Somalia: Trade Unions Welcome Somalia's Comprehensive Social Protection Policy

The Federation of Somali Trade Unions (FESTU) has welcomed the new comprehensive social protection policy which was launched on 17 September 2019 in Mogadishu by the Federal Government of Somalia with the presence of senior government officials, diplomats accredited to Somalia, UN agencies, development partners, trade unions and NGOs.

Speaking at the launching ceremony which was graced by the Deputy Prime Minister of Somalia, FESTU General Secretary Omar Faruk Osman saluted the efforts of the Federal Minister of Labour and Social Affairs Honourable Sadik Hirsi Warfa and the federal government of Somalia for committing to such initiative that can help lift people out of despondency to hope.

"The adoption of the policy by the council of ministers following inclusive process of tripartite plus is an indication of the Federal Government' commitment and political will for this important initiative in order to improve protection of the poorest and most vulnerable households and groups from poverty, deprivation and hunger and to enhance resilience to risks and shocks," said Osman at the launching ceremony. "When social dialogue truly prevails, the whole country prevails".

During the consultations process, FESTU can confirm that its positions as contained in its submitted paper to the government on the draft social protection policy were generously accommodated. FESTU is positively disposed to the social protection provisions arrangement to members of the society, especially the most vulnerable and indigent.

"As the policy lays the foundation for targeted, purposeful action by the State towards the realisation of socio-economic rights of Somalis as enshrined in the provisional constitution of Somalia, our government is under obligation to ensure that every Somali should have a minimum income, sufficient to meet basic subsistence needs, and should not have to live below minimum acceptable standards" said the labour leader.

The organised labour, he said, hold it as necessary and urgent to operationalise the social protection policy provisions to protect the poorest and most vulnerable Somalis from sinking into destitution, prevent the moderately poor from sliding into extreme poverty and promote the livelihoods of at-risk population if the country is to make a real progress by substantially cutting down on poverty and inequality ills.

"The development and prosperity of our society require this policy should not be implemented in a piecemeal fashion. It requires a systematic, holistic and coherent approach, both at federal and regional levels," added Osman.

The Federation of Somali Trade Unions commits to continue to openly and tirelessly make contributions that will benefit the process and contribute to the attainment of shared outcomes. "We shall dedicate to monitoring the processes and report to our members and the Somali public accordingly" he emphasised.

"We want to express our profound appreciations to the Italian government for generously supporting the development of this crucial policy and its operationalisation as well as the promotion of social dialogue. We equally acknowledge the efforts of UN agencies and other development partners who want to support this important process" underscored Osman.

FESTU recognises the support that the International Trade Unions Confederation (ITUC) and the ILO have provided to the federation during the negotiations and consultations of the social protection policy.

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