Bill to protect Nigerian workers, employers scales second reading in Senate
The Bill for an act to provide for documentation and protection of domestic workers and employers scaled second reading in the Senate on Wednesday. This followed the presentation of the lead debate by sponsor of the bill, Sen. Magnus Abe at plenary.
Presenting the bill, Abe said it sought to protect domestic workers from abuse by providing minimum
The lawmaker noted that Nigeria had witnessed an increase in incidents of assaults and abuse of domestic workers by their employers or hosts. He said the abuses border on slave labour, physical abuse and sexual abuse, among others. According to him, the stories are gory, traumatic and mind bugling. He added that domestic workers, particularly in Nigeria, remained vulnerable and helpless, in view of the fact that they exist in the informal sector, not unionised and did not have collective platform to speak for them. Abe further noted that on the other hand, there was rise in the spate of complicity of crimes committed by domestic workers, mostly in connivance with other criminal elements against their employers and hosts. He said there was a rise in cases of burglary, kidnapping, stealing of children and outright murder. Due to urbanisation, fast-growing cities have put significant pressure on working-class parents compelling many to spend more time at work and far less at home. The effect is that many families from the low, middle to the high-income class have come to the inevitable reality of employing domestic workers to attend to their needs at home. A lot of the workers are unregistered and not supported by most national labour laws, he said. The President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, put the bill to a voice vote and it was adopted. The bill was then referred to the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters to report back in four weeks.