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The right to safety and health of workers in floriculture industry: The case of floriculture industry in and around Batu/Ziway (Ethiopia).

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Abstract

Even though the emergency of floriculture industry is a recent phenomenon, it has brought many blessing to Ethiopia. It is a source of export earnings; it is a means of employment for many, especially for women; it is a cause for the expansion of infrastructure and other advantages. But there are critiques in relation with social and environmental shortcoming of the sector. It is blamed that many workers who are employed in this sector are working in poor working conditions. Due to the intensive utilization of chemicals, pesticides, fungicides and fertilizers by this sector, workers exposed to occupational safety and health problems. This research examines safety and health condition of the floriculture workers in and around Batu/Ziway. Results of qualitative data gathered indicate that the safety and health of workers in the study area are at risk. This research indicate that the elements of safety and health, like the provision of personal protective equipment’s, the availability of regular medical checkups by the employers to employees, the provision of training on occupational safety and health were not provided as required by law. There are also some weaknesses from the government on implementing those laws made to protect and promote safety and health of workers. There is a problem of budget, motivation, authority and lack of coordination or networking among the stakeholders. After identifying the existing problems on safety and health in the study area, this research has given a substantial recommendation to relieve existing problems.
International Journal of Law
188
International Journal of Law
ISSN: 2455-2194; Impact Factor: RJIF 5.12
Received: 28-11-2019; Accepted: 29-12-2019
www.lawjournals.org
Volume 6; Issue 1; January 2020; Page No. 188-198
The right to safety and health of workers in floriculture industry: The case of floriculture industry
in and around Batu/Ziway (Ethiopia)
Solomon Dessalegn Dibaba
Lecturer at Law, Department of Law, College of Law and Governance, Oromia State University, Batu, Ethiopia
Abstract
Even though the emergency of floriculture industry is a recent phenomenon, it has brought many blessing to Ethiopia. It is a
source of export earnings; it is a means of employment for many, especially for women; it is a cause for the expansion of
infrastructure and other advantages. But there are critiques in relation with social and environmental shortcoming of the sector.
It is blamed that many workers who are employed in this sector are working in poor working conditions. Due to the intensive
utilization of chemicals, pesticides, fungicides and fertilizers by this sector, workers exposed to occupational safety and health
problems.
This research examines safety and health condition of the floriculture workers in and around Batu/Ziway. Results of
qualitative data gathered indicate that the safety and health of workers in the study area are at risk. This research indicate that
the elements of safety and health, like the provision of personal protective equipment’s, the availability of regular medical
checkups by the employers to employees, the provision of training on occupational safety and health were not provided as
required by law.
There are also some weaknesses from the government on implementing those laws made to protect and promote safety and
health of workers. There is a problem of budget, motivation, authority and lack of coordination or networking among the
stakeholders. After identifying the existing problems on safety and health in the study area, this research has given a
substantial recommendation to relieve existing problems.
Keywords: Health, right, safety, workers and laws
1. Introduction
Floriculture is branch of horticulture that is concerned with
propagation of ornamental plants, specifically focusing on
flowering plants [
1
]. Floriculture can be defined as a
discipline of horticulture concerned with cultivation of
flowering and ornamental plants for gardens and floristry
comprising the floral industry [
2
]. Globally, the horticulture
industry has been growing very fast, it is developed in
Kenya and picking up in Tanzania, Ethiopia and Uganda [
3
].
The Ethiopia floriculture industry was started in the early
dates of 1980 [
4
]. Ethiopia is endowed with extensive natural
resources that make the country suitable for the
development of varieties of flowers, vegetables, fruits and
herbs [
5
].
The flourishing of the industry, in a country where
unemployment is a big problem, capital is scarce and labor
is abundant, coupled with the relatively huge participation
of foreign direct investors in the industry and the dramatic
performance registered in foreign exchange earnings, has
therefore become a significant contributor to the national
1
Dagnachew Mohammed, Assessment of occupational health risks,
outcomes and associated factors among floriculture farm workers, East
Shewa, Oromia region, may 2004. P 1
2
https://www.maximumyield.com/definition/495/floriculture accessed on
25 November 2017
3
A study conducted by NAPEA with financial support from the Swedish
society for nature conservation (SSNC), the impact of the flower industry
on environment and peoples livelihood in Uganda, June 2012, p 1
4
The Embassy of Japan in Ethiopia, A series of studies on Industries in
Ethiopia, March 2008. P 2, See also Gudeta T. Socio-economic and
environmental impact of floriculture industry in Ethiopia. 2011-2012. P 8
5
EHDA, Ethiopia Horticulture Sector Bulletin, issue 01, 2012, p 1
economy as well as a key means of linking the poor to the
global product markets [
6
]. Young unemployed citizens,
women in particular, have been to the take advantage of new
employment opportunities arising from the introduction and
growth of the cut-flower industry in Ethiopia. Even though
the floriculture is becoming a pillar to the development of
the country economy, there are a lot of controversies and
critiques in relation labor conditions, social and health of the
workers and communities, environmental pollution and
others [
7
]. Floriculture industry utilizes a high amount of
pesticides and chemicals which seriously affect the health of
the workers [
8
]. These pesticides and chemicals can cause
cancer, birth defect, reproductive complication, nervous
system problem and etc. [
9
] Workers can be exposed to these
chemicals, herbicides and pesticides through contact and/or
inhalation while spraying, harvesting or packing [
10
].
The majority of workers in these farms are young women
and the health effects of pesticide exposure in women and
men may be different in important ways [
11
]. Women on
average have lower body weight and a higher proportion of
6
Tewodros WN., Promoting workers’ right in the African Horticulture:
Labor condition in the Ethiopian Horticulture industry. The National
Federation of farm, plantation, fishery and agro-industry trade unions of
Ethiopia, 2010, p 2 See also EHAD, Ethiopian Horticulture sector
statistical bulletin, issue 01, 2012. P 18
7
Tewodros WN., p 3-4
8
Abayneh T., Environmental impacts of floriculture industry in Bishoftu
town: A need for strategic environmental assessment, Finfinne (Addis
Ababa) University, Faculty of technology, (March 2013) p 33
9
Id, p 33
10
Id
11
Gudeta T., p 3
International Journal of Law http://www.lawjournals.org
189
body fat than men. Women’s breast tissue has been
associated with significant accumulation of fat-associated
pesticide. When women breast feed these pesticides may
passed to nursing infant. Health and safety provisions are
often poor, with workers not being provided with protective
clothing, toilets, washing facilities and drinking water [
12
].
Batu/Ziway area floriculture industries extensive use of
toxic pesticides, chemicals and fertilizers has caused work
related health problems including skin rashes, respiratory
problems, eye problems, and miscarriage affecting all most
all workers [
13
]. Medical professionals in Sher flower-
producing company (one of the biggest floriculture
industries in the world found in Batu/Ziway) report 5-10
cases of acute poisoning per day, and a study found an
elevated rate of miscarriage, premature births, and
congenital malformations among flower workers [
14
].
Due to these facts, this research addresses or investigates
those allegations that arise in relation with the effect of the
sector on safety and health of the workers in relation to
laws, regulations and policies that have been enacted to
protect safety and health of workers.
To study the impact of floriculture industry on safety and
health of the workers, and to make strong evidence based
claims about the consequence floriculture industry on safety
and health of the workers qualitative research method,
ranging from questionnaires, interview to in depth focus
group discussion collected and used for this study.
1. The Emergence of Floriculture Industry in the
World and its General Trends
The present day floral industry is a dynamic, global and fast
growing industry, which has achieved significant growth
rates during the past few decades. Currently, the global trade
volume is estimated to be worth more than $100bn per
annum and the major consumer markets are Germany
(22%), the USA (15%), France (10%), the UK (10%), the
Netherlands (9%), Japan (6%), Switzerland (5%), and Italy
(5%), in the year of 2014 [
15
] New production centers stretch
from African to Asia and Australia. East African countries
like Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania host important
floriculture industries [
16
]. The Netherlands remains the
center of production for the European floral market, as well
as a major international supplier to other contents. The
flower auction at Aalsmeer is the largest flower market in
the world [
17
].
2. An Overview of Ethiopian Flower Industry
The Ethiopian floriculture industry was started in the early
dates of 1980s [
18
]. Others date it forward around 1997,
where the first private floriculture companies, Meskel
flower and Ethio-flora, started activities in few hectares of
land [
19
]. But the rapid development of this sector is
12
Smith et.al, a nuclear pore-associated sumo protease, prevents
accumulation of cytoplasmic sumo conjugates (2004) p 8
13
Dagnachew Mohammed, p 2
14
Id
15
Global flower trade http://africanbusinessmagazine.com 1 February 2017
16
Id
17
Id
18
The Embassy of Japan, n(4), p 5, See also Gudeta, n(4), p 8
19
Mulugeta G., Ethiopia Floriculture and its Impact on the Environment:
Regulation, Supervision and Compliance, Mizan Law Review, Vol. 3 No.
2, Sept 2009, p 240, see also Mulu G. and Tetsushi S., Global Value Chains
and Market Formation Process in Emerging Export Activity: Evidence
from Ethiopia flower Industry, August 2011. P 4
originally due to the attempts by several private cut flower
farms, which began operation in the early 1990s [
20
]. The cut
flower industry has emerged much more recently, but is
now one of Ethiopia’s main export sectors. Its export
performance is booming from year to year. The endowment
of Ethiopia with natural resources in different agro-
ecological zones which are suitable for the cultivation of
horticulture product is a paving factor for the rapid growth
of flower industry in the country [
21
]. In addition to this, high
level support by the government, favorable investment laws
and incentives, proximity to the global market, efficiency of
the transport system and availability of abundant and cheap
labor are other crucial factors for the rapid development and
expansion of the industry [
22
]. The flower farms are owned
by internationally well-established foreign companies, local
investors and a mix of the two. Currently, the flower farms
occupy 1426 hectares of land and there are around 84 (FDI
50, Joint venture 10 and Local 24) active flower farms
which make Ethiopia the second largest flower producer and
exporter next to Kenya [
23
]. The destinations of the flower
export of Ethiopia are Netherlands (80.3%), and the
remaining goes to Germany, Saudi Arabia, Norway,
Belgium, United Arab Emirates, Japan, USA, France and
Italy [
24
].
3. Challenges of Floriculture Industry in Ethiopia
Floriculture industry is growing at astonishing rate since the
turn of millennium and contributing a lot of things for the
development of the nation (job creation, foreign earnings
and other economic returns). In Ethiopia the sector is
growing by 20% every year making the nation the second
largest African exporter of roses [
25
]. But there are some
related critiques against the sector by different organs. There
are a lot of controversies on the working condition of the
workers. Many workers who are employed in the sector are
working in poor working conditions. Low wages,
employment insecurity, sexual harassment (females),
difficulty of exercising freedom of association and
collective bargaining, lack of access to education and
training on occupational safety and health, long working
hours, inadequate provision of personal protective
equipment’s (PPE) are among those repeatedly alleged
critics on floriculture industry [
26
]. The other main critics and
challenge of floriculture industry is its impact on the health
of the workers. Because of the intensive utilization of
chemicals, pesticides, fungicides and fertilizers, workers are
exposed for some occupational injury. The most common
pesticides used in flower farming are carbamates,
organophosphates and herbicides, and these pesticides are
20
Yukichi Mano, et al., Local and Personal Networks in Employment and
the Development of Labor Markets: Evidence from the Cut Flower Industry
in Ethiopia, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies. Nov. 2010. p 8
21
Id n(5), p 3
22
Mulugeta G., n(19) p 241, see also Gudeta T., n (4), p 8
23
Ethiopia Horticulture Producer and Exporter Association (EHPEA),
Export Horticulture in Ethiopia, March 2015, Finfinne (Addis Ababa). pp
3-5
24
Id, p 9
25
Mulugeta G., Defiance of Environmental Governance: Environmental
Impact Assessment in Ethiopia Floriculture Industry. E3 Journal of
Environmental Research and Management, Vol. 4, May, 2013. P 219
26
Hanan A., Developing strategies for change women workers in African
horticulture- The case of Ethiopia NFFPFATU/ study report, Finfinne
(Addis Ababa) 2010, pp 26-39, Riisgaard L., How market for standards
shapes competition in market for goods: Sustainability standards in flower
industry, DIIS working paper, Copenhagen, 2009, p 7
International Journal of Law http://www.lawjournals.org
190
considered to be the most toxic group causing acute and
chronic poisoning to farmer workers who are occupationally
exposed to them [
27
].
Occupational exposure of humans to agrichemicals,
especially pesticides is common and results different health
effects, including cancer, skin allergy, lung damage,
respiratory failure, male infertility, adverse reproductive and
developmental effects, irregular menstrual flows for women,
miscarriages, headache, fainting, nausea, swelling, rashes,
and body injury like loss of eye are some prevalent
occupational injury that workers encounter [
28
].
4. Meaning to Occupational Safety and Health
Occupational safety and health (OSH) is general defined as
the science of anticipation, recognition, evaluation and
control of hazards arising in or from the work place that
could impair the health and well being of workers, taking
into account the possible impact on the surrounding
communities and the general environment [
29
]. Occupational
health should aim at the promotion and maintenance of the
highest degree of physical, mental and social well being of
workers in all occupations [
30
]. This domain is necessarily
vast, encompassing a large number of disciplines, numerous
work place and environmental hazards. Occupational safety
and health is a key element in achieving sustained decent
working conditions and strong preventive safety cultures.
Occupational safety and health (OSH) is an equivalent term
with the human right to health [
31
]. The committee while
interpreting Art. 12 of ICESCR, it provides that the right to
health extends up to the underlying determinants of health,
such as access to safe and potable water, health occupational
and environmental conditions [
32
]. State parties are required
to formulate, implement and periodically review a coherent
national policy to minimize the risk of occupational
accidents and diseases, as well as to provide coherent
national policy on occupational safety and health services
[
33
]. The United Nation International Covenant on
Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, also independently
reaffirms safety and health at works as human right in the
following terms: “The state parties to the present covenant
recognize the right of every one to the enjoyment of just and
favourable conditions of work, which ensure in particular:…
safe and health working condition…” [
34
].
The right to safety and health at work is also enshrined in
the UDHR (Universal Declaration of Human Rights) which
state “everyone has the right to work, to free choice of
27
Grace J. A., Occupational pesticide exposure among Kenyan agriculture
workers, Utrecht Oct. 1997, pp 12-33
28
Daniel Hailemichael, Evaluation and development of floriculture supply
chain in Ethiopia, to attenuate environmental impact and logistics cost,
AAU, 2013, P 11 See also Grace J.A, n(27), p 6
29
Definition of OSH by the international occupational hygiene association
(IOHA): www.ioha.net. The membership of the IOHA is made up of
professional associations of OSH practioners in 25 countries. The IOHA
has consultative status with both the ILO and WHO.
30
International labour conference, ILO standards- related activities in the
area of occupational safety and health: An in-depth study for discussion
with a view to the elaboration of a plan of action for such activities, report
VI, 91st session, Geneva International Labour Office, 2003. Para 4
31
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
(ICESCR), Article 12 (2), see also ICESCR General Comment 14, The
right to highest attainable standard of health (Article 12), Para 11
32
ICESCR General Comment No 14, Para 11
33
ICESCR General Comment No 14, Para 36
34
Art. 7 of International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
(ICESCR)
employment, to just and favorable conditions of work [
35
].
The ILOs (International Labour Organization) mandate for
work in the field of occupational safety and health dates
from its very foundation. It starts from ILO Constitution
which reads, And whereas conditions of labour exist
involving such injustice hardship and privation to large
numbers of peoples as to produce unrest so great that the
peace and harmony of the world are imperiled; and an
improvement of these conditions is urgently required; as, for
example, the protection of the worker against sickness,
diseases and injury arising out of his employment [
36
]. This
right to decent, safe and health working conditions and
environment has been reaffirmed in the 1944 Declaration of
Philadelphia. The conference recognizes the solemn
obligation of international labour organization to further
among the nations of the world programmes which will
achieve adequate protection for the life and health of
workers in all occupations [
37
]. Close to 80% of all ILO
standards and instruments are either wholly or partly
concerned with issue related to occupational safety and
health [
38
]. ILO has enacted numerous conventions,
recommendations, protocols that are relevant to the
protection of workers safety and wellbeing. The clear
articulation of occupational safety and health as human right
to health under different international human right
instruments and numerous ILO conventions and
declarations demonstrates the important place that has been
given to it.
5. The key Principles (Components) of Occupational
Safety and Health
A number of key principles underpin the field of
occupational safety and health. These principles and the
provisions of international labour standards are all designed
to achieve a vital objective: that work should take place in a
safe and healthy environment [
39
]. While these key principles
structure occupational safety and healthy programmes and
policies, by no means the following lists are exhaustive.
6.1 Assessment of Risks and Hazards
This is much related with environmental impact assessment
[
40
]. Organizations will identify hazards, assess risks, and
implement control measures on a proactive basis (rather
than a reactive basis). The measures vary from simple to
complex, depending on the nature of work place, work
environment, and work processes. The issue of indentifying
occupational safety and health impacts is a main focus of
the environmental impact assessment. Because occupational
hazards arise at the work place, it is the responsibility of the
employers to ensure that the working environment is safe
and healthy. This means that they must prevent and protect
workers from occupational risks. The employer shall take
appropriate pre-executions to ensure that all the process of
35
Art. 23 of Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR)
36
Preamble of the Constitution of the International Labour Organization
37
Declaration of Philadelphia, adopted at the 26th session, May 19, 1944,
Para 3
38
Benjamin O., ALLI, Fundamental principles of occupational safety and
health, 2nd edn, International Labour Office, Geneva, 2008. P 8
39
Id, p 17
40
Environmental impact assessment means the methodology of
indentifying and evaluating in advance any effect, be it positive or
negative, which result from the implementation of a proposed project or
public instrument (Art. 2(3) of Ethiopian environmental impact assessment
proclamation No. 299/2002)
International Journal of Law http://www.lawjournals.org
191
work shall not be a source or cause of physical, chemical,
biological, ergonomical and psychological hazards to the
health and safety of workers [
41
]. All work in the flower farm
must be organized in such a way as not to endanger the
safety and health of employees and high risk jobs and areas
(e.g. spraying and handling pesticides, construction and
maintenance work) must be specially indicated and
supervised [
42
].
6.2 Education and Training
Training is an indispensable element for floriculture
workers. Workers need to know not only how to do their
jobs, but also how to protect their lives and health and those
of their co-workers while working. Relevant occupational
safety and health training should be provided for all
workers. Employees and their organizations must be
consulted, informed and trained on health and safety matters
[
43
]. Information and training courses must be held
periodically. New employees, including temporary and
subcontracted workers, must be specially informed and
instructed on the risks at the work place, using/handling of
pesticides, how to use personal protective equipment’s and
others [
44
]. All workers must be thoroughly instructed and
trained by a recognized institution or by specialist on the
safe application and the risks of pesticides and chemicals.
The employers have an obligation to take appropriate steps
to ensure that workers are properly instructed and notified
concerning the hazards of their respective occupations and
the precautions necessary to avoid accident and injury to
health [
45
]. In order to take care of their own safety and
health, workers need to understand occupational risks and
dangers. They should therefore be properly informed of
hazards and adequately trained to carry out their tasks
safely.
6.3 Provision of Personal Protective Equipment’s
Personal protective equipment’s (PPE), is the main
important ingredient of occupational safety and health
(OSH). Employers are required to provide workers with
protective equipment, clothing and other materials and
instruct them of its use [
46
]. All personnel involved in
handling pesticides should have appropriate PPE, like boots,
overall, spray suit, respirator, gloves and goggles or face
shield and others [
47
]. Staff must be trained to use and care
for their PPE correctly and there should be facilities for
cleaning and storing of those PPE [
48
]. In addition these PPE
should be replaced within a regular time of intervals and
equipment’s must receive regular maintenance and should
be cleaned and tested for each application [
49
].
6.4 Medical Check ups
The employer has an obligation to arrange, according to the
41
Ethiopia Labor Proclamation No. 377/2003 (Art 92 (7))
42
Flower label programme (FLP), Guideline for socially and
environmentally responsible production of cut flowers, 1999, p 6
43
Id, p 8
44
Taylor B., Ethiopia’s growth set to bloom a global production network
analysis of an experiment in economic liberalization, thesis for Degree of
Doctor of Philosophy, School of international development, University of
West East Anglia, p 80
45
Ethiopia labor proclamation No. 377/2003 (Art. 92 (2))
46
Id, (Art. 92(5))
47
EHPEA code of practice for sustainable flower production, version 4.0
issue Date January 2015, p 69
48
Id
49
Flower label Programme (FLP), n (42), p 71
nature of the work, at his own expense for the medical
examination of newly employed workers and for those
workers engaged in hazardous work, as may be necessary
[
50
]. Personnel working in spraying, mixing, storing and
handling of pesticides must be medically examined every
three (3) months and workers in the cultivation, harvesting
and finishing sections should be medically examined once a
year and at the beginning and end of their employment [
51
].
The findings must be communicated to the persons in a
readily understandable form and a complete documentary
record of such examinations must be kept [
52
].
6.5 Provision of Welfare and Accommodation Facilities
The flower farm must have a suitable, clean, social and
sanitary infrastructure which conforms to the requirements
of its employees and is adequate to their numbers. Clean
drinking water must be available during working hours,
within a reachable distance from the working place;
appropriate toilet, shower and hand washing facilities,
should be provided and maintained in good working order;
transport service and recreation areas should be provided to
the workers [
53
].
6.6 Maintenance of Records and Statistics
Records and statistics of occupational safety and health
activity will be maintained by organizations, including
records of safe work procedures, safety training,
inspections, and investigation reports. These records and
statistics will assist in identifying trends, unusual conditions,
and problem areas, and play an important role in identifying
the underlying causes of work place injuries and
occupational diseases [
54
]. There should be a written
procedure in pace for recording accidents and the treatment
applied and the records shall be reported to MOLSA
(Woreda Office) every three months [
55
].
6.7 First Aid
Organizations will ensure that the first aid services are
available and consistent with requirements of the
occupational safety and health regulation, which requires
that employees be provided with prompt, easily accessible,
and appropriate first aid treatment [
56
]. First aid facilities
should be available at all operating cites where at least two
persons trained in first aid procedure should be present. For
emergencies and accidents, rapid medical attention and an
appropriate first aid organization on site must be assured
and the company has to arrange transport to the nearest
hospital when necessary [
57
].
50
Ethiopia labor proclamation No. 377/2003 (Art. 92 (3))
51
Flower label programme (FLP) n (42), p 71
52
Id, p 9
53
Federal democratic republic of Ethiopia, occupational safety and health
directive, Ministry of labour and social affair, May 2008, p 105, see also
EHPEA code of practice for sustainable flower production, version 4.0
issue date January 2015, p 72
54
Ethiopia labor proclamation No. 377/2003 (Art. 92 (4))
55
EHPEA code of practice for sustainable flower production, version 4.0
issue date January 2015, p 72
56
Global horticulture workers and environmental rights network
(GHOWERN), (2010), pesticides exposure in Latin Americans flower
export trade, A Workers and environmental rights Journal, issue 01, Vol
001, p 20
57
Flower label programme (FLP), n (42), p 9, see also EHPEA code of
practice for sustainable flower production, Version 4.0, Issue Date January
2015, p 7
International Journal of Law http://www.lawjournals.org
192
6. Data Analysis and Findings on Safety and Health of
Floriculture Industry in and around Batu/Ziway
The finding and analysis of this research revealed based on
primary and secondary sources. The study have employed
qualitative approach to data collection which are among
giving out questionnaire, interviews with selected
floriculture workers, farm managers, and the concerned
federal and regional organs, focus group discussions, and
personal observation has been utilized. The secondary
source of information’s has been also referred from
documentary analysis, published or unpublished articles,
internet sources and books.
With respect to questionnaire workers were selected
randomly to analyze the occupational safety and health
condition of the workers at their respective farm. The
respondents were from the whole farms and they have
different work category, position, work experience,
educational background, age groups, marital status, and sex.
Such type of diversified sampling helps to acquire different
personal opinion, feelings, attitudes, unforeseen problems,
and others. In addition interview, focus group discussion
and direct personal observation have been used in order to
cross check and strengthen findings that have been found
through questionnaire.
7.1 Characteristics of the Farms and the Respondents
on Occupational Safety and Health
All of the farms of the case study belong to foreigners, i.e.
Holland [
58
]. This is common in Ethiopian Floriculture
industry in which they are mostly owned by foreigners or as
joint ventures. The farms have been in the business for more
than thirteen years [
59
]. The total developed land varies from
farm to farm [
60
]. Sher Ethiopia floriculture industry (plc),
which is the largest flower farm in Ethiopia, holds around
700 ha of land [
61
]. The type of flower they are producing is
roses [
62
]. The certification label which is given by the
ministry of environment and forest, EHPEA and
international market have an important role on the
protection of workers right, although there are some
critiques on the certification level that farms acquire from
the international market labeling system. The case study
farms have already employed more than 15,000 workers
whether in temporary, causal or permanent way [
63
].
When we come to demographic characteristics of the
sampled workers they number around 360. Out of this
number 66% of the total sample workers are female while
the remaining 34% sampled workers are male. The sector
much related with gendered employment structure and
associated with female dominance in number. The majority
of the respondents are found between the ages of 18-35
(73%). The remaining 25% are between 35-50 ages, 2% are
greater than 50 and 0% below the age of 18 years, which is
an indication of the absence of child labour in those farms.
Majority of the respondents have the working experience in
their respective farms for about 1 up to 5 years (61%). This
helped the outcome of this research since the respondents
would hopefully have an exposure to the raised questions on
58
An interview conducted with Mr. Alamayo, the human resource manager
of Ethiopia Sher Floriculture Industry. Accessed on 12 February 2018
59
Id
60
Id
61
Sher- Ethiopia-Kemal-12 (May 2016), p 3
62
Id
63
Id
questionnaire. When we see the task of the respondents 39%
are green house workers, 29% are packing workers, 23% are
sprayers, 6% are cold room workers and the remaining 3%
are others which includes maintenance, security and
installation workers.
8. Health and Safety Conditions of Workers at their
Work Place
In this section the views of respondents on their
occupational safety and health condition has been analyzed
by taking different sub components of occupational safety
and health elements.
8.1 Attention Given to Workers Occupational Safety
and Health
In the sample study the majority of the respondents said that
their employers do not pay attention to the occupational
safety and health (OSH) of its employees. About 157 (44%)
out of 360 respondents replied as their employer failed to
attention to workers occupational safety and health. The
interview and focus group discussion that have been made
with the workers also have strengthened these responses of
the workers. This means the employer failed to respect one
of his obligations to safe guard adequately safety and health
of workers, i.e. taking appropriate pre-executions to ensure
that all the process of the work shall not be a source or cause
of physical, chemical, biological, ergonomical and
psychological hazards to the safety and health of the
workers [
64
]. Also violates workers constitutional right to
work in safe and healthy environment [
65
]. The respondents
provide that most of the time their farm concerned about
productivity and the quality of their flowers rather than the
safety and the health of their workers. Even out f 101
workers who have said their farm give an attention to its
workers safety and health, they have rated the attention
given by their employer to workers occupational safety and
health is poor (48%) and needs improvement while the
remaining 37%, 8%, 7% have indicated the given attention
as satisfactory, good and very good respectively.
8.2 Requirement for Regular Medical Checkups
The sample has revealed 257 (71%) of the respondents
replied the absence of regular medical checkups by their
employer. This means the employer failed his/her
obligation, to arrange according to the nature of the work, at
his own expense for the medical examination of newly
employed workers and for those workers engaged in
hazardous work, as may be necessary [
66
]. Failed his/her
obligation that personnel working in spraying, mixing,
storing and handling of pesticides must be medically
examined every three months and workers in the cultivation,
harvesting and finishing section should be medically
examined once a year and at the beginning and end of their
employment and the findings must be communicated to the
persons in a readily understandable form [
67
]. In addition, the
employer failed his obligation of conducting a regular
monitoring of workers’ safety and health within a certain
64
Id, n (41),
65
Proclamation No. 1/1995 FDRE Constitution (Art. 42(2)). See also
Article 7 of ICESCR, Article. 23 of UDHR, and Preamble of the
Constitution of International Labour Organization.
66
Id, n (50), Art. 92(3)
67
EHPEA code of practice for sustainable flower production, version 4.0
issue date January, p 9, see also Flower label programme, n(42), p 9
International Journal of Law http://www.lawjournals.org
193
time interval [
68
]. The sample also revealed that 28% of the
respondents replied as they don’t know the presence of
medical checkups. 3% of the respondents have not given
any response for the asked questions. From those 64
workers who received medical checkups, 59% said they
have these medical checkups with a six month of time
intervals.
8.3 Incidence of Work Related Health Problems
About 213 (59%) of respondents indicated as they
experience some work related health problems like
head/stomach ache, fainting, skin allergy, irregular
menstrual flow, dizziness, some respiratory organ problems
and others. This means the employer failed to observe and
enforce one of his obligations to ensure that the work place
and premises do not cause danger to the health and safety of
workers, and failed to ensure the availability of occupational
health service to his employees [
69
]. While the researcher
visiting the green house, it was too difficult to breath there.
Since the area found in the Great Rift Valley Region, there
is high amount of temperature even outside green house.
Sometimes it reaches more than 38 °C during the off rain
seasons. We can imagine how it will be difficult to work
inside as such times. As obtained from the focus group
discussion the sprayed pesticides’ will remain inside the
green house due to the prevalence of high temperature in the
area. Form this it is possible to imagine that majority
workers in the green house were easily susceptible to work
related health problems. And this is what the response of
respondents proof for.
Case One: Work related health problem
This is the case of a worker who works as sprayer in Sher
Ethiopia flower farm. He is 33 years old who is married and
have two sons. He told me that the chemical which he was
going to spray leaked to his left side face. Then his
colleagues who were working with him noticed this and
took him to Sher hospital. Even though he got medical
treatment from the hospital, his face was partially damaged.
After having one month of sick leave he returned back to his
previous working position. As he told me he couldn’t
resume his job because of the fact that when he approaches
working area, his injured part of face starts irritation. Even
if additional leave was given when he come back to his
work same problem continues. He said the employer failed
to give him sufficient rest and medical support. In addition
to the pain he is suffering from the burn of that chemical, he
told me that he is in difficult to manage his family, since he
was/is win bread of his family.
8.4 Training and Awareness Creation
In developing countries, pesticides are generally applied by
farm workers, many of whom have insufficient education
and training in different methods of application [
70
]. The
workers often lack awareness of the potential hazards and
don’t know how to use personal protective equipment (PPE)
[
71
]. For this reason, an effective network of extension and
advisory services, which provide technical advice on the
68
EHPEA, P 9
69
Ethiopia labor proclamation No. 377/2003, Art. 92, see also Ethiopia
public health proclamation No. 200/2002, Art. 11 (1) and Art. 42 (2) of
FDRE constitution
70
Flower label programme n (42), p 6
71
Id
safe use of pesticides, can be of great value in preventing
health effects [
72
]. Employees and their organizations must
be consulted, informed and trained on safety and health
matters [
73
]. New employees, including temporary and sub
contracted workers, must be special informed and instructed
on the risks at the work place, using or handling of
pesticides, how to use personal protective equipment’s and
others [
74
]. Especially, all spray operators must be
thoroughly instructed and trained by a recognized institution
or by specialist on the safe application and the risks of
pesticides and chemicals.
Asked whether their employers gives awareness on safe use
and handling of chemicals, how to use personal protective
equipment and awareness creation on protection of
HIV/AIDS, 219 (61%) of the respondents revealed that their
employers do not periodically train them on the safe use or
handling of chemicals, give them awareness on HIV/AIDS
protection, and how to use PPE. This shows as the employer
failed one of his obligation which is obligation of taking
appropriate steps to ensure that workers are properly
instructed and notified concerning the hazards of their
respective occupations and the precautions necessary to
avoid accident and injury to health; failed to ensure that
directives are given and also assign safety officer; establish
an occupational safety and health committee [
75
]. The
labeling and packaging of pesticides are often inadequate
and inappropriate for the area where they are used. The
advice often written in a language that the user (workers)
not understands and the toxicity of chemicals explained to
workers poorly or not at all. 15% of the respondents replied
that they have no knowledge as to the issue of training and
awareness creation by the employer, and the remaining 5%
of the respondents do not gave their response to the
presented question.
8.5 Provision of Personal Protective Equipment’s (PPE)
Approximately 154 (43%) from out of the total respondents
reported that they were not given protective equipment,
especially, those non permanent workers are the most one.
As it has been revealed by the interview, temporary workers
are not given PPE like gloves and suits until they become
permanent workers. In the green house the researcher
personally observed that most harvesters use some materials
like cartons and plastics as protective equipment to avoid
contact between the harvested flower and their skin. The
workers are thus at risk of being exposed to the chemicals
hence affecting their health. It is found that 136 (38%) of
the respondents have reported that their employer provides
them PPE. But from personal observations, many pesticides
are applied by people wearing inadequate or unsuitable
clothing, which is frequently worn for extensive periods
after being contaminated by pesticides. It has been also
witnessed that workers were not interested to wear the PPE
due to the fact they had not been trained in the use of PPE
and its importance in protecting them from dangerous
chemicals. 15% of respondents replied that they don’t have
any clue concerning PPE and their significance, and 4% of
the sample does not have any response to the asked
72
Id
73
Id, p 8
74
Taylor B., n(44), p 80
75
Ethiopia labor proclamation No. 377/2003, Art. 92 (2), see also Ethiopia
public health proclamation No. 200/2002, Art. 11 (1) and Art. 42 (2) of
FDRE constitution
International Journal of Law http://www.lawjournals.org
194
question. Overall the response of respondents, interviews
and focus group discussions shows as the employer failed to
provide workers with protective equipment, clothing, and
other materials [
76
], failed to provide free of charge suitable
protective clothing appropriate for the task and failed to
provide suitable and properly calibrated spray equipment
used for the application of pesticides [
77
]. The other most
pecuniary problem in relation to PPE is the absence of
regular replacement of PPE. This means the employer failed
to maintain, clean and test equipment’s regularly after use
[
78
]. 42 (31%) out of 136 respondents responded that the PPE
do not replaced regularly. 56 (41%) of the respondent said
that the PPE replace between 3-6 month intervals. From this
we can imagine the replacement was not regular because of
this the workers safety and health seriously at danger. 13%
said the replacement is every year and while the other 10%
and 5% told they don’t know and gave no response
respectively. This strengthens the employer’s failure to
observe and enforce his legal obligations. In addition the
researcher had observed less quality of PPE that workers
used while discharging their duty. Most of women who
work in packing house, for example, use medical gloves
which can be out of use easily. The boots are made up of
plastics and the suits which workers use while harvesting
are tore apart and used on.
8.6 Provision of Basic Facilities
From out of 360 respondents 91% of them told they are
provided with clean drinking water. The remaining 5.5%
said they are not provided with clean drinking and 1%
replied as they have no knowledge about the case, 2.5%
have not responded the question. What the researcher
observed here is that there is water which is available to the
workers through pipe. But almost all workers comes with
plastic to fetch water from the pipe for drink and some other
workers use simply their mouth to drink the water, which
may cause for transmission of communicable diseases.
With respect to toilet 78% of the respondents responded that
they have clean toilet while 18% responded as they have no
toilet and the remaining 4% responded as they have no
knowledge as to the case. But it has been observed that due
to few numbers of toilets, it was crowded during the lunch
time and males use the female’s toilets and vice versa.
Coming to sanitary and washing facilities 65% of
respondents revealed that they haven’t access of sanitary
and washing facilities. Personally the researcher observed
that there are some shower rooms. But from the interview
the researcher affirmed that those sanitary facilities like
soap are mostly provided to sprayers than other workers.
30% from the total sample said they have the provision of
sanitary and washing facilities. But they said that they are
provided with soap once per month. From this possible to
imagine that providing soap once per month for green house
workers that much not sufficient to protect their safety and
health because of high temperature and contact with
chemical.
The other is transportation by which 94% out of 360
respondents responded that they have no transport service
76
Ethiopia labor proclamation No.377/2003, Article 92
77
Ethiopia pesticides and registration proclamation No. 674/2010, Article
22
78
Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Occupational safety and health
directive, Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, May 2008, Finfinne
(Addis Ababa)
which take them from home to farm or from farm to home.
Also from interview and focus group discussion it was
understood that employers didn’t provide transportation
service for their workers.
The other is recreation centers which are necessary for the
well-being of any workers. It maintains the health and
activeness of the employees which indirectly enhance the
productivity of the companies. 60% out of 360 respondents
responded they have no access recreation centers. 20% of
respondents told they have recreation centers but from
observation it is obtained that there is no recreation centers
for green house workers except for those at higher position
and professionals. 16% and 4% respondents responded that
they have no knowledge of the case and no response
respectively.
Finally the respondents were asked to rate the working
environment of their working area in relation with
occupational safety and health. 46% of them rated that it is
very unsafe to work in those farms. 42.5% of them rated
their working environment as unsafe. Majority of them said
that, they are working there not to die. Their monthly salary
is 850 Ethiopia birr, which is around 28 birr per day after
working for more than eight (8) hours. So we can imagine
how life is hard depending on such amount of salary. Salary
one worker earns and health has correlation. The more we
earn the more we are healthy, the less we earn the less we
are being healthy. So from this all response employers failed
their legal obligation as to safety and health of workers
special as to the provision of basic facilities. For instance
the employer failed to provide workers clean drinking
waters which should be available during working hours,
within a reachable distance from the working place,
appropriate toilet, shower and hand washing facilities that
should be provided and maintained in good working order,
transport service and recreation area [
79
].
9. Response of Employers or Farms on Occupational
Safety and Health of Workers
In order to cross examine the workers response with their
employer, some crossing questions have been asked and
responded by employers. Asked whether they have a direct
or indirect concern for the safety and health of their
employees, and the employers responded that they are
highly concerned in the protection and promotion of their
employee’s occupational safety and health [
80
]. They said
that they are actively working for the betterment of workers
safety and health through established safety committees
from different units. The committees meet between 15 days
up to month to discuss challenge and prospect of
occupational safety and health of the workers and assess the
visible and imminent risks of any danger and takes
immediate action. The researcher requested the farms to
meet him with their safety committee but they failed to do
so. That means there was no established safety committee
that works on protection and promotion of workers
occupational safety and health.
Regarding training and awareness activities which pertain to
workers occupational safety and health, the employers
79
FDER Constitution, Article 42(2), Ethiopia labor proclamation, Article
92, FDER Occupational safety and health directive, Ministry of Labour and
Social Affairs, May 2008, p 105 and EPHEA code of practice for
sustainable flower production, Version 4.0 issue date January 2015, p 72
80
An interview conducted with Mr. Ashenaf Kebede et al. safety and
health officer of the study area. Accessed on 10 March 2018
International Journal of Law http://www.lawjournals.org
195
responded that they are actively engaging accordingly
within the domain from three month up to year. They said
that they gave training on how to use PPE, how to
handle/use chemicals/ pesticides, prevention of HIV/AIDS,
emergency issues, hygiene, and gender issues. On provision
of PPE the employers responded that they are providing the
necessary PPE with quality, which replaced with regular
time intervals of 3-6 month. Employers also responded as
they provide gloves, mask, filter, eye glass, boots, uniform
and others.
But what the results of personal observation, interview,
focus group discussion and response of respondents
provided above clearly shows as the farms/employers failed
to provide training and awareness creation on safe
use/handling of chemicals/pesticides, HIV/AIDS protection,
how to use PPE and first aid as per the laws that regulates
occupational safety and health of floriculture workers.
Rather the employers/farms focus on amount, quality and
productivity of their productions.
With respect to accommodation and welfare facilities, all
farms have indicated that they are providing the necessary
clean drinking water, toilet, sanitary, washing facilities, and
transportation service and recreation areas. But what the
results of personal observation, interview, focus group
discussion and response of respondents provided above
clearly shows as the farms/employers failed to provide
welfare and accommodation facilities as per the laws that
regulates occupational safety and health of floriculture
workers.
10. The Regional and Woreda Officials Response on
Occupational Safety and Health of the Workers
To make the finding more balanced and concrete, the
researcher made an in depth interview with the Oromia
Region Labour and Social Affairs Agency (Agency) and the
Labour and Social Affairs Bureau (Bureau) of the study area
i.e. Batu/Ziway town. Both organs said that they are
working to safeguard the safety and health of workers even
if there are challenges. They undertake inspection as to the
working environment of workers with respect to provision
and quality of PPE, give training to OSH committee, labour
unions, examining the weakness and strength of farms in
connection with OSH and give recommendation if required
so.
These two regional organs to carry on their function they
depend on Ethiopia labour proclamation No 377/2003, the
2008 occupational safety and health directive and
Proclamation No. 163/2011.
The two organs said that none of farms in or around Batu
are working adhering themselves to the laws made to protect
safety and health of workers. They have listed a lot of
challenges with regard to discharging their roles. The
Woreda Bureau said that they have no legal officer who is in
charge to solve workers complaint as to safety and health as
per the laws. Especially, most members of the Bureau
qualified with unrelated profession, like physics,
mathematics, or linguistics. But the farms have qualified
lawyers that easily upper hand any court against workers,
agency or bureau. The Woreda labour inspector said that
shortage of qualified man power were the main challenge to
give training to workers on occupational safety and health,
and to inspect the working environment.
Both Agency and Bureau indicated that there is no
laboratory at region and woreda level, which used to
examine the effects of chemicals/pesticides on safety and
health of workers. The Woreda interviewee added that the
Bureau practically lacks budget, motivation and authority to
supervise and control flower farms found in the Woreda.
The interviewee said that there is only one labour inspector
in this Woreda in a condition where there is no transport
facility to go and inspect the farms, scarcity of budget to
give training on occupational safety and health to the
workers. Because of problems addressed above Bureau
failed to implement recommendations and decision it gave
to the farms on occupational safety and health of workers.
Both the Agency and Bureau facing problem to supervise,
follow and evaluate the safety and health of workers.
The other loophole that has been observed among these
regional bodies they haven’t coordination/networking from
Region-Zone-Woreda level. In addition there is no
cooperation between the Oromia labour and social affairs
agency and Ministry of labour and social affairs (MoLSA).
For instance, the researcher has requested the number of
those workers in floriculture who encountered employment
injury from the agency and MoLSA. Even if the law
requires them to present such statistics they couldn’t show
accordingly and this clearly shows absence of cooperation
among stakeholders.
Table 1
No
General characteristics of
Farms and Respondents
Description
Name of the Farms
Remarks
Herburg
Roses plc
AQ
Roses plc
Ziway
Rosesplc
Braam Flowers
plc
1
Year of establishment
2006
2006
2006
2006
2
Production area (ha)
40ha
40ha
40ha
40ha
This production area until
February, 2018
3
Types of products
Rose
Rose
Rose
Rose
These items of production is
until February, 2018
4
Ownership
Holland
Holland
Holland
Holland
5
Total number of workers
1000
1200
1000
1000
This statistics is until February,
2018
Female
>650
>800
>700
>700
Male
>350
>400
>300
>300
6
No. of respondents
360
60
60
60
60
Out of 360 respondents 66%
are females 34% are males
Female
43 (72%)
45 (75%)
32 (53%)
47 (78%)
Male
17 (28%)
15 (25%)
28 (47%)
13 (22%)
7
Task (job) of the
respondents
Sprayer
11
12
15
8
Includes chemical store
keepers, mixers & spray
supervisor
Green
22
19
20
37
Includes harvesters, cultivators
International Journal of Law http://www.lawjournals.org
196
house
& seeders
Packing
21
26
17
11
Includes packing, grading
&arranging flowers
Cold room
4
2
5
4
Others
2
1
3
0
Includes maintenance, security,
construction & infrastructure
installation workers
8
Work experience of
respondents
<1 year
18
23
15
27
1-5 years
38
35
44
33
>5 years
4
2
1
0
Sources: Data collected from the farms, respondents and EHPEA
Table 2
No
Questions
Possible Response
Number of
respondents
By percent (%)
Total
1
Does your employer give attention to safety and health of workers
Yes
101
28%
360
No
157
44%
Don’t know
79
22%
No response
23
6%
2
Do you have a regular medical by your employer
Yes
64
18%
360
No
257
71%
Don’t know
28
8%
No response
11
3%
3
If yes for question No 2, in what time of intervals do you have
checkups?
Every month
0
0%
64
Every three month
23
36%
Every six month
38
59%
Every 1 year
3
5%
4
Have ever experienced any work related health problem during work?
Yes
213
59%
360
No
45
13%
Don’t know
59
16%
No response
43
12%
5
Does your employer provide training and awareness creation on safe
use/handling of chemicals/pesticides, HIV/AIDS protection, how to
use PPE and first aid?
Yes
67
19%
360
No
219
61%
Don’t know
56
15%
No response
18
5%
6
Does your employer provide you with PPE like spray suits, gloves,
boots, respirator, face shield and others?
Yes
136
38%
360
No
154
43%
Don’t know
53
15%
No response
17
4%
7
If yes for question No. 7 how often are they replaced
Every 3-6 month
56
41%
136
Every year
18
13%
Not replaced regularly
42
31%
Don’t know
13
10%
No response
7
5%
8
Does your employer provide clean drinking water (one of welfare and
accommodation facilities)?
Yes
328
91%
360
No
20
5.5%
Don’t know
3
1%
No response
9
2.5%
9
Does your employer provide clean toilet (one of welfare and
accommodation facilities)?
Yes
282
78%
360
No
63
18%
Don’t know
15
4%
10
Does your employer provide sanitary and washing facilities (one of
welfare and accommodation facilities)?
Yes
109
30%
360
No
233
65%
Don’t know
10
3%
No response
7
2%
11
Does your employer provide transportation service (one of welfare
and accommodation facilities)?
Yes
11
3%
360
No
340
94%
Don’t know
9
3%
12
Does your employer provide recreation centers (one of welfare and
accommodation facilities)?
Yes
74
20%
360
No
215
60%
Don’t know
57
16%
No response
14
4%
13
How do you rate the working environment of your working area?
Very unsafe
167
46%
Unsafe
153
42.5%
Very safe
9
2.5%
Safe
31
9%
Source: Data collected from respondents
International Journal of Law http://www.lawjournals.org
197
11. Conclusion
Although floriculture sector is one of the newly emerging
industries of Ethiopia, it has booming from time to time and
ranked Ethiopia the second largest rose producer in Africa.
The industry has a vital role on generating employment
opportunities, producing foreign currency, expansion of
infrastructures and others.
Despite these advantages, there are critics in relation with
the impact of floriculture industry on safety and health of
workers. This research is mainly investigating impact of
floriculture on safety and health of workers. With this
respect high chance of workers exposure to chemicals and
pesticides were observed. For the workers there is no safety
instruction, they are not regularly informed about healthy
risks and the necessary precautionary measures they need to
take at time of handling or using chemicals or pesticides.
The inadequacy and sometimes lack of PPE with their non-
regular replacement is also another key problem of the
workers. Workers not regularly use PPE, even if they are
provided sometimes due to the presence of high temperature
in the area and lack of knowledge as to the effect of its
disuse to their safety and health. The absences of regular
and proper medical checkups for employees were habitual
behavior of employers/farms. Absence of training on how to
use/handle chemicals or pesticides, awareness on HIV/AIDS
protection, proper utilizations of PPE were revealed by the
study. The cumulative effects of all these exposed workers
to different type of safety and health problems as addressed
above.
Institutionally the labour and social affairs offices at both
federal and regional level have tremendous loopholes. They
have no networking or coordination among themselves;
special regional, zonal and woreda labour and social affairs
have no enough budgets, motivation and strong institution.
There is lack of logistics and experts in these offices.
The employers/farms not concerned about health and safety
of workers, and not adhered themselves to the laws and code
of practice made to safeguard rights of workers.
Employers/farms seldom report occurrence of employment
injury to concerned body and not working as required by
law. The government failed its obligations to protect its
citizens from violation of their safety and health rights by
farms.
Due to these facts, we can strongly argue that workers safety
and health, which equals with their human right to health, is
in danger and needs to be given due attention.
12. Recommendation
Any development or civilization cannot be attained at the
cost of or by scarifying the human rights of citizens. Even
these weaknesses might hamper the future growth of the
sector if they are not quickly addressed. Because of wide
range of deficits, no single initiative may effectively and
efficiently resolve the occupational safety and health
problems workers experienced. Based on the findings of the
study, the following actions should be taken to promote and
enhance the right to safety and health of workers.
As a matter of urgency, the government shall intervene and
investigate the working condition of those flower workers,
and shall enforce those relevant international, regional and
domestic laws to protect and promote safety and health of
workers.
The provision of PPE with the necessary quality and its
regular replacement should be provided by the employers to
employees.
Proper training on how to use/handle pesticides/chemicals,
awareness on the protection of HIV/AIDS, how to use PPE
shall be provided by employers to employees.
Regular medical checkup shall be provided by employers to
employees within provided period of time to maintain the
wellbeing of workers.
Workers should be aware or made to know their
fundamental right in relation to working condition, which
help them to exercise their right without waiting external
bodies.
Strengthening and enhancing implementation capacity of
labour and social affairs organs with allocation of enough
budget, qualified experts, and etc.
There should be good networking or coordination among
Federal- Regional- Zonal- Woreda labour and social affairs
office while discharging their mandate.
Regulation on the code of practice of the floriculture sector
No. 207/2011 shall be awaked from the edge of death and
should implement soon.
Nongovernmental organizations should take active role of
creating awareness on occupational safety and health to the
workers and further advocate for those who have incur
employment injury.
Further research on occupational safety and health of
floriculture workers on those flower farms found in other
areas shall be made to have general and uniform
understanding about the issue.
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... Ethiopia's garment industry has been recently criticised for providing the lowest wages of any country (USD26/month -compared to USD95/ month in Bangladesh and USD326/month in China), the result of the fact that Ethiopia does not have a minimum wage law (Barret and Baumann-Pauly, 2019;Earuyan Solutions, 2019;WRC, 2018). The floriculture industry exposes workers to toxic agro-chemicals without providing adequate training or protective gear, leading to high rates of illness (Dibaba, 2019;. Despite laws that prohibit the employment of children under the age of 18, there is evidence that girls under 15 are routinely hired (Jones et al., 2019). ...
Research
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Ethiopia declared the first case of coronavirus on the 13 March 2020, and while numbers of confirmed cases initially remained low, by late July 2020 the number of confirmed cases had exceeded 15,000, with over 200 deaths. Across the globe countries are reporting multidimensional health, economic and social effects of covid-19 and the ensuing policy responses to contain the disease. The situation is expected to be potentially more challenging in low-income countries like Ethiopia where there is a weak health system, compounded by recurrent political unrest. The outbreak of covid-19 is expected to put women, girls, young people and socially vulnerable groups, including persons with disabilities, at heightened risk, given that containment measures to slow the pandemic including lockdowns and disruption of basic services are already being seen to exacerbate existing economic and social inequalities. Rapid virtual research by GAGE has highlighted the challenges that young people are facing in rural communities in Afar, Amhara and Oromia, and in Dire Dawa city, but as yet very little is known about the specific experiences of vulnerable urban youth. This brief focuses on youth (aged 15–24 years) working in factories, and is part of a series exploring the impacts of covid-19 and the ensuing government policy response on vulnerable urban youth in Ethiopia.
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Ethiopian floriculture sector is growing at least by 20 per cent each year making the nation the second largest African exporter of roses. Despite its economic importance (job creation, foreign earnings and other economic returns), the floriculture sector is responsible for many environmental effects including arbitrary expropriation, unregulated and highs chemical consumption, depletion of water resource, unsafe waste disposal mechanisms and risk on workers safety. One of the environmental tools that could mitigate these impacts and optimally benefit from the sector was environmental impact assessment (EIA). However, despite existence of many laws (ranging from Constitutional provisions to specific EIA guidelines) and multiples of institutions (both government and private) functioning around the floriculture sector, EIA remains too weak and sidelined. International laws and practices have not stimulated the practice here in Ethiopia nor do the Constitutional provisions on environmental rights. Ethiopian laws and fourteen EIA reports of floriculture farms have been assessed and experts have been interviewed to get a clear picture of the EIA regime including timing, scoping, impact identification, identification of alternatives, environmental management plan, reviewing process, environmental monitoring/auditing and public participation. The author argues that the EIA regime is too weak to safeguard the environment owing to multiples of factors.
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This article provides a case study of the Ethiopian flower export industry which successfully emerged at time when the EU market (main destination) was already characterised by increasingly stringent standards and delivery requirements. Entering this market required a multitude of capabilities at firm, sector and national levels. Several of these capabilities were absent or weak in the domestic market when the new activity kicked off. The article analyses how the capabilities of individual firms and the industry at large co-evolved and the role of various actors in the ‘market formation’ process.
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