Ban on recruitment to Gulf states bites
Ignatius Baffour-Awuah, Minister of Employment and Labour Relations
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Employment Agencies in Ghana are feeling the pinch of the government’s ban on recruitment of Ghanaian labour migrants to the Gulf region for domestic work.

Some of the agencies who were solely engaged in recruiting for the Gulf countries have collapsed as a result of the ban which was placed by the Labour Ministry in June last year.

The ban was to help in addressing the rampant reports of abuse against Ghanaian domestic workers who were recruited to work in homes and private companies in the Gulf countries, especially Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

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Some of the agencies are also now concentrating on recruitment into other regions and the domestic market.

According to the Ghana Association of Private Employment Agencies (GHAPEA), many of its members have been severely affected by the ban.

Although the association supports the ban which is aimed at ensuring sanity in the industry, it is believed the necessary regulatory measures have to be instituted for the ban to be lifted.

Some of the managers of the agencies ADR Daily interacted with said they had to choose between shutting down or moving into other markets.

Mr Samuel Baadu, an Associate of Emaric Company Limited, a member of GHAPEA told ADR Daily that “the ban has caused severe damage to the business.”

“Because of the ban most of the workers we had recruited have been laid off,” he said.

Mr Baadu stated that “the executives of various companies as well as those of GHAPEA have on a number of occasions attempted to meet with the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations to find a solution to the ban but to no avail”.

Mr Samuel Adetola, CEO of The Capital Group Limited, however, told ADR Daily that his company was not affected by the ban in any way because it was focused on the local market.

Stakeholders have been seeking solutions to the labour migration problem

He explained that his company had stopped recruiting workers for international employment because he believed that there were plenty employment opportunities in Ghana.

“The government has its reason for placing the ban, but that does not mean it should be the end of the road for employment agencies.

“The ban prevents you from employing workers and sending them to the Gulf countries, but that does not mean you cannot look elsewhere,” he added.

Meanwhile, there are reports that some of the employment agencies in the country are violating the ban by using neighbouring Togo and Benin to recruit young Ghanaians to the Gulf countries.

By: Fred Gadese-Mensah/

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