General News of Wednesday, 19 September 2018
The Coalition of Labour Migration Agencies is embarking on a demonstration to register their displeasure over the suspension of their operations by the government.
The group made up of close to 200 returnee migrants, dismissed workers and some unemployed youth marched through the principal streets of Accra to protest what they call unfair treatment by the labour and employment ministry.
The Minister of Employment and Labour Relations Ignatius Baffour Awuah placed a suspension on their business as part of efforts to sanitize the sector as reports of Ghanaian workers suffering abuse in these countries increased.
But at a press conference last week, the group called on the government to lift the suspension or brace itself for a mammoth protest.
They marched to the ministries to present a petition to the Minister demanding a revocation of the suspension.
A spokesperson of the coalition, Alhaji Ishaq Saed, said the government should communicate better with the groups.
“We called him for a stakeholders meeting. He [the sector minister] just came there and through that, he just announced that he had suspended the work… For more than 16 months now, nothing has been heard from the minister.”
The Employment Ministry in June 2017 banned agencies from recruiting Ghanaians for domestic work in Gulf countries.
The sector minister, Ignatius Baffour Awuah said the temporary ban was part of measures to curtail many reported cases of abuse faced by some Ghanaians working in those countries.
As part of measures to implement the ban, the Minister said he had instructed the Labour Department not to issue further licences to employment agencies to engage in such businesses.
Mr. Baffuor Awuah said many Ghanaians employed as househelps in foreign countries, especially Gulf countries, were subjected to many forms of inhumane treatment, a situation he described as bordering on national security.
The directive came on the heels of many reported cases of abuse of Ghanaian workers, other African and Asian nationals in foreign countries, particularly, the Gulf countries.
In November 2015, a video showing a young Ghanaian woman being subjected to severe sexual assault in one of the Gulf countries, went viral on the Internet.
The gruesome video showed two men raining insults on her, while they took turns to sexually abuse her.
“We have done all that we can to sanitise the system. We are just waiting for the government to lift the ban. You don’t close a hospital if a doctor makes a mistake. You rectify it and move on.”