Billy Freeman UNISON Fife Health Branch International Officer

It’s been a busy year as usual for the International side of things. Starting with I was elected to the International committee for Scotland for the second year. We do a lot of work on International issues and our Brazil campaign from the Scottish region has raised £2500 following a delegation to Sao Paulo last year along with Strathclyde University and FARAESP agricultural workers union.

The International committee have set out these areas as priorities for 2019:

  • Palestine
  • Columbia
  • Turkey / Syria / Kurdistan
  • Brazil


As we look to 2019, there will be further challenges to Palestinian’s rights to health and dignity.

There is serious concern that the anticipated “Peace plan” from the US administration could further endanger the rights of Palestinians living as refugees and under occupation.

Bedouin communities will need all the more support and some 1500 patients in Gaza will need up to 2 years of painful limb reconstruction treatment from a health system which the WHO has long warned is “on the brink of collapse”.


The denial of workers’ and human rights in Turkey is nothing new but the situation has become significantly worse since the government imposed a state of emergency in July 2016. In little over two years President Erdog’an and the government of Turkey have used a series of draconian presidential decrees to supress the rights of any perceived opponents, including trade unionists, public service workers, human rights defenders, journalists, the judiciary, politicians and academics. As a result, democracy, human and worker’s rights and the rule of law have been severely diminished and continue to be eroded despite the official end to the state of emergency in July.

UNISON is working in solidarity with progressive trade unions in Turkey to address the denial of human and workers rights by campaigning, providing direct support and calling on the UK government to respond to the situation.

More information can be found on any International subject at the link on this page.