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TITLE:  GHANA HUMAN RIGHTS PRACTICES, 1993                             
DATE:  JANAURY 31, 1994


On January 7, Flight Lieutenant (retired) Jerry John Rawlings, 
who had seized power from an elected government on December 31, 
1981, became the first President of the Fourth Republic, a 
nascent constitutional democracy.  This transformation ended 
11 years of authoritarian military rule by the Provisional 
National Defense Council (PNDC), under Rawlings' chairmanship, 
but it did not end controversy over the legitimacy of the new 
Government.  Flight Lieutenant Rawlings won the November 1992 
presidential election with 58 percent of the vote as the head 
of a three-party coalition led by his own National Democratic 
Congress (NDC).  Despite irregularities, most notably an 
inaccurate voters' register, the international groups 
monitoring the election accepted the validity of the outcome.  
However, four opposition parties claimed massive fraud in the 
presidential election and boycotted the December 1992 
parliamentary elections, leaving the President's coalition in 
full control of the Parliament and the Government.

The new Constitution, which went into effect January 7, 
provides for a system of checks and balances, with an executive 
branch headed by the President, a unicameral Parliament, an 
independent judiciary, and several autonomous commissions, such 
as the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice.  

The several security organizations report to various 
departments of government.  The police are responsible for 
maintaining law and order and come under the jurisdiction of an 
8-member Police Council.  The Bureau of National Investigation 
(BNI), under the Minister of Interior, handles most cases of a 
political nature.

Although Ghana is attempting to rebuild its industrial base 
after years of economic mismanagement, more than 60 percent of 
the population still draws its livelihood from subsistence 
agriculture.  Gold, cocoa (and cocoa products), timber, and 
energy are major traditional sources of export revenues.  
Annual economic growth has averaged 4.5 percent since the 
inception of an economic recovery program in 1983, but there 
has been slow progress in privatizing the 181 state-owned 

While it was too early to judge whether the rule of law and 
democracy would flourish in Ghana after 11 years of 
authoritarian rule, the human rights situation improved in 
1993.  The Government began a dialog with the main opposition 
party and there was widespread acceptance of and support for 
the new Constitution.  It contains particularly strong 
provisions in support of human rights, and the independent 
press, human rights monitoring groups, opposition parties, and 
the judiciary acted as vigilant constitutional watchdogs during 
the year.  The Supreme Court, in particular, demonstrated 
independence from the executive in four cases involving 
opposition party grievances.  Except for the journalist, 
Gershon Dompreh, who continued to serve a prison sentence for 
"economic sabotage," there were no known political detainees or 
prisoners being held by the authorities at year's end.  
Societal discrimination and violence against women remained 
significant problems.


Section 1  Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including
           Freedom from:

     a.  Political and Other Extrajudicial Killing

There was one report of an extrajudicial killing.  On July 6, 
the authorities arraigned a police inspector and a constable 
from Elmina police station on a charge of murder for the June 7 
death of a prisoner who allegedly died as a result of a 
beating.  The police officials were released on bail pending 
trial, which at year's end had still not taken place.  

At the urging of journalist and political activist Kwesi Pratt 
(see Section 1.e.), the police expressed willingness to 
investigate allegations of extrajudicial killings in the early 
years of PNDC rule.  Pratt was invited by the Commissioner of 
Police to assist in the investigations, and he agreed to 
provide the police with lists of names of victims and the 
circumstances of their murder.  At year's end, however, Pratt 
was still insisting upon the establishment of an independent 
committee of inquiry.

     b.  Disappearance

No politically motivated disappearances were reported.

     c.  Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading 
         Treatment or Punishment

The Constitution states that the dignity of all persons shall 
be inviolable and that no one shall be subjected to torture or 
other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment, or 
any other condition that detracts from his dignity and worth as 
a human.

There are occasional reports of police beating detainees.  In 
the case noted above, a police inspector and a constable 
allegedly beat a suspect until he became unconscious; the 
suspect later died in the hospital.

Prisons in Ghana are antiquated and seriously overcrowded.  
There were no reports of deaths caused by prison conditions.  

     d.  Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, or Exile

The new Constitution provides protection against arbitrary 
arrest, detention, or exile and states that an individual 
detained shall be informed immediately, in a language he 
understands, of the reasons for his detention and of his right 
to a lawyer and to an interpreter, the latter at state 
expense.  The detainee shall be arraigned within 48 hours.

The court has unlimited discretion regarding the setting of 
bail.  It may refuse to release prisoners on bail and instead 
remand them without charge for an indefinite period, subject to 
weekly review by judicial authorities.  However, the 
Constitution requires that a detainee who has not been tried 
within a "reasonable" time shall be released either 
unconditionally or subject to conditions necessary to ensure 
that he appears at a later date for court proceedings.

As far as is known, after the release of many political 
detainees in 1992, the Government held no political detainees 
at the end of 1993.

The Government does not practice forced exile.  In recent 
years, the Government has quietly encouraged Ghanaians, 
including dissidents with valuable skills, who are living 
abroad to return; in some cases the Government has offered 
amnesty.  Some former government and PNDC officials have 
returned and resumed careers and political activities without 

     e.  Denial of Fair Public Trial

The judiciary is in transition as the former public tribunals 
are being phased out as they finish pending cases.  The 
Constitution establishes two basic levels of courts:  superior 
and lower.  The superior courts include the Supreme Court, the 
Appeals Court, the High Court, and regional tribunals.  
Parliament may decree lower courts or tribunals.  The regional 
tribunals have not been created yet.  The Constitution requires 
that the chairman of a regional tribunal be qualified to be a 
High Court judge, whereas the public tribunals depended largely 
on chairmen with little or no legal experience.  A decision by 
a regional tribunal may be appealed to the Court of Appeal; 

whereas no appeals were permitted from the public tribunal 
until 1985, when the National Appeals Tribunal was created.  

Legal safeguards are based on British legal procedures. 
Defendants are presumed innocent, trials are public, and 
defendants have a right to be present, to be represented by an 
attorney, to present evidence, and to cross-examine witnesses.

The Constitution provides for a Commission for Human Rights and 
Administrative Justice to investigate alleged violations of 
human rights and take action to remedy proven violations.  The 
Human Rights Commission was sworn in in October.  By year's 
end, it had begun hiring legal and investigative staff and 
recruiting for branch offices in all 10 regions of Ghana, and 
for some district offices in each of the 10 regions.  The 
Commission has subpoena power.  When the Commission finds 
evidence of a human rights violation or administrative 
injustice, it can seek resolution through negotiation, by 
making its findings known to the superior of an offending 
person or to the Attorney-General or Auditor-General, or by 
instituting court proceedings.  

The traditional courts will continue to operate alongside the 
regular courts.  The Chieftaincy Act of 1971 gives village and 
other traditional chiefs powers in local matters, including 
authority to enforce customary tribal laws dealing with such 
matters as divorce, child custody, and property disputes.  

In the past, there were grave doubts about the independence of 
the judiciary.  The PNDC summarily dismissed judges, thereby 
reminding them that they served at the PNDC's sufferance.  
However, in the first year of the Fourth Republic, the 
judiciary exhibited the independence provided for in the 
Constitution.  The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the major 
opposition party, the New Patriotic Party (NPP), in 4 of 5 
cases that it brought against the Government.  A Supreme Court 
judge also granted the NPP an injunction ordering the Electoral 
Commission to delay the elections of district chief executives 
pending a decision in another suit brought by the NPP.

As far as is known, the Government had released most of its 
political prisoners by year's end.  However, when Christian 
Chronicle editor George Naykene was released in May, following 
12 months in prison for criminal libel, he raised the case of 
journalist Gershon Dompreh, who he said had served 6 years of a 
20-year prison sentence for "economic sabotage."  According to 
Naykene, Dompreh's crime was publishing information about a 
treaty between Ghana and Saudi Arabia.

On December 17, l992, the authorities arrested Kwesi Pratt and 
Professor Albert Adu-Boahen, leader of the New Patriotic Party, 
and charged them with obstructing a public tribunal for 
refusing to testify on the grounds that they did not consider 
the tribunal to be independent of government influence.  
Adu-Boahen and Pratt remained free awaiting trial, and in July 
the case was moved from the public tribunal to a regular 
court.  At year's end, it was still pending.  

     f.  Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or 

Citizens engaged in activity deemed objectionable by the 
Government are subject to surveillance.  In the past, this 
included monitoring of telephones and mail.  The Constitution 
provides that persons shall be free from interference within 
the privacy of their home, property, correspondence, or 
communication "except in accordance with the law and as may be 
necessary in a free and democratic society for public safety or 
the economic well-being of the country, for the protection of 
health or morals, for the prevention of disorder or crime or 
for the protection of the rights or freedoms of others."  At 
year's end, it remained uncertain how the Government and the 
courts would interpret this broad article in practice.

Section 2  Respect for Civil Liberties, Including:

     a.  Freedom of Speech and Press

Freedom of speech is provided for in the Constitution, and this 
right has been used by the opposition parties, the Ghana Bar 
Association (GBA), the National Union of Ghanaian Students 
(NUGS), and other nongovernmental organizations (NGO's).  Since 
the beginning of the Fourth Republic, there have been no 
credible reports of government attempts to interfere with free 
speech, although government-run media have experienced some 
pressure for conformity.

The State dominates the print and electronic media.  It owns 
the radio and television stations and the two daily 
newspapers.  The official media accentuates the positive 
aspects of government policies, although it also covers 
selected instances of corruption or mismanagement in government 
ministries and state-owned enterprises.  In general, the 
state-owned media do not criticize government policies or 
President Rawlings.  Four journalists with the government-owned 
media were transferred in 1993 to jobs that were seen as 
demotions.  Many journalists and others believe the transfers 
resulted from governmental displeasure with stories the 
journalists had written or produced.  As a result of this 
perceived practice, self-censorship is a pattern in the 
official media, and writers, editors, and commentators 
recognize and rarely cross the boundary of acceptable reporting 
and commentary.  There were occasions when the government-owned 
media carried editorials critical of the Government, but no 
personal attacks were made on top officials.

Most Ghanaians obtain their news from the government-run 
electronic media and British Broadcasting Corporation radio.  
Under the Constitution, individuals are free to own radio and 
television stations.  There have been several applications for 
licenses to operate private radio stations.  However, no 
licenses have been issued to date, and the electronic media 
remain a government monopoly.

The independent press has multiplied with scores of new 
independent newspapers and magazines outspoken in their 
criticism of the Government, including personal attacks on the 
President, his wife, and his close advisers.  However, the 
continued existence of the criminal libel law casts a shadow 
over freedom of the press, and the independent newspapers and 
magazines are small, poorly financed, and not widely 
distributed outside the capital.  Most are weeklies or appear 
sporadically.  While he was never charged, the editor of the 
Free Press was questioned by the police concerning possible 
criminal libel charges resulting from an article accusing the 
Minister of Information and the First Lady of misusing 
government funds.

Foreign periodicals are sold in Accra and other major cities.  
Issues containing articles critical of the Government circulate 

The new Government has not suppressed freedom of speech, press, 
or academic freedom on university campuses.  The NUGS, one of 
the more vocal critics of the Government, is allowed to 
organize and hold meetings (see Section 2.b.).

     b.  Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association

Freedom of peaceful assembly and association are provided for 
in the Constitution.  In the past, demonstrations were 
generally allowed, but the organizers had to obtain a police 
permit, which was sometimes denied.  In February police broke 
up a demonstration to protest the Government's budget due to 
the organizers' failure to obtain a permit.  The Supreme Court 
later ruled in a case brought by the NPP that no police permit 
is needed for demonstrations, parades, rallies, and other 
peaceful assemblies.  The Government made significant efforts 
to publicize this ruling, and some demonstrations took place 
without permits.

There were several student demonstrations critical of the 
Government, but the police generally reacted with restraint.  
The exception was when the police reacted with excessive force 
to a student demonstration in March.  One student was shot, but 
not seriously wounded, and several others were beaten.  The 
police inquiry into the incident, while noting that the actions 
of the students were illegal, concluded that it was difficult 
to justify the use of force by the police.  Releasing the 
report, the Minister of the Interior announced that all those 
who suffered injury during the violence would receive 
compensation from the Government.  At year's end, however, no 
compensation had been paid, nor had any police been charged.  

     c.  Freedom of Religion

There is no state-favored religion and no apparent advantages 
or disadvantages attached to membership in any particular sect 
or religion.

Just before the inauguration of Rawlings as President, the PNDC 
repealed the law requiring religious organizations to register 
with the Government.  The law had been opposed by the Christian 
Council and the Catholic Secretariat, the two largest religious 
organizations in Ghana, and had been suspended for over a year 
pending review.

Foreign missionary groups have generally operated throughout 
the country with a minimum of formal restrictions, although 
some churches continue to have difficulty obtaining visas and 
residence permits for some of their expatriate missionaries.

     d.  Freedom of Movement Within the Country, Foreign
         Travel, Emigration, and Repatriation

Ghanaians and foreigners are free to move throughout the 
country without special permission.  Police checkpoints exist 
countrywide for the prevention of smuggling.  However, 
following PNDC orders in 1992, most checkpoints are routinely 
left unmanned during daylight hours.  After a series of 
unresolved bombing incidents following the November 1992 
presidential elections, the police stepped up daytime 
monitoring of checkpoints.  Roadblocks and car searches are a 
normal part of nighttime travel in Accra.

As members of the Economic Community of West African States 
(ECOWAS), Ghanaians may travel without visas for up to 90 days 
in member states.  Ghanaians are generally free to exercise 
this right, and nationals of other member states are free to 
travel to Ghana.  Ghanaians are also free to emigrate and to 
return from other countries.

Ghana has been faced with a growing refugee population since 
Liberians fleeing civil war began to arrive in August 1990.  By 
June Ghana was hosting some 20,000 Liberian refugees.  Most of 
the new refugee population, as well as many transiting 
third-country nationals also fleeing Liberia, were housed by 
the Government with assistance from the United Nations High 
Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in a camp 20 kilometers west 
of Accra.  An undetermined number of refugees voluntarily 
returned to Liberia.  The estimated camp population was 13,000 
at year's end.

During periods of increased tension in Togo in 1993, as many as 
150,000 Togolese fled their country to seek refuge in Ghana.  
They generally were received by relatives, and many moved back 
and forth repeatedly across the border.  Most are expected to 
return to their country voluntarily when the tension eases.

Section 3  Respect for Political Rights:  The Right of Citizens
           to Change Their Government

Ghanaians exercised their right to vote in 1992.  The election 
outcomes were highly controversial.  The Commonwealth 
Secretariat, the Carter Center, the Organization of African 
Unity, Canada, and members of the European Community sent 
observers to the presidential elections in November.  The 
observers noted significant problems with the electoral process 
(especially involving the voter registration list) but felt 
that the irregularities did not affect the outcome of the 
election.  Rawlings won approximately 58 percent of the vote 
and the four opposition parties won roughly 42 percent.

However, the opposition parties claimed that the presidential 
elections had been fraudulent, and, insisting that any 
subsequent election conducted under the same conditions would 
be equally unfair, the four opposition parties boycotted the 
December parliamentary elections.  As a result, there are no 
opposition party members in Parliament.  Two seats were won by 
independent candidates; the three parties in the coalition 
supporting President Rawlings won the remaining 198 of the 200 
parliamentary seats, with the President's party winning 188.  

Thus, the Rawlings Government, while firmly in power, still 
faced a significant political problem of dealing with a large, 
bitter, extraparliamentary opposition.  To help bring the 
opposition into the political process, the Government promised 
to reform the electoral system, especially the voters' 
register, prior to the 1993 elections.  The NPP agreed to a 
dialog with the Government, and meetings took place in November.
At year's end, it was not clear whether the Government would 
follow through to meet the opposition parties' concerns.

The Constitution prohibits discrimination on grounds of gender 
and there are no de jure obstacles to women or minorities 
participating in government.  There are several female 
ministers, and several women are on the Council of State.  
Women make up 8 percent of the Parliament.  

Section 4  Governmental Attitude Regarding International and 
           Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations 
           of Human Rights

Human rights organizations grew more numerous and vocal in 
1993.  Several, including the Committee on Human and People's 
Rights and the Ghana Bar Association Human Rights Committee, 
opened branch offices.  A Human Rights Study Center was created 
at the law faculty at the University of Ghana at Legon, and 
human rights law took a more prominent place in the school's 
curriculum.  Seminars were frequently held by various 
organizations to discuss human rights issues and often resulted 
in public criticism of the Government.  The Government did not 
interfere with the activities of these groups.  

In the past, the PNDC frequently expressed displeasure at 
criticism of its human rights record from Ghanaian religious 
organizations and international human rights advocates.  In 
1992 it permitted international observers to monitor the 
elections.  The Government permits prison visits by the 
International Committee of the Red Cross.

Section 5  Discrimination Based on Race, Sex, Religion,
           Disability, Language, or Social Status

The Constitution prohibits discrimination on the basis of 
gender, race, color, ethnic origin, religion, creed, or social 
and economic status.  The courts are specifically empowered to 
enforce these prohibitions.  


Although the PNDC promulgated in 1985 four laws that overturned 
many of the customary, traditional, and colonial laws that 
discriminated against women, Ghanaian women remain subject to 
societal discrimination.  Women in urban centers and those with 
skills and training encounter little overt bias, but resistance 
to women in nontraditional roles persists.  Women in the rural 
agricultural sector remain subject to traditional male 
dominance and bear the brunt of difficult labor conditions.

Violence against women (including rape and wife beating) is a 
significant problem.  Police do not normally intervene in 
domestic disputes, and such cases seldom come before the 
courts.  In an effort to reduce the incidence of rape, the 
Government increased the minimum penalty for rape from 1 year 
to 3 years plus a fine or an additional 3 years' imprisonment.

The media sometimes reports cases of women who have been 
beaten, raped, or otherwise assaulted.  Women's rights groups 
are active in educational campaigns and in programs to provide 
vocational training, legal aid, and other support to women.  
The Government is also active in educational programs in 
support of women's rights.


The Government has established a National Commission on 
Children which has instituted several programs, including 
efforts to improve the nutritional value of food for children, 
literacy courses, and establishment of parks and libraries for 
children.  There are many NGO's that are active in health care 
and education for children.

There is little or no discrimination against females in 
education, but girls and women frequently drop out due to 
societal, cultural, or economic pressures.  Statistics show an 
equal male/female ratio in school enrollments in grade 1, but 
the ratio shifts to 2 to 1 against girls by grade 6, 4 to 1 at 
the secondary level, and 9 to 1 at the university level.  The 
Government is testing programs to make it easier for girls to 
stay in school despite outside pressures to drop out.  

There are traditional discriminatory practices against females 
which are injurious to their health and development.  In 
particular, the practice of female genital mutilation 
(circumcision) remains a serious problem.  The Government has 
discouraged the practice in public educational campaigns but 
has not made it illegal.  Although there are no precise 
statistics available, one independent expert estimates that as 
many as 30 percent of Ghanaian females have undergone this 
procedure.  Local health officials, however, believe the 
percentage is much lower.  Such mutilation normally takes place 
at an early age and is practiced mostly in the far northeastern 
and northwestern parts of the country.

Found primarily in the Volta (eastern) region, the tro-kosi, 
fetish slave, or "vestal virgin" system is a traditional 
practice whereby a young girl is made a virtual slave to a 
fetish shrine and priest for offenses committed by a member of 
the girl's family.  While there is much secrecy surrounding the 
practice, the belief is that if someone in a family has 
committed a crime, such as stealing, members of the family may 
begin to die in large numbers unless a young girl is given to 
the local fetish shrine to atone for the offense.  The girl 
becomes the virtual property of the fetish priest and may 
become his wife.  The girls are seldom allowed to go to school 
and must work on the priest's farm and perform other labors for 
him.  When the fetish slave dies or reaches maturity, the 
family is expected to replace her with another young girl for 
the fetish shrine.  The practice is clearly against Ghanaian 
law.  It persists, however, because of traditional practice and 
deep-seated belief that families will suffer if the girls are 
not handed over.  Several NGO's and the National Commission on 
Children have programs to provide education for the girls, and 
there has been some minimal success in encouraging the 
substitution of sacrificial animals in place of girls.  One 
estimate is that there may be 1,000 fetish slaves bound to 
various shrines.

     National/Racial/Ethnic Minorities

Although ethnic differences are played down by the Government, 
its opponents occasionally complain that it is dominated by the 
Ewe ethnic group from eastern Ghana.  However, while President 
Rawlings and a number of his close advisers are Ewe, many 
ministers have other ethnic origins.  The leaders of the 
National Democratic Congress sometimes claim that the other 
parties are "ethnic" parties and are attempting to arouse 
ethnic rivalry.  Although the main opposition party has strong 
support among the Ashanti, overall the charges have little 

     People with Disabilities

The Constitution prohibits discrimination against the 
disabled.  The Government has not enacted any legislation 
mandating accessibility for the disabled.

Section 6  Worker Rights

     a.  The Right of Association

This right is restricted as the Trades Union Ordinance confers 
broad powers on the Government to refuse to register a trade 
union.  However, in practice the PNDC did not and the NDC 
Government to date has not interfered with the right of workers 
to associate in labor unions.  Civil servants are prohibited by 
law from joining or organizing a trade union.  However, on 
December 30, 1992, the PNDC passed the Public Service 
Negotiating Committee Law (Law 309, 1992), allowing each branch 
of the civil service to establish a negotiating committee.

About 10 or 15 percent of workers belong to unions.  Trade 
unions and their activities are still governed by the 
Industrial Relations Act (IRA) of 1965.  The Trades Union 
Congress (TUC) is the only existing confederation, though it 
has no legal monopoly.  In recent years, it has been led by 
experienced union leaders who, aided by a revised union 
constitution and bylaws, continued to define an autonomous role 
for the TUC within the PNDC regime.  During 1993 the TUC took a 
somewhat more confrontational stance vis-a-vis the Government 
and was quite critical of some of its economic policies.  

The right to strike is recognized in law, but a legal strike 
may be called only if negotiations and mediation fail.  Because 
no union has ever gone through the complete process, there have 
been no legal strikes in Ghana since independence.  University 
teachers and Volta Aluminum Conpany workers staged major 
strikes in 1993.  The IRA prohibits retribution against 
strikers, and this is enforced.  There has been no progress in 
implementing the Government's declared intention to establish 
labor tribunals to arbitrate industrial disputes certified as 

The TUC is affiliated with the Organization of African Trade 
Union Unity, headquartered in Accra.  In December 1992, the TUC 
was accepted as a member of the International Confederation of 
Free Trade Unions.

     b.  The Right to Organize and Bargain Collectively

The IRA provides a framework for collective bargaining and some 
protection against antiunion discrimination as well.  Ghana's 
trade unions engage in collective bargaining for wages and 
benefits with both private and state-owned enterprises without 
government interference.  However, the Government, labor, and 
employers negotiate together through a tripartite commission to 
set minimum standards for wages and working conditions.  
Employers found guilty of antiunion discrimination are required 
to reinstate workers fired for union activities.  

There are no functioning export processing zones.

     c.  Prohibition of Forced or Compulsory Labor

The law prohibits forced labor, and it is not known to be 
practiced.  However, the International Labor Organization (ILO) 
continues to urge the Government to revise various legal 
provisions that permit imprisonment with an obligation to 
perform labor for offenses that are not countenanced under ILO 
Convention 105, ratified by Ghana in 1958.

     d.  Minimum Age for Employment of Children

Labor legislation in Ghana sets a minimum employment age of 15 
and prohibits night work and certain types of hazardous labor 
for those under 18.  In practice, child labor is prevalent, and 
young children of school age can often be found during the day 
performing menial tasks in the market or collecting fares on 
local buses.  Observance of minimum age laws is eroded by local 
custom and economic circumstances that encourage children to 
work to help their families.  Violators of regulations 
prohibiting heavy labor and night work for children are 
occasionally punished.  Inspectors from the Ministry of Labor 
and Social Welfare are responsible for enforcement of child 
labor regulations.  They visit each workplace annually and make 
spot checks whenever they receive allegations of violations.

     e.  Acceptable Conditions of Work

In 1991 the PNDC government convened a tripartite commission of 
representatives of government, labor, and employers which 
administratively set minimum standards for wages and working 
conditions.  The minimum wage rate combines wages with 
customary benefits, such as a transportation allowance.  
However, the existing daily minimum wage of roughly $0.95 (790 
cedis) is insufficient for a single wage earner to support a 
family.  In most cases households are supported by multiple 
wage earners, some family farming, and other family based 
commercial activities.

The maximum workweek, by law, is 45 hours, with one break of at 
least 36 consecutive hours every 7 days.  Through collective 
bargaining, however, the basic workweek for most unionized 
workers is 40 hours.

Occupational safety and health regulations are in effect, and 
sanctions are occasionally applied through the Labor Department 
of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare.  However, safety 
inspectors are few in number and poorly trained.  They will 
take action if matters are called to their attention but lack 
the resources to seek out violations.  Workers have the right 
to withdraw themselves from dangerous work situations without 
jeopardy to continued employment.  

[end of document]


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