By Kaleb Nghishidivali
Walvis Bay, August 04 – The Minister of Labour, Industrial Relations, and Employment Creation, Utoni Nujoma, emphasized the significance of collaboration and the enforcement of International Labour Organization (ILO) conventions during a sensitization meeting on the Variation in Fishing and Convention No.190, held in Walvis Bay today.
In his address, Nujoma called for continued unity in the effort to improve conditions for all Namibian workers. He underscored the importance of implementing the recently ratified ILO Convention No.190, which focuses on eliminating violence and harassment in the workplace.
“Ratifying this convention was a decisive move by Namibia, demonstrating our commitment to creating safer workplaces. The implementation of Convention 190 in the fishing sector not only aligns with the requirements of our national labor legislation but also enables us to fully adhere to ILO Convention No.188, which was ratified in 2018,” explained the minister.
The minister pointed out that challenges in the fishing sector persist, including issues related to the minimum age for work on fishing vessels, medical standards, work agreements, and occupational safety and health. He stressed the importance of aligning Namibia’s national laws with international standards to be on par with other countries.
Nujoma recalled how Namibia became the first African country and the third globally to ratify Convention 190 in 2020, responding to growing concerns about workplaces becoming venues for violence and harassment. He cited a recent incident of a woman allegedly assaulted by her boss for not baking fat cakes, emphasizing the significance of resolving employer-employee disputes without resorting to violence.
He also clarified the purpose of the Variation in the Fishing Sector, published in the Government Gazette earlier this year. “This Variation does not aim to disadvantage anyone. Instead, its goal is to promote decent work in the fishing sector and ensure its sustainability,” he assured.
Nujoma urged all employers in the fishing sector to fully implement and comply with the Variation, noting that many have already taken steps to enforce it.
He stressed the importance of social dialogue, improved working conditions, and enhanced social protection, reiterating the commitment to providing a safe and healthy working environment for Namibian workers.
“To foster decent work and eliminate any form of violence and harassment, we must advocate for the full implementation of all our labor legislations and related conventions,” he added, cautioning that violence and harassment can manifest in many ways, none of which should be taken lightly.
Nujoma reiterated that the well-being of Namibian workers must never be compromised for any reason.- Namibia Daily News