquiry to examine allegations that the Maduro regime failed to comply with international labour conventions on freedom of association, tripartite consultation and setting of minimum wages.

The significance of this decision is borne out by the fact that the ILO last established an inquiry in 2008. This is a rarely used mechanism that is meant for the most serious alleged violations of international labour conventions.

We call on the Venezuelan government to fully meet its obligations under all the ILO Conventions it has ratified. Canada will continue to work with its partners in the region, including the Organization of American States and the Lima Group, to apply pressure on the anti-democratic Maduro regime and restore the rights of the Venezuelan people.

Canada is proud to play a leadership role within the ILO and supports ILO conventions that contribute to improved labour and employment conditions for workers around the world.

In June of last year, we brought our message to the international stage by ratifying ILO Convention 98 on the Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining. Canada has now ratified all of the eight conventions the ILO considers fundamental to ensuring basic human rights at work. Being party to these conventions demonstrates our commitment to ensuring decent labour and employment conditions for workers, and respect for human rights and fundamental labour standards, both at home and abroad.

Canadians will not stand by as the Maduro regime robs its people of their fundamental democratic and human rights, and denies them assistance to meet basic humanitarian needs. We will continue to support and advocate for the rights of all workers and employers.”

Associated links


Matt Pascuzzo
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
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