Trade Unions Condemn UN-contracted Company SafeLane for Violating Human and Labour Rights in Somalia

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MOGADISHU, Somalia - The Federation of Somali Trade Unions (FESTU) is strongly denouncing the exploitation and abuses of migrant workers in Somalia, particularly in relation to an ongoing case involving a female worker from Uganda, as the workers’ organization is highlighting the grave violations of human rights committed against the migrant worker and the endangerment of her life in Mogadishu.

In a media statement today, Omar Faruk Osman, General Secretary of FESTU, expressed deep concern over the labour practices of SafeLane Global Limited, which operates within Mogadishu International Airport and flagrantly violates the human and labor rights of its employed migrant workers.

FESTU unequivocally accuses SafeLane Global Limited of denying the female worker her legally protected rights, directly defying domestic laws, international human rights standards, and internationally accepted labour practices.

Moreover, the national trade union federation strongly rebukes SafeLane Global Limited for engaging in underhanded tactics, such as illicit involvement with government officials and breaching Somalia's laws to undermine the rights of migrant workers.

Osman stated, "The actions of SafeLane Global Limited not only abuse the rights of workers but also demonstrate a deliberate disregard for the laws of this country and the company's legal obligations to uphold the human and labor rights of its workers. These actions are facilitated by unscrupulous government officials."

He further emphasized, "The use of government officials to intimidate workers, deny their fundamental human and labour rights, and undermine existing labour dispute mechanisms while subverting the laws of our nation is a clear attempt to engage in corrupt practices. It is crucial that we stand against and expose such actions."

In line with FESTU's support for President Hassan Sheikh and Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre's anti-corruption efforts, the federation calls for the prompt implementation of the judgment issued by the Labour Dispute Resolution Committee of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. FESTU also demands an end to illegal interference in labour disputes by government officials through dubious and corrupt means, which should be thoroughly investigated by anti-corruption authorities.

Furthermore, as SafeLane Global Limited is a United Nations-contracted company, FESTU urges the United Nations in Somalia to take immediate action and investigate the ongoing abuses committed against workers by this company.

FESTU remains steadfast in its mission to protect the rights of all workers including migrant workers and uphold the principles of fair and just employment. The federation is committed to working with national and international stakeholders to address these critical issues and ensure the rights of migrant workers in Somalia are safeguarded.

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