Recruitment of domestic staff to Gulf States: Ghana won’t lift ban until…  – Minister of Employment

The ban on re­cruitment of do­mestic staff from Ghana to the Gulf States will not be lifted until the right structures are in place, the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Ignatius Baffour Awuah, has said.

He said these right structures, which included the signing of bilateral agreements between Ghana and the host countries, would ensure that the migrant workers were not maltreated by their employers.

“There has been so much pres­sure on me (to lift the ban), but I have insisted that I will not until I see that the right things are being done,” the Minister said in Accra last Thursday.

Mr Awuah was speaking at the launch of the Integrated Programme on Fair Recruitment Initiative III (FAIR III), a project that seeks to promote fair re­cruitment practices in the labour migration space.

Implemented by the Inter­national Labour Organisation (ILO), the ministry and other partners, the two-year project is expected expand safe and regular labour migration opportunities globally.

Following multiple reports of physical abuses of domestic staff recruited to the Gulf States, the Ministry imposed the ban in 2017 and suspended issuance of licens­es for recruitment agencies.

Mr Ignatius Baffour Awuah
Mr Ignatius Baffour Awuah

Since then, the Coalition of Licensed Labour Migration Agen­cies and other migration experts have been appealing to the Minis­try to suspend the moratorium.

Mr Awuah said Ghana had entered into bilateral agreements with some of the gulf countries because “they have now realised the ills of what they were doing and they are now coming to the table to sit down with us”.

On the deportation of Gha­naians from Europe, he appealed to host countries to find ways of integrating them into their system by helping them to regularise their stay or assisting them to find jobs.

He said although it was within the rights of the host countries to deport such persons that might not be the solution to the prob­lem, adding that his suggestion has been tried and tested in some European countries.

“The issue of stopping the abuses in labour migration can­not be done by one person; all stakeholders; both national and international organisations, should come on board to address the issue,” he said.

Mr Awuah said labour migra­tion had benefits for both coun­tries of destination and home nation with respect but these ben­efits could be realised if migration was managed properly.

He said the ministry had rolled out several programmes to ensure fairness as part of efforts to achieve the sustainable develop­ment goal on decent work and global compact on migration.

Faced with high unemploy­ment, several African migrants travel to the Gulf States with the promise of a good pay, but they are often subjected to deprivation.

The Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) in a report in 2015 revealed that more than 2,000 young Ghanaian women were stranded in Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon, only after five months after reaching the countries through fake recruit­ment agencies that promised them lucrative job.

In September 2019, the GIS said some 22 Ghanaians aged between 21 and 38 years were deported from Saudi Arabia with harrowing tale


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