Somalia’s choice of delegates for the upcoming International Labour Conference (ILO) have raised some eyebrows. The selective process that excluded legitimate representatives from Somalia’s labour unions and included just one federal member state has led many to question who is attending and in what capacity.
The 107th International Labour Conference is scheduled to begin at the end of the month. The conference held in Geneva every June brings together delegates from 187 member states to craft conventions and recommendations that aim to protect the interests of workers around the world. The annual event is held by the International Labour Organization (ILO), a United Nations agency.
As expressed by the ILO agency each member states sends four representatives to the conference: two government delegates and a single delegate for each of employers and workers. All of them have equal individual voting rights at the conference. The employer and worker delegates are chosen in agreement with the “most representative” national organizations of employers and workers.
A leaked document from the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs and signed by Minister Salah Ahmed Jama was seen by Hiiraan Online. The document contains the names of Somalia’s tripartite delegation. The government delegation includes Mr. Abdirahman Ahmed Abdulle who is Puntland’s Minister of Labour who is listed as an advisor and substitute delegate. No other federal member state is included in the government delegation.
There are concerns that some of the advisors included in the worker’s delegation have no experience in any labour union.
A well-placed source in the government who has viewed the leaked delegation list expressed his dismay at the inclusion of some of the delegates who, in his opinion have never been active members in a trade union in Somalia. He insinuated that corruption may have played a hand in some of the ‘unqualified advisors’ making it on to the delegation list.”
Representatives from other federal member states have also question in private how only Puntland came to be apart of the delegation.
There are 15 people included in Somalia’s tripartite delegation. Just two of them, are representing Somalia’s employers. Seven are representing the government and the remaining six will be the voice of the workers. The only female in the entire delegation is Ms. Fadumo Abdullahi Mohamud, Somalia’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations Office at Geneva who is a government delegate.
Somalia has no voting rights at ILO and therefore cannot effectively participate in the ILO deliberations.