SafeLane Global Ltd Engages in Grave Human and Labour Rights Violations, Declares FESTU

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MOGADISHU, SOMALIA — The Federation of Somali Trade Unions (FESTU) unequivocally condemns the abhorrent and egregious violations of human and labour rights perpetrated against migrant workers by SafeLane Global Ltd, a company operating at Mogadishu International Airport.

SafeLane Global Ltd has been adjudicated guilty by the Somali Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs' labour dispute resolution committee for exploitative practices and rights abuses against a Ugandan female migrant worker, among other offences. Despite a judgment rendered in favor of the worker, the company audaciously attempts to evade implementing the directives. This flagrant abuse constitutes a violation of both Somali labor laws and international labour standards, and it is unacceptable.

Omar Faruk Osman, General Secretary of FESTU, declared, “The rights of migrant workers are sacrosanct. These are human beings, not expendable commodities. Their full protection under the law is non-negotiable. We hereby demand that SafeLane Global Ltd cease any attempts to dodge justice and comply forthwith with the judgment of the labour dispute resolution committee."

"Should SafeLane Global Ltd persist in flouting both domestic and international labor standards, it will be exposing itself as a willful violator of basic human rights. Immediate intervention by both national and international bodies is imperative, including the potential revocation of UN contracts," Osman further stressed.

In an escalating pattern of abuses, FESTU has received multiple reports of migrant workers whose rights have been grievously violated by SafeLane Global Ltd. The company's escalating record of exploitation is not only a stark violation of both Somali and international labour laws but also constitutes a flagrant abuse of human rights. Such conduct is all the more disturbing given the company's calculated exploitation of Somalia's political landscape to perpetrate these abuses.

FESTU categorically condemns any form of political interference that serves to perpetuate these violations, and the federation finds the alleged involvement of the Minister of State for Transport and Aviation, who is purported to be a shareholder in SafeLane Global Ltd, to be utterly indefensible and deeply troubling.

Companies awarded contracts by the United Nations are under a binding obligation to uphold the highest ethical standards, engaging in human rights due diligence that involves identifying, preventing, mitigating, and accounting for how they address their impacts on human rights. The continuous exploitation by SafeLane Global Ltd fundamentally undermines these principles, violating its obligations under the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

FESTU reiterates its demands for SafeLane Global Ltd to halt its litany of gross misconduct. Immediate compliance with the labour dispute resolution committee’s judgment is mandatory. Failure to respect workers' rights should incur severe repercussions, not only within Somalia but on the global stage, to enforce compliance with human dignity and labor standards.

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