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Deputy Speaker demands status report on labour export

FILE PHOTO: Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Parliament has tasked the Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development to give a detailed status of the exportation of domestic workers abroad.

Parliament was on Thursday debating the exportation of Ugandan domestic workers to the Middle East following a matter of national importance raised by Mukono Municipality MP Betty Nambooze.

Nambooze had asked Parliament to prevail over government to ban labour export companies.

Nambooze said that government should instead set up a public funded labour agency at the Ministry of Gender and Labor headed by a commissioner to stop profit-oriented private companies who traffic citizens.

However, the Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah tasked the Government on creating a system that would ensure proper management of export of labour.

Oulanyah demanded a statement from Government on the number of companies exporting labour, the illegal companies and those that are blacklisted among others.

He also noted that there is over generalization of the domestic workers, with many Ugandans now thinking all of them are suffering, and yet majority are in good conditions working.  He also faulted the ministry of Gender and labour for failing to ably respond to the matters of labour export.

Recently, Nambooze took to social media calling for the suspension of the licence of Marphie International Recruitment Agency, a company she alleges hired off 23 Ugandan girls and sold them to the highest bidders in dollars.

By September, the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development had licensed 102 labour export companies including Marphie International Recruitment Agency Limited.

Uganda exports 65,000 workers every year to different parts of the world. Of this, several Ugandans find their way to the Middle East countries of Oman, Bahrain, United Arabs Emirates, Qatar, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait among others.

Reports, however, indicate that several of these domestic workers are harassed and sexually exploited while many have also lost their lives.

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