The revised Labour Code for Somalia was finalized

Labour code for Somalia which has been developed by the Ministry of Labour & Social Affairs (MoLSA) in collaboration with ILO, was finalized.

Press release | Somalia | 21 February 2019
Mogadishu (ILO News): The revised Labour Code for Somalia was finalized in a 2-day tripartite workshop held in Mogadishu on 20-21 February 2019. Representatives from various Ministries of the Federal Government of Somalia, all Federal Member States, Employers, Workers, and academia adopted a consensus draft of the Labour Code and agreed to send it to the Parliament for legislation – after necessary procedures.

The draft Labour Code to revise the 1972 Labour Code has been developed by the Ministry of Labour & Social Affairs (MoLSA) in collaboration with the International Labour Organization (ILO). The process for revision took many months to complete – after getting ample feedback and inputs from all stakeholders including the Government (Federal and Federal Member States), Employers, Workers, UN Agencies, Donors and civil society organizations over a period of almost two years. The final draft is not only aligned with the Somalia’s economic and social context – but also complies with the International Labour Standards and other UN Conventions ratified by the Government of Somalia.

On the occasion of finalizing the Labour Code, the Federal Minister for Labour & Social Affairs (MoLSA), Mr Salah Jama, thanked ILO for extending the technical support for revising the Labour Code and also thanked all participants of the workshop for their ample feedback. He emphasized that the Labour Code should be aligned to the principles of social justice and tripartite dialogue. He also emphasized on enhancing the capacity of MoLSA and Federal Member States to effectively implement Labour Code in true spirit.

At the inaugural session of the workshop, the Deputy Minister for Labour & Social Affairs, Mr Swaqar Ibrahim Abdalla, said that besides general provisions, the labour code governs establishment of trade unions and their federations, contracts of employment, apprenticeship, remuneration, and occupational safety and health. The labour code combines issues relating to fundamental principles and rights at work, employment contracts, labour relations, safety and health, industrial training, wages and remuneration, labour institutions and the institutions of social dialogue in a single legislation.

While supporting the initiative of revising the Labour Code, the representative from Somali Chamber of Commerce & Industries (SCCI), Mr Cisse M Xalane said that most of our adult life is spent working, and our work can make or break us, as there is no decent life without dignity and respect at work. This comes only from legal rights that protect workers against any form of abuses or exploitation from employers. In order to achieve this, the ILO has come a long way in setting internationally recognized workers' rights through a global and democratic deliberation processes. This Code is in the interest of our nation, to set forth these rules and to implement it.

Welcoming the draft Labour Code as a balanced and forward-looking document, the General Secretary of Federation of Somali Trade Unions (FESTU), Mr Omar Faruk, acknowledged and welcomed the consensus among the tripartite partners on what needs to be done to revise the existing labor code on a tripartite basis. He suggested not to lose sight of the progressive provisions of the current Somali Provisional Constitution in the process of revising the Labor Code. He said Trade Unions are also deeply aware of the sentiments of the Somali working population who are desirous to get a new and modern Labor Code and have waited for many years for the Labor law to be reviewed therefore, we want to see a quick logical conclusion of this process.

Mr Saad Gilani, Head of ILO Somalia Office, thanked the Government for its leadership role in revising the Labour Code through a Somali-led and Somali-owned process. He also welcomed the Government’s openness to get ample feedback from various stakeholders through various consultations. He also appreciated his technical experts who contributed towards the development of Labour Code and improving it in line with various feedbacks and assured of ILO’s support in developing capacity of the Ministry of Labour & Social Affairs, Labour Ministries in Federal Member States and social partners (Employers and Workers) – for effective implementation of Labour Code.

During the workshop, a Panel Session was also held in line with the World Day of Social Justice (20th February) to highlight ways for mainstreaming ‘Labour Rights’ in the Constitution of the Republic of Somalia. Mr Mohamed Bashir Omar from the Ministry of Constitutional Affairs highlighted the salient elements of Labour Rights in the Provisional Constitution and explained the process to send inputs on the draft Constitution.

The 2-day workshop was organized as part of ILO’s technical support to the Government of Somalia under a Transitional Support Plan (TSP). The workshop was facilitated by Mr Pablo Arellano, Labour Law Specialist from ILO Geneva. The workshop helped clarify various technical concepts and terminologies of the Labour legislation and made sure that the Labour Code not only aligns with the local context and social norms, but also complies with the international commitments of the Government of Somalia.

For more details, please contact:

Syed Saad Hussain Gilani,
Head ILO Somalia Office, Mogadishu
Tel # +252-61-3694303; E-mail: