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Uganda lifts ban on labour exports to Middle East

Minister Mukwaya explains change in policy on export of labour

Government has lifted a ban on the externalization of labour to allow Ugandans seek jobs abroad especially in The Middle East.

A year ago, government imposed a ban on the externalization of workers following reports of hostility meted out on Ugandans working abroad.

The growing concern was that domestic workers exported to work in foreign countries especially in the Middle East and far East of Asia were being conscripted into sexual slavery, tortured and dehumanized.

However, Gender, Labor and Social development Minister Janat Mukwaya told the press on Friday the ban has been lifted after government put in place measures that will promote the rights of Ugandan workers abroad.

Mukwaya says those seeking to go abroad for work will sign a four party employment contract to be signed both in Uganda and recipient country among other conditions.

“We have done what it takes to make the working environment safe for our girls. We are going to establish a robust monitoring office in Saudi Arabia’s capital of Riyadh to address any concerns that may emerge,” said Mukwaya.

Mukwaya however added that exportation of labor to Oman is banned, noting that it is a destination for human traffickers.

“We have not gone to Oman because they rejected our negotiations. Oman is a destination of workers where we cannot allow until we agree on a bilateral arrangement,” said Mukwaya.

She revealed that Uganda had reached agreement with countries such as Qatar which needs 30,000 workers  from Uganda. Uganda is also targeting countries like Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Turkey among others for more partnerships.

She said 65 companies have been licensed to export labor.



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