In a significant move towards fostering a more equitable and prosperous working environment, the Council of Ministers of the Federal Government of Somalia has granted its approval to the revised Labor Code.
This comprehensive legislation aims to secure fair treatment, improved working conditions, and expanded rights for all workers across Somalia.
Under the leadership of Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre, the ministers convened in a meeting where they unanimously endorsed the draft bill, marking a crucial milestone in the country’s pursuit of a professional and thriving labor sector.
The new Labor Code is poised to replace the existing law, numbered 65 of 1972, which has been in effect for the past 15 years.
Acknowledging the need for an updated legal framework that aligns with Somalia’s constitutional provisions, International Labour Standards, and international human rights obligations, the Federation of Somali Trade Unions (FESTU) applauded the government’s decision.
In a statement, FESTU, which serves as the umbrella organization for independent trade unions, criticized the current labor law for its failure to adequately protect workers in Somalia. Moreover, it highlighted the presence of draconian provisions that not only perpetuated exploitation but also led to severe human and labor rights abuses against the working population, particularly women and men.
The statement further emphasized that Law number 65 had been wielded as a tool to suppress fundamental rights, including freedom of association, the right to join trade unions independently, the right to strike, and the right to engage in collective bargaining for improved working conditions.
By obstructing social dialogue and tripartism, the law had impeded progress in the country’s labor landscape, according to FESTU.
Expressing gratitude towards Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre and the Council of Ministers, FESTU Secretary General Omar Faruk Osman commended the government’s commitment to advancing workers’ interests.
He recognized the collaborative effort involving the government, trade unions, and employers in formulating the progressive draft labor code.
As the draft law proceeds to the legislative branch for deliberation, it represents an opportunity for thorough debate and scrutiny.
Once passed by the legislature, it will require the president’s signature to be enacted as law.
FESTU remains optimistic that the President of the Federal Republic of Somalia will endorse the revised Labor Code in the near future, considering its immense benefits for the nation and, particularly, the working men and women of Somalia.