Ghana Urged To Ratify ILO Convention 189

A cross-section of hairdressers and fashion designers at the workshop

THE INTERNATIONAL Labour Organisation’s (ILO) Convention 189 on Domestic Workers needs to be ratified in Ghana for effective management of domestic work in any industry, a labour consultant, Seth Abloso, has urged.

Mr. Abloso, while speaking at a workshop held in Accra, indicated that the ILO Convention recognises domestic workers as workers who have all the rights and obligations as those in the formal work place, including rights to rest, right to health and right to determine the conditions of work.

The workshop was organised to help educate workers in the informal sector such as hairdressers, beauticians, seamstresses and artisans on the labour law and to help deepen their knowledge and understanding of the Labour Act 2003, as well as women’s rights at the workplace.

He stated ed that “the International Labour Organisation provides expertise in making such a convention applicable in the local setting. So domestic workers are recognised as workers who have all the rights and obligations as workers in a formal work place; right to rest, health and to determine working conditions.”

According to him, the ratification of the ILO Convention 189, when done, would present some obligations, including Ghana reporting annually to the ILO on the progress of implementation.

Mr. Abloso said that the ratification of the convention would require a massive sensitisation for the nation to appreciate the obligations that it brings and, therefore, recommended a budgetary allocation to deal with it.

According to him, “Ratifying the Convention requires sensitisation for the nation to appreciate the obligation that it brings. We haven’t had much sensitisation but the ratification will bring the need to embark on a massive sensitisation and there is the need to make some budgetary provision to deal with that.”

Also speaking at the workshop, the Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Cynthia Morrison, urged owners of small and medium scale businesses, including hairdressers, seamstress and artisans, to treat their workers and apprentices well and to follow the labour laws in that respect.

She bemoaned how some business owners abused their workers by making them stay for long hours and taking items from them as punishments in the work place.

She urged employers to treat their workers right, “you have to treat your apprentices and workers right so that they can be good to you.”

The workshop was organised by GenCED, in collaboration with the MOGCSP, as part of this year’s International Women’s Day celebration.

By Abigail Owiredu-Boateng