The Trades Union Congress, TUC-Ghana, has launched a national Migrant Recruitment Advisor, MRA, an internet hub that seeks to protect migrant workers from abusive employment practices.
The platform which was developed by the International Trade Union Confederation, with TUC Ghana as its affiliate, has support from the International Labour Organisation, ILO, and provides a list of licensed agencies across the country.
The Migrant Recruitment Advisor, MRA, is a global recruitment and employment review platform that offers access to information about recruitment agencies and workers’ rights for migrants. It seeks to raise awareness of the rights of migrant workers to promote fair recruitment processes and curtail abusive working conditions.
The MRA initiative, apart from helping to promote ethical recruitment processes and fair wages, will also afford migrants the opportunity to share their experiences, and have access to peer reviews about recruitment agencies, to enable them to make informed decisions.
Speaking at the launch of the MRA and a two-day stakeholders’ capacity building in Accra, Deputy Secretary-General of the TUC Ghana, Joshua Ansah, who spoke on behalf of the TUC Secretary-General, said migrant workers are more vulnerable to inhumane conditions in the country of destination due to lack or inadequate laws and migration policies.
It is in this regard that the TUC called on the government to formulate an effective, transparent, and well-regulated migration policy to sustain the initiative, which will ensure that the rights of migrant workers are respected and protected at all times.
Mr. Ansah proposed a change in the narrative of migrant workers, where the government will institute mechanisms to strengthen migration laws and policies.
He remarked “Migrant workers continue to face existing and emerging challenges in the cause of migrating. These include right violation, abuse, and exploitation in all jurisdictions due to lack or inadequate laws and policies.”
He added that “There are some good agencies providing workers with jobs, however, the actions and inactions of some unscrupulous agencies create precarious conditions for migrant workers and lead them into forced Labour. Given this situation, we should all be interested in not just finding out what the problems are but more importantly what practical actions can be taken individually or collectively to address the situation”.
“It is in the spirit of this that the TUC with its partners representing workers at all levels has come up with the MRA recruitment initiative”. he stated.
The Director of Policy Planning, Monitoring, and Evaluation at the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations, Emma Ofori Agyemang, charged TUC to make the platform an offline tool for easy accessibility and form migrant associations to closely monitor issues affecting them.
She said “We are looking for a much stronger network, where other Labour platforms can be merged together so it becomes one formidable platform that any worker be it migrant can have access to information.
She noted, “We are looking at how all tripartite will work together in terms of communication, awareness creation, and usage of the platform, letting everybody know that this is an avenue for them to air their grievances to get more information and to belong to so that their rights can be protected as migrant workers.”
The Trades Union Congress is a national centre that unites various workers’ organizations in Ghana. The union’s functions include:
- Protecting the collective bargaining rights of member unions under it.
- Advocacy and policy intervention concerning labour market and national issues that concerns its members.
The Trades Union Congress (TUC) was launched in 1945, twelve years before Ghana gained political independence.
At the time of its formation, the TUC had a total of 14 unions with a numerical strength of 6030.
The TUC had its headquarters in Sekondi in the Western region (Ibid, 2007).