Taxpayer-funded Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) is conducting what it describes as a labour justice audit in which the rights body is calling for submissions of testimonies and complaints regarding labour rights violations committed against Malawians by foreign dominated companies and businesses.
MHRC is established under the constitution of the Republic of Malawi with the function of investigating human rights violations in the country.
The labour justice audit, probably the first in Malawi to be conducted by a state run institution, comes hot on the heels of the swearing in of new MHRC commissioners and will likely bring a new lease of life in the country’s troubled labour force.
“The aim of the labour justice audit is to establish the extent to which foreign dominated companies and businesses comply with or fail to comply with human rights standards and principles in the treatment of the labour that they employ,” reads part of an MHRC statement published in the local press.
According to the statement, deadline for submission of testimonies and complaints is 11th March, 2020.
The statement has assured affected workers and members of the public of confidentiality, urging them to report all labour injustices including discrimination, inequalities in remuneration, sexual harassment, assault and degrading treatment.
Meanwhile, Malawi Congress of Trade Unions ( MCTU), the body that represents workers in Malawi, has welcomed the labour justice audit by MHRC, urging workers to take advantage of this and report any labour rights violations inflicted on them without any fear of reprisal or whatsover.
MCTU directs its call particularly to workers in the foreign dominated companies and organizations covering such sub-sectors as: domestic workers, shop attendants in Chinese, Indian, Nigerian and other Shops, construction workers and security services.
“We are also calling upon all workers who may feel insecure to reveal their identity to report their labour rights abuses to MHRC through MCTU so that we see how best such workers can be protected.
“We assure that all workers who report any labour rights abuses in this audit, are under full ptotection by law,” says a statement from MCTU signed by the union’s Secretary General, Denis Kalekeni.
The statement adds: “MCTU wishes to commend MHRC, whose Commissioners were sworn in just a week ago, for commencing their work with the labour justice audit.
“We make an undertaking to work in collaboration with MHRC in this exercise and indeed in all the subsequent programs in order to eliminate this problem of labour rights abuse which seems to take shape in most of the foreign dominated companies as well as the local ones”.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :