Construction work at Pointe Larue (Zone 21)


12-October-2017

Arid says workers living in sub-standard conditions

 

A group of four human rights observers from the Association for Rights Information & Democracy (Arid) visited the living quarters of the foreign construction workers at Pointe Larue (Zone 21) and following their observation they have discovered some “serious issues” relating to a specific site of the ‘O Nivo’ construction company.  

Other sites were found to be satisfactory and up to the basic standards. 

“We observed that some sites were well organised with adequate facilities for the workers. However we also observed lack of designated assembly point, lack of adequate toilet facilities and lack of proper storage facilities for food supplies. No fire extinguishers and no emergency exits. The Chinese construction company’s (O Nivo) living quarters were way below the basic standard. The living conditions of these workers are poor and inhumane. No proper lighting, their rooms are part of the construction material store (making it hazardous and unsafe); they do not have a dining place or common room. Everyone organise their own meal in a congested room.  Some have no mattresses and there are no proper ventilation in the bedrooms. Their abode is dilapidated, dirty and has a poor level of sanitation.  Their living condition is appalling and a great concern for us as a civil society group,” says Arid in a communiqué.

“From what we gathered from all of the different sites they are all working 6 days a week from 7am to 5pm and they are off on Sundays. However, for the workers of ‘O Nivo’ the spokesperson said they cannot go anywhere and their movement is restricted.

We also found out from all the sites visited that their passports are surrendered to their superiors and given only when they have to travel. This is a violation of their rights. Another major concern is the way the workers (from all sites) are transported to their working stations. Open trucks are used instead of buses or closed vehicles. This is unacceptable and deplorable especially on rainy days.  The ministry of labour and other agencies must be more pro active and ensure that the rights of all migrant workers in Seychelles are respected and their living conditions are up to the basic standards.  We have already informed the concerned ministries and agencies on our observations and we hope that immediate corrective measures are taken to improve the situation,” adds the communiqué.

In lights of these observations, Arid has recommended that: 

  • the ministries of health (environment) and employment should conduct regular site visits to all migrant workers living quarters; 
  • the fire department must pay a visit at all the sites and verify the fire and safety issues;
  • the workers are given their passport and are allowed to move freely during their time off;
  • coaches/buses or closed vehicles are used for their transportation instead of open trucks (exposing them to weather conditions and compromising on their health and safety);
  • immediate action is taken with the O nivo construction company for full compliance on the basic requirements to improve the living conditions of their construction workers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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