Sierra Leone Workers call for steadfastness in the domestication, application and enforcement of ratified instruments

Keywords : Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone Workers commend the government for the ratification of Nine ILO Instruments and call for steadfastness in the domestication, application and enforcement of these instruments
Sierra Leone made a very significant move towards recognizing, promoting and implementing decent work for women and men in the country by ratifying 8 ILO Conventions and one Protocol.

The Sierra Leone Ambassador and Permanent Representative, His Excellency Mr Lansana Alison Gberie presented the instruments of ratification of the following instruments to ILO Director-General, Guy Ryder:

  • the Migration for Employment Convention (Revised), 1949 (No. 97) ;
  • the Migrant Workers (Supplementary Provisions) Convention, 1975 (No. 143) ;
  • the Labour Administration Convention, 1978 (No. 150) ;
  • the Occupational Safety and Health Convention, 1981 (No. 155) ;
  • the Labour Statistics Convention, 1985 (No. 160) ;
  • the Private Employment Agencies Convention, 1997 (No. 181) ;
  • the Promotional Framework for Occupational Safety and Health Convention, 2006 (No. 187) ;
  • the Domestic Workers Convention, 2011 (No. 189) ;
  • the Protocol of 2014 to the Forced Labour Convention 1930.

This unprecedent ratification took place on 25 August, since these nine instruments are the first ratifications by Sierra Leone since 2011 and the first ratifications of technical Conventions since 1967. They bring to 44 the total number of Conventions Sierra Leone has ratified.

The conventions are aimed at addressing the decent work deficit common among workers in the country, including for migrant workers, and improving working conditions for precarious workers who have no job security and are poorly paid. In most instances, precarious workers are employed through third parties such as private employment agencies who often exploit them and violate their rights. The conventions include those on occupational health and safety, which has been worsened by the Covid-19 pandemic.

With the ratification of both Conventions on migrant workers, the Protocol to the Forced Labour Convention, the Domestic Workers Convention and the Convention on private employment agencies, Sierra Leone demonstrates its strong commitment not only to fight human trafficking but also to promote decent work for all workers, including those having left their country for employment purposes and categories of workers that are less protected by labour legislation (such as migrant workers).

In a press statement issue on the 26th August 2021, The Secretary General of the Sierra Leone Labor Congress (SLLC) expressed the excitement of the Labor Movement about this achievement and laud it as “a significant and huge feat in efforts to improve industrial relations governance in the nation’s labor market and a step that can help advance the nation’s transformation agenda”.

The SLLC applauded the government and the relevant ministries that were involved in the deposition of these instrument’s ratification, and called them to commence the calibration of the steps and processes that will aid the effective application and enforcement of these instruments « We are thrilled that our efforts and campaign for the improvement in the ratification of labour standards have paid off. Indeed, these ratifications will benefit workers and others players in Sierra Leone Labour market especially when the necessary process and practices for the enjoyment of these instruments are effectively followed » added the SG of the SLLC.

The ratification of these 9 Conventions, including the two leading Conventions on occupational safety and health, the labour administration Convention, and the labour statistics Convention, can be seen as a commitment from the people of Sierra Leone and their representatives to continued improved governance and a step closer to meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) , notably SDG 1 (No poverty), 3 (Good health and well-being), 8 (Decent work and economic growth) and 10 (Reduced inequalities), and ensuring that no one is left behind.

The nine instruments will enter into force in Sierra Leone on 25 August 2022.

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