SOMALIA: Is ILO Somalia backfiring its core Conventions
Mogadishu (RBC) For the last two decades, the Somali workers have been working in precarious conditions ranging from poor pay and lack of labor law that gives protection to the workers to no contracts during which Trade Union organizations with representation from different sectors of the society emerged, through their meager resources trying to make change, ahead of the International Labor Day.
Hundreds of workers have been killed, harassed, wounded in the line of duty and thousands suffer under the precarious conditions they work under, according to reports obtained from the Federation of Somali Trade Unions and Somali Congress of Trade Unions.
For instance, public transport drivers who use the road that connects between Mogadishu to Afgoye repeatedly protested the illegal checkpoints and unlawful pay repeatedly. The drivers supported by their employers protested the illegal checkpoints by the government soldiers and extortion early April.
According to Somali Association of Drivers, which is a small association at its infancy said that, “Its members are harassed, threatened, killed at these illegal checkpoints failure to pay the illicit money.”
Despite all these gross violations shared in common by every sector of the society, the unemployment is at large with thousands of unemployed youth scattered in the country, which if not given decent work, could be dragged into illegal business such as piracy, terrorism and other mafia groups.
Somali government and International Labor Organization (ILO), which is tripartite agency within the United Nations (UN), recently signed an agreement establishing a decent work program for Somalia. ILO comprises of the three Social Partners, that is, Government, Employers and Workers.
“The Decent Work Programme sets out priority areas to be implemented by 2015, including the promotion of youth employment, strengthening labour market services, improving livelihoods through immediate employment creation and promoting small and medium enterprises.” According to a statement posted on the ILO website.
“In addition to the signing of the Decent Work Programme, the Government of Somalia deposited with the ILO the instruments of ratification for the following ILO conventions: Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention, 1948 (No. 87), Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Convention, 1949 (No. 98) and Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999 (No. 182).” The statement added.