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Labour Minister Addresses 112th ILC

Labour Minister Addresses 112th ILC

Geneva, Switzerland, Tuesday 11 June 2024 – The Minister of Employment, Labour, and Social Security, Honourable Mohamed Rahman Swaray, has addressed Member States by showcasing the numerous reforms under the leadership of His Excellency, President Dr. Julius Maada Bio, to the international community at the plenary session of the 112th International Labour Conference in Geneva, Switzerland.

The Minister presented a strong case for the significant steps taken by the Government's towards promoting and implementing decent work and standards through the ratification of nine (9) ILO conventions and one (1) protocol.

During the plenary of the 112th Session of the ILC, which allowed Member States to speak on the report of the Governing Body and the Chairperson, Sierra Leone's Labour Minister stated that, Sierra Leone takes seriously the Report of the Chairperson of the Governing Body and the Director-General of the ILO, at the session in March 2024, which addressed several issues on the work of the Governing Body as well as the state of implementation of the various policies, programmes, and activities of the ILO.

"Sierra Leone is establishing a Social Protection Agency to coordinate social protection responses and extend social protection to the informal sector in accordance with Convention 102. We thank ILO for their technical support. Furthermore, we are far advanced in implementing a national health insurance scheme that includes persons living with disabilities and other vulnerable demographic groups," the Minister noted.

The Minister of Labour also informed the Conference that Sierra Leone has enhanced tripartism by institutionalising social dialogue to promote inclusive and effective governance, to foster a shared understanding of the challenges faced by employers, workers, and the government, and to provide a forum for the implementation of the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work and other relevant conventions and recommendations.

The government of Sierra Leone is working collaboratively with the Sierra Leone Labour Congress and the Sierra Leone Employers Federation in the formulation of government policies and legislation, especially those covering all aspects of work.

The Labour Minister emphasised the premium His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio has placed on "Human Capital Development," which assures social justice, employment, and a better quality of life for citizens, a flagship programme of his government that promotes food sufficiency, education, and healthcare.

"This sits well within progressive governance reforms, including a Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Act -- that mandates a 30% legal minimum in representation, participation, and employment for women -- and tackling vulnerabilities worsened by the lingering socio-economic impact of the global pandemic and other geopolitical downturns," the Minister opined.

The Minister, on behalf of the President and People of Sierra Leone, thanked the Director-General of the ILO, Mr. Gilbert Houngbo, for his leadership and his team for effective stewardship of the ILO.

"Sierra Leone has migrant workers in many GCC countries and the Middle East. Sierra Leone wishes to add its voice to the global calls for the fair treatment of migrant workers wherever they are," the Labour Minister urged.

Sierra Leone became a member of the ILO in 1961, shortly after gaining sovereign status. Since becoming a member of the ILO, the country has ratified all the fundamental ILO Conventions and domesticated most of them.

In 2021, Sierra Leone took a significant step toward promoting and implementing decent work standards for women and men in our country by ratifying nine ILO conventions and one protocol. In total, Sierra Leone has ratified 44 ILO Conventions and protocols since becoming a member of the ILO. These efforts reinforce Sierra Leone’s commitment to good governance and international best standards.

For More Enquiries:
Mohamed Sheriff
Information Attaché, Geneva, Switzerland
Email: m.sheriff@slmge.ch