The government has been urged to formulate a national policy to regulate the export of labour from the country to the Gulf countries and other parts of the world.
That, according to the Sewa Foundation, a non-governmental organisation, is the only way Ghanaians would be protected from abuse by their host countries.
Mr Jones Owusu Yeboah, President of Sewa Foundation, in an interview with ADR Daily in Accra on Wednesday, said many countries and recruitment agencies were taking advantage of the countries weak labour migration system.
Most Ghanaians, especially girls serving as domestic workers in the Gulf States including Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Dubai and Jordan have been subjected to inhuman treatment such as sexual and physical abuse with little or no help from the government.
If an effective policy is introduced, MrYeboah said it would help streamline recruitment of people by various recruitment agencies as well as guide the host countries on the need to protect Ghanaians working there against all forms of torture and discrimination among others.
The government of Philippines has a policy on labour export and this, MrYeboah observed, has helped to protect its citizens in the Gulf States and other parts of the world.
He, therefore, called on the government to organise a stakeholder engagement involving the Foreign Affairs Ministry, the Interior Ministry, Employment and Labour Relations Ministry, the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection as well as the various recruitment agencies and relevant NGOs.
“All of us should come together to fashion out a policy to ensure we streamline our labour export to the Gulf region to protect our people who seek greener pastures in such areas,” he stressed said.
The government recently placed a temporary ban on recruitment of people to the Gulf countries to work as domestic servants.
The ban comes on the heels of numerous reports received from Ghanaians via social media, of human right abuses, as well as inhuman treatment meted out to most Ghanaian girls working in the Gulf region.
The Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Mr Ignatius BaffourAwuah, who announced the temporary ban at a stakeholders meeting organised by the Ghana Association of Private Employment Agencies (GHAPEA) in Accra earlier this year, said it would be lifted after an assessment of the sector has been done.
There have been calls on the government to lift the ban placed on recruitment, but the Sewa Foundation has urged it to reject the calls.
According to MrYeboah, the government has to tread cautiously since the country still did not have a stringent regulatory framework.
He called on the government to investigate to identify the challenges that Ghanaians go through in such areas, have bilateral discussions with governments of such countries with possible solutions reached before considering the lifting of the temporary ban.
“It would be dangerous for the government to lift the ban on labour exports to the Gulf without first identifying the challenges our people go through and finding a solution to them at the government to government level,” MrYeboah stated.
By Francis Tandoh/adrdaily.com