International Labour Network of Solidarity and Struggles


Thursday, 13 August 2020

 
 

 

Covid-19: information on the situation in Central Africa

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The Labour Institute of Central Africa (ITAC) has just published a report on the situation of workers in this region of the world in the face of the pandemic and its management by governments and employers. The countries concerned are Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe and Chad.

[...] the Democratic Republic of Congo where 92% of private and public companies, including the public administration, do not have occupational health and safety systems. According to the Central African Regional Interprofessional Occupational Health Council (CRISAC), the same situation is found in the other ten Central African countries where 58% of private and public enterprises do not have an occupational health and safety system, which exposes their workplaces to serious exposures and certain deaths of workers/civil servants, resulting in high community transmission of the virus.

The majority of public and private employers in Central African countries pretend to ignore the seriousness of Covid-19 in the workplace and take ineffective measures that will have no effect on the aggressiveness of this virus

...It is absolutely unacceptable that none of the work refusals that have taken place in 11 Central African countries in the last four months have been deemed justified by employers....

...How can we accept that during this period when the Covid-19 pandemic is seriously threatening the lives of millions of workers in 11 Central African countries, how can we explain that the majority of employers can afford to ignore occupational health and safety laws, thereby exposing their employees to certain death, without the slightest reaction from governments? The exercise of the fundamental right to health and safety at work is non-negotiable, it is inalienable.