Friday, April 9, 2010

‘Respect rights of househelps’

‘Respect rights of househelps’
The Ghanaian Times; Friday, April 9, 2010; Page 23; (Regional Diary)
Collins Boateng

The Leadership and Advocacy for Women in Africa (LAWA), a non-governmental organisation that seeks to promote human rights of women in Ghana and in Africa, last week held a consultative seminar on the need to monitor domestic workers in homes.

The Coordinator of LAWA, Mrs. Babara Ayesu, said there is the need for parents and guardians to understand the risk involved in doing domestic work, stressing that domestic workers sometimes are maltreated by their employer, which results in them developing psychological trauma.

She said the country has laws that regulate the right of its citizens, domestic workers are not beneficiaries of such laws, adding that there is need for government and other agencies to make domestic work professional to enable practitioners of the work to enjoy benefits like any other worker.

“The attention of domestic workers is receiving global concern and their maltreatment is regarded as an infringement on their human rights that would soon be redressed internationally,” she stressed.

Mrs. Ayesu said Ghana’s labour law does not check pain that the domestic worker goes through, adding that LAWA would make sure the laws checks the rights of domestic workers to enhance the individual rights in the country.

She said Ghana’s participation in promotion human rights globally has helped the country to partner with other countries like Uganda, Tanzania and other international bodies to address the problem of violation of women’s human rights.

She stated that this year, Ghana would collaborate with the world to redress domestic violence, equitable marital property at divorce and the workplace to enhance women’s freedom globally.

Speaking at the seminar, Ms Adwoa Sakyi, Project Coordinator for the International Union of Food, Agriculture, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and allied workers associations said, there is need for all domestic workers to have right to free themselves from sexual harassment and violence in the workplace, stressing that domestic workers should report all persons who intrude on their rights to the district labour officers for appropriate sanctions.

She said, all domestic workers have the right to form or join trade unions and enjoy collective bargaining, adding that any domestic worker whose right is infringed upon should seek the authorities for redress.

Mrs. Sakyi said the domestic worker has the right to leave just as any government worker, and must be paid accordingly.

She said it is times the country treat domestic workers as professionals because without them there would chaos at their homes and that if we respect and treat them as such, it would help curb poverty and economical downtrends that the country is encountering now.

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