Thursday, June 1, 2017

Govt Bans Recruitment Of Workers To Gulf Region

11:04:00 AM

The government has with immediate placed a ban on all employment agencies in the country from recruiting Ghanaians to work in foreign countries, particularly, in the Gulf region.

The Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Ignatius Baffour Awuah said, the decision was underpined by incessant reports of inhumane treatment meted out to some Ghanaian domestic workers in the Gulf States by their employers.

The extent to which Ghanaian labour migrants were being maltreated in the Gulf States had assumed an alarming rate with the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo chiding them for ill treating Ghanaian nationals in their countries.

In a meeting with the Saudi Arabian Ambassador, Hisham Mishal Al-Suwailem in January, the President had asked the Ambassador to ensure that the friendly relationship between the two countries reflected in how Ghanaian citizens were treated in Saudi Arabia.

You make sure that as much as possible, the very friendly relations between our two nations are reflective in the way in which our people are also treated, he stated.

Speaking at a stakeholders meeting organised by the Ghana Association of Private Employment Agencies (GHAPEA) in Accra yesterday, the minister averred that the issue had become a national security issue which called for stringent measures to be taken to rectify the problem.

As a measure, we have placed a temporal ban on the exportation of people to the Gulf especially those recruited for domestic purposes. I have instructed the Labour Office not to issue any further license until given clearance.

I am not going to sign any document to export anybody until the system is sanitised and our institutions strengthened to meet with the current happenings in the industry, he stressed.

The minister called for collaborative efforts to rid the industry of illegal agencies who were only interested in making money out of innocent Ghanaians and cared less about their safety and welfare.

As we respect the ban, let us name and shame the unscrupulous persons who have infiltrated the system and leaving these girls at the mercies of harsh conditions, he urged while advising Ghanaians to always probe into such offers when the opportunity is presented.

In as much as we need to work, let us carefully scrutinise these offers. Someone is taking you to the Gulf to work and you dont even query for the terms of the contract. Meanwhile, investigation has shown that people from other countries in the Gulf are paid at least 3000 dollars a month, while Ghanaians are given as low as 700 dollars for the same job, which is very unfair, he lamented.

The Chairman of GHAPEA, Alhaji Saeed Shereef said that the association had identified over 200 unregistered agencies that recruit people to the Arab countries for domestic purposes thereby dragging the name of legal entities into disrepute.

In a seven point petition to the minister, Alhaji Shereef on behalf of the association, among others, called for a ban on the รข€˜direct to home recruitment and export of domestic workers which he said was the main source of abuse and was where illegal agents operated with impunity.

He appealed for government to petition the various embassies to deal with only licensed agencies especially GHAPEA members to bring sanity into the sector.

We also urge government and other stakeholders to revise the entire process of labour migration, starting with the issuance of birth certificate, passport, police report, exit permit and ending with activities and process at the points of exit. These processes are fraught with loopholes which the illegal operators capitalise on to operate with impunity, he added.

Madam Alberta Ampofo from the Anti Human Trafficking Unit of the Ghana Immigration Service noted that the effective management of migration could be of huge economic benefit to both native and host countries hence must be sanitised of all illegal operations.

By Ghana Leaks Blog

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