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Contributing to the process towards ratification of Convention C129 on labour inspection in agriculture

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Contributing to the process towards ratification of Convention C129 on labour inspection in agriculture

As early as 1969, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) adopted Convention 129. This convention deals specifically with working conditions and labour inspection in the agricultural sector. This convention has since been ratified by many countries around the world. In Benin, however, this procedure is still ongoing. Trade union organisation COSI is working to speed up the ratification process. 

Only when the convention has been ratified, it will be legally binding and national laws will have to be adapted to its content.

Women processing shea nuts into shea butter

About ILO Convention C129

The importance of this convention on labour inspection in agriculture

is that it covers all workers, regardless of the nature of their employment contract. It regulates matters such as wages, working hours and health and safety.

Participating countries may also decide to include family workers (including women, children and youth, who are especially vulnerable) and members of cooperatives and producer organisations in the convention.

About COSI

Trade union federation COSI Benin lobbies specifically for the inclusion of vulnerable groups, including women. "Their working conditions are not good now. They produce wealth, but do not benefit from it themselves," says Noël Chadaré the leader of trade union COSI.

Follow Noël Chadaré, leader of trade union COSI, as he lobbies for the ratification of this treaty that is of great importance especially for vulnerable groups working in agriculture.

"The government is now virtually absent from agriculture, explains Ghislain Loïkou," president of FESSA, the agricultural federation affiliated to trade union COSI.

"Thanks to this convention, the government will be able to develop a comprehensive approach to labour inspection in agriculture. Thus, labour inspectors can check that employers respect working hours and all other labour rights."

"This initiative is very much appreciated", Mr. Raymond Zounmatoun, Director of Labour Standards at the Directorate General for Employment, told Noël Chadaré.

"Thanks to this convention, labour inspectors will be able to check that employers comply with working hours," explains Ghislain Loïkou", president of FESSA, the agricultural federation of COSI

Role of the trade union

COSI took the lead in bringing together different trade unions for a joint lobby and accelerated the conformity study on the adaptation of national laws to the obligations of the Convention. Based on this study, a roadmap was drawn up involving government, trade unions and employers.

Stakeholders expressed their appreciation for COSI's proactive and constructive approach in facilitating the ratification and implementation process.

"This initiative is very much appreciated," said Raymon Zounmatoun, Director of Labour Standards at the Directorate General for Employment, about COSI's commitment and good cooperation: it provides us with a nice perspective on the future."

"CNV International was the driving force that helped us move forward with this process," says trade union leader Noël Chadaré, who expresses hope that Benin will soon ratify the Convention.

Publication date 04 02 2022