By Lansana Bayoh Sesay
The Minister of Labour and Social Security, Adekunle King, has told media practitioners that the ministry has temporarily suspended the operations of registered recruiting companies for overseas employment in the country.
He said as a responsible government their intension is to ensure that would be migrant workers from Sierra Leone are gainfully employed, protected and guided against financial exploitation and trafficking, dispelling rumours that the intention is to ban citizens from working overseas entirely.
The Labour Minister said the temporary suspension is to ascertain the authenticity of registered companies involved, emphasizing that government will only grant permission to operate to these companies if they fulfil the laid down rules.
He intimated that his ministry is working assiduously to develop the National Labour Migration Policy for Sierra Leone which it shall put forward for legislation.
He said that government is aware of the economic turnover such employment opportunity brings to the countries of origin and admonished Sierra Leoneans desperate to work overseas to be mindful of the dangers of irregular migration.
Minister King cited the cases of Sierra Leoneans that have died while others continue to languish in foreign countries as a result of irregular migration organized by criminal groups.
He said government will impose stiff penalties on the organizers of these illegal movements and called on the public to report such activities to the police or at the headquarters of the Ministry of Labour in Freetown and its regional offices in Bo, Kenema, Makeni and Kono.