Government ignores Betty Nambooze call on labour exportation to Arab countries, will not ban labour exportation due to high levels of unemployment.
The gender, labour and social development minister, Janat Mukwaya, has stressed that the government will continue to export it’s workers abroad since it is one way of solving the unemployment problem in the country.
While addressing a press conference at the Uganda Media Centre in Kampala on 12th July, Mukwaya stated that a committee has been put in place to review existing Memorandum of Understanding agreements (MOU) that the government signed with Middle Eastern governments.
“Uganda has signed more bilateral agreements to protect Ugandan workers working abroad that’s with Jordan, UAE and other countries. This is an effort to reduce unemployment in the country. Over 80,000 citizens work in those countries,” Mukwaya stated.
“The signed MoU offers protection to our Ugandan migrants in a number of ways, especially through establishing a mechanism to discuss and exchange views on labour-related problems and to resolve any outstanding issues relating to workers and their rights,” she added.
This comes amid more reports on Ugandan workers who are tortured by their employers overseas.
Betty Nambooze on labour exportation to Arab world
Earlier this month, the Mukono Municipality MP, Betty Nambooze also raised claims about the mistreatment of young girls who are exported to Arab countries for work and as well suggested that government should stop exporting its people to these countries.
In the wake of these claims, Mukwaya said that banning exportation is impossible but the government will sign MOUs and also revise those that have already been signed in a bid to end labour mistreatment and torture.
The minister also revealed that for the first time, the Uganda government on June 26, 2019, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization in UAE that will ensure that all exported Ugandans to the country go through the right channels and are not mistreated.
This MOU was signed between her ministry and that of Human Resources and Emiratization in the UAE represented by Minister Nasser bin Thani Al Hamli.
In addition, they (exported Ugandans) will sign an employment contract that will clearly state their rights and obligations and that of the employer in conformity with the labour laws of the country.
According to her, the contract will be delivered in both English and Arabic which will be done by the recruitment agency in Uganda.
“The agreement comes with stringent measures and will help deal with illegal employment companies because of more organized and safe employment to be created,” Mukwaya said.
“The contract will be filed with the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization in the UAE to constitute the sole binding contract document for the purpose of enforcement in the United Arab Emirates. The terms and conditions of employment, as stated in the contract, shall not vary from those contained in the employment offer except for alterations that are favourable to the worker,” she added.
Meanwhile, the government is looking for funds to repatriate an unspecified number of Ugandan women and girls who are allegedly held hostage in the Arab world.
By John Dalton Kigozi