Ministry of Gender, Labor and Social Development has announced a spike in the demand for labor in the Middle East.
Minister Janat Balunzi Mukwaya told press on Friday that the demand is being driven partly by a number of measures taken by government to curb illicit labor export and acts of human trafficking.
These measures, the minister says, include the recent bi-lateral agreement that was signed on 26th June 2019 between the Ministry and United Arab Emirates (UAE).
“The signed MOU between the government of Uganda and UAE offers protection to our Ugandan migrant workers especially through strengthening cooperation by providing the legal framework in the employment of man power from Uganda to man power,” Mukwaya said.
According to the minister, there is already about 40,000 Ugandan workers in the UAE.
And now with the “legal rapport” established through the MoU, the minister says another 80,000 Ugandans are scheduled to transit to UAE for work in the next 12 months.
Under the new arrangement, Prior to leaving the country, Mukwaya says those seeking employment will have to agree to contractual obligations as stated by the employer.
This text written in English and Arabic shall be explained to the prospective worker by the local recruitment agency.
Upon arrival in the UAE, the worker shall sign an employment contract espousing the rights of both parties as per the two countries’ labor laws.
“The terms and conditions of employment as stated in the contract shall not vary from those in the employment offer, except for alterations that are favorable for the worker” Mukwaya explains.
The minister also revealed under this arrangement, the employer will meet all recruitment costs, which she says will end exploitative tendencies.
Unregistered labour companies will also not be permitted to operate in the United Arab Emirates.
Mukwaya says she has proposed for a joint committee to postulate ways on how to implement this arrangement effectively.
Speaking about recent claims by Mukono MP Betty Bakireke Nambooze about Ugandan girls being sold as slaves in the Middle East Mukwaya simply brushed these off.
She said before critiquing those creating employment for Ugandans, Nambooze should set up an entrepreneurial project to employ desperate youth.
Mukwaya also wondered how enslaved people can access phones to film themselves.