His Excellency Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed, speaking on International Workers’ Day, said:
“I want to take this opportunity on International Workers’ Day to salute all our hardworking men and women of Somalia, who toil daily and relentlessly from sunrise to sunset for the progress of our great nation.
“Across the world, workers are celebrating this day as a reminder that Workers Rights are indeed Human Rights. We believe in equal treatment of all workers and equal rights for all the working men and women of Somalia.
“The struggles of workers around the world have indeed come a long way, since this day was designated International Workers’ Day in 1904. Here in Somalia, the struggle of the workers has its own proud and brave history, especially the young workers who fought for the independence of our country through the Somali Youth League (SYL).
“The Somali worker is not only an important part of our history but key to the future of our nation. That is why we are leaving no stone unturned towards the enhancement of the welfare of all workers in both the private and public sectors, and in facilitating better relations with trade unions and employers.
“Since the advent of my government we have been working to create an environment of peace, stability and security as these are the key ingredients to economic success and in which every Somali can better achieve his or her dreams. The promotion of decent work for all women and men is central to achieving lasting peace and sustainable development in Somalia.
“I’m leading a pro-worker government. The Federal Government is working to provide an environment that will reward enterprises and the creation of a labour-intensive, knowledge-based economy, which offers its people full employment.
“In less than six months in office this government has taken tangible actions in support of those who work hard. Our job creation programme is clearly underpinned by political reforms, a commitment to the rule of law, an invigorated focus on higher education and training to ensure that we actively promote skills development, infrastructure rehabilitation, resuscitation of our manufacturing potential and increasing our agricultural productivity.
“To concretely achieve our goal of job creation, we signed the Decent Work Programme for Somalia with the ILO in March this year. We believe that the promotion of decent jobs, accompanied by adequate social protection, is a vehicle towards eradicating extreme and pervasive poverty, ensuring food security, restoring stability, reducing inequalities and social exclusion.
“Now that our trade union federation and employers’ organisation are recognised by the global labour movement and international employers’ organisation, I encourage the International Trade Union Confederation, the African regional organisation of International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC-Africa) and International Organisation of Employers to work with and empower their Somali members to build strong, independent and credible social partners.
“In order to rid Somalia of the scourge of child labour, we will adopt a child labour policy, develop national action plan on child labour and produce the statutory instrument to designate hazardous forms of child labour. Somalia has ratified the ILO convention on worst forms of child labour.
“As the head of the government I reaffirm today the government’s political will to discontinue and prevent any attack on workers and their organizations, to put an end to impunity and provide adequate space for the full enjoyment of trade union rights and other human rights, including the right to freedom of association. There must be no interference in the internal affairs of trade unions in line with genuine application of international labour standards.
“We urge the ILO to maximise its partnerships Somalia to bring more support and resources to the badly-affected labour market. We need the ILO to provide timely guidance and advice on key employment-related matters.
“Together with the workers and all Somalis, we believe we are on the path to stability, economic recovery, improving the quality of education, health care and sanitation to achieve a better life for all. In particular, we are committed to finding more and better quality jobs for our people because we believe that decent work is the foundation of the fight against poverty, radicalising the youth and inequality in our society.
“Therefore on this important day of solidarity with workers of the world, we join all the progressive forces in the world, in the continued fight for decent work and a better and more prosperous Somalia.”