New national security rules for Hong Kong trade unions when register with the government

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A man walks past a public notice banner for the National Security Law in Hong Kong on July 15, 2020. ANTHONY WALLACE—AFP/Getty Images

New regulation gazetted today (September 16) requires all applicants for a new trade union to declare the trade union “will not perform or engage in any acts or activities that may endanger national security or otherwise be contrary to the interests of national security”

This new rule came into effect without any public consultation.

The Labour Department said earlier that it will revise the Trade Unions Ordinance to restrict those who have violated the National Security Law from serving as directors for a period of 5 years.

This new regulation, however is tougher since it includes the the vague clause of “will not endanger or/ contrary to national security”

The government has yet to clarify if all present trade unions must sign this new statement, or if individuals need to bear any legal consequences if trade unions registration revoked.

Workers have the rights, under international human rights law and standard, workers have the rights to draw up their constitution and rules, and to elect their representatives in full freedom. International law further states that public authorities shall refrain from any interference which would restrict this right or impede the lawful exercise. (ILO C087 Article 3)

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