FESTU applauds Somali government for ratifying ILO core conventions



The Federation of Somali Trade Unions (FESTU) applauds the ratification, by the Federal Republic of Somalia on 20 March 2014, of the ILO core convention 87 on the freedom of association and the right to organise, convention 98 on collective bargaining as well as convention 182 on the elimination of the worst forms of child labour.

The Prime Minister of Somalia Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed also signed the Decent Work Country Programme (DWCP) for Somalia at the ILO headquarters in Geneva, which aims to create sustainable jobs, with a specific focus on the youth and the protection of the fundamental rights of workers.

Addressing the ILO governing body, Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed stated: “Workers of Somalia are the most severely affected by the crisis in the country. Our trade unions aspire to participate in the social and economic policy making processes. Their voices need to be heard in national social dialogue as they call for a fair environment where they enjoy equal opportunities. I ask the ILO to provide maximum support to workers of Somalia through the federation of Somali trade unions so that they play a leading role in the recovery of our nation.”

The Federation of Somali Trade Unions (FESTU), International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) Somalia affiliate, has long been advocating and campaigning for the ratification of these conventions and the conclusion of the DWCP for Somalia, which has been delayed several times before.

FESTU hails Somali Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed, his government and the permanent mission for Somalia at UN at Geneva through the distinguished ambassador of Somalia H.E. Yusuf Mohammed Ismail Bari Bari for their efforts to move progressively the ratification of ILO Conventions as it gives a strong signal to the global trade union movement and the international community that Somalia wants to respect the fundamental rights of workers and support the implementation of international labour conventions.

This is in line with the ILO’s call for the universal ratification of these Conventions by 2015.

We are elated to have been part of the process that has culminated in the production of the DWCP. It has been an eye opener for us and we are glad to have been able to input and ably represent our constituency as we believe this document can be a key driver in ultimately achieving decent life for each and every Somali.

It marks a significant progress in the recognition of Somali workers’ roles and the need to safeguard their well-being, freedom and their working conditions.

This is a truly important breakthrough for FESTU and the workers at large.