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General News of Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Source: citinewsroom.com

Group to demonstrate today over ban on recruitment to Gulf States

The Coalition of Licensed Labour Migration Agencies, returnee migrants, laid off workers and some unemployed youth groups will this morning [Tuesday] embark on a demonstration to register their displeasure at government’s continuous ban on labour migration to the Gulf States.

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 government to lift the suspension or brace itself for a mammoth protest.

Speaking to Citi News, one of the licensed agent operators, Abubakar Jibril said the suspension which has gone beyond a year has left their clients stranded. “We are going on a peace walk because we waited for the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations to lift the suspension put on us for one year six months now. It affected totally not us alone, it also affected the medical, airlines and police and then our clients.”

“And now our clients are reporting us to the Police that we took their monies and we don’t want to send them out. That is the problem we are facing. And then we lose the contracts that we’ve signed with our foreign partners,” he added.

Why the ban

The Employment Ministry in June 2017 banned agencies from recruiting Ghanaians for domestic work in Gulf countries.

The sector minister, Mr 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 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.

Cases

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.