The World Federation of Trade Unions, which represents more than 92 million workers in 126 countries on 5 continents, condemns in the most emphatic way the facts that came to light about the British Non-Governmental Organization “Oxfam”. According to the revelations, in 2011 the leaders of “Oxfam” were “using” funding for the assistance of the people of Haiti which was affected by the earthquake, to live in luxurious homes and hotels as well as for the trafficking and prostitution of women, including of girls. After the revelation of the events, there were also some others, new revelations that show similar facts within the Red Cross and other NGOs.
Workers around the world should not consider this case as an isolated incident that constitutes an “exception to the rule”. The NGOs, in their great majority, are private organizations, financed by states and private companies and act under the tolerance or with the blessing of monopolies at the service of private interests. In practice, they function as a state within the state, camouflaged under the name of the “social interlocutor” or the “humanitarian” and “non-profit” organization. The NGOs, in their overwhelming majority, are being taken advantage of by the bourgeois states as an excuse for exemption from the most basic services that they must provide to the workers and the poorest layers of the people. In this way, governments through the financing of an institution that promotes private interests, wash their hands and renounce state obligations in a large list of socio-economic issues and popular needs.
In addition, many NGOs are being used by the imperialist centers to do the “dirty work” that even the bourgeois states themselves can not do. A striking example is the role of NGOs during the biggest humanitarian crisis of recent years, the refugee crisis. According to the confidential report of the European border agency itself, evidence of partnership between NGOs and refugee traffickers has been noted. On the other hand, there have been many cases of horrible treatment and terrible living conditions in the reception centers of the NGOs, despite the resources available to them. In addition, there are times when NGOs openly attack trade union movements, trying to buy consciences and educate trade unionists with the principles of class collaboration. All this happens at the moment when EU funding to NGOs for certain issues exceeds the respective funds offered to the states and the UN.
For the class international trade union movement it is clear the dirty role and the interlocking of the NGOs with the imperialist interests. The workers and the poor popular strata have nothing to expect from these institutions and organizations that are created and supported by the very enemies of the working class. The workers can trust only in themselves and in their class union movement. Only the unions that were created, composed and supported exclusively by the working class itself can defend workers’ rights in a combative and effective manner. Only the workers themselves with their decisive struggle in a class orientation and with their internationalist solidarity can satisfy the contemporary needs of the popular strata.
We strengthen the class union movement – We strengthen the struggles and solidarity of the working class