Canoe owners, fishers pledge to eliminate forced labour

Canoe owners, fishers pledge to eliminate forced labour

Canoe owners and fishers have pledged to work in hand in hand to eliminate forced labour in marine fisheries.

For them, such collaboration would enable the sector to thrive and make strides.

These commitments were made when the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in collaboration with the Ghana National Fishermen Council organistrainingngs for members of the Council in the Western Region.

It was necessitated to empower fishers and canoe owners to sustainably prevent and eliminate forced labour in coastal marine fisheries in Ghana.

At the training, Mr Emmanuel Kwame Mensah, National Project Coordinator at the International Labour Office said his outfit was mandated to promote decent work for all workers, regardless of where they worked.

He said for the millions of workers and employers, especially for young people in the informal economy worldwide, decent work remained an elusive goal.

“Ghana has been a member of the ILO since 1957 and has ratified eight Fundamental Conventions, with two others; C155 (Occupational Safety and Health Convention) and C. 187 (Promotional Framework for Occupational Safety and Health Convention), yet to be ratified.” He said.

Aside these Fundamental Conventions, he said the ILO had developed technical Conventions for specific areas in the marine fisheries adding that the ILO has established a Convention to ensure that fishers have decent conditions of work on board fishing vessels, considering the hazardous nature of the occupation.

“The convention – C. 188 which looks at Work in fishing, if ratified, will ensure fishers have the minimum requirements including accommodation and food; health protection, occupational safety, social security and medical care among others while on board a vessel” he sated

He said Decent Work involved opportunities for work that is productive and delivered a fair income, security in the workplace and social protection for all, better prospects for personal development and social integration, freedom for people to express their concerns, organize and participate in the decisions that affect their lives and equality of opportunity and treatment for all both women and men.

He called for the strengthening of coordination among agencies and institutions working for the promotion of decent work.

 Madam Cecelia Sagu Mensah, a Canoe Owner admitted that before the training there was a huge gap with reference to relationship with her workers.

For her she thought being hard on the workers would enable them work effectively and promote accountability.

“Before the training I was of the view that being lenient with my crew members will make them lose respect me for me. I always thought shouting at them and arresting them when they fail to make good payment will promote fear in them and they will not dare steal from me. However, this training has been eye-openerner and I will defray from verbally assaulting my workers. With reference to social protection packages like Social Security National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), I will ensure they are enrolled on it” she stated.


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