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MPs recommend fact finding mission to middle east countries

Ugandas Gender Minister Janat Mukwaya signs a pact on behalf of Uganda with Saudi Arabia on Export of Labour

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT  |  The Committee on Gender, Labour and Social Development has recommended a fact finding mission to Middle East countries to investigate complaints about mistreatment of Ugandan workers.

Uganda is expected to export 80,000 people to work in United Arabs Emirates in the next 12 months.

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

However several Ugandans are inhumanely treated, tortured and in some cases killed.     

In a report by the committee, MPs led by the chairperson Alex Ndeezi want a fact-finding mission to the Middle East countries.

He says in their interaction with stakeholders, they were unable to make conclusions on the allegations of mistreatment of workers. He says they need an on-ground assessment of the matter.

“The Committee, therefore, noted that there is need for a fact-finding mission to make a final and conclusive report on the highly sensitive and consequential externalization of labour industry,” Ndeezi notes in his report.  

The Committee notes that Government does not have any agreement between Uganda and many countries in the Middle East including the Kingdom of Oman, Kuwait, Turkey, and Lebanon among others.

The Committee has also recommended that there is need to regulate the placement fees and other fees being charged by the recruitment agencies that tend to take workers for employment abroad since they are charging exorbitant fees.

They also want proper coordinations between stakeholders and proper mechanisms, while executing the procedures and activities of externalization of labour and fast-tracking of the establishment of officers responsible for grievance and complaints handling.

The MPs also want the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development to emphasize and undertake routine and on-spot inspections as required to the respective recruitment agencies and companies.

“The Committee observed that there is also need for Ministry of Gender to emphasize on-spot inspections as required to the respective recruitment agencies and companies.” The report by Ndeezi reads.

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