On the 22nd December 2022 the Government of Botswana in the presence of its social partners signed for the ratification of two international labour organization conventions namely labour inspection convention, 1947 (convention no.81) and the labour inspection (Agriculture) convention, 1969 (Convention No.129) as such Botswana Federation of Trade Unions would like to commend the government of Botswana, Business Botswana and the labour movement in Botswana for this major achievement.
The last labour convention was ratified by Botswana more than 22 years ago, in January 2000, despite the labour movements’ repeated requests for the country to ratify and domesticate key labour conventions.
The ratification of these conventions will lead to the much needed improvement in Botswana’s labour inspection system. This has for a long time been an area of concern for workers in Botswana and the non-ratification of convention 81 had left Botswana as the only country in
SADC that had not done so. We earnestly believe that tripartite constituents will work together to ensure that workplaces comply with the labour laws and workers are employed in decent jobs.
As BFTU we look forward to full domestication of the ratified conventions and technical support from the ILO to ensure that our labour laws and policies are in compliance with the requirements of the conventions. We still believe that the labour law review process which culminated in the
drafting instructions for the Employment and Labour relation Act aligned the Botswana labour laws to international labour standards and remains valid and must be concluded by Attorney General and Parliament.
In addition to convention no.81 on labour inspections, the ratification of Convention 129 means that all that are involved in any task including cultivation, animal husbandry for instance livestock production and care, forestry, horticulture, the primary processing of agricultural products or any other form of commercial agricultural activity are also bound by this system of labour inspection.
When the conventions are fully domesticated, Workers in Botswana can expect an improvement in respect of relevant labour legislation, improved decent employment and working conditions.
Once more we congratulate Botswana Government for the ratification of the labour inspection conventions and continue to implore government to ratify other key conventions especially the fundamental conventions on Occupational health and safety as well as convention 190 on violence and harassment in the world of work.