MGLSD Vows To Suspend Errant Labor Export Companies As Uganda, UAE Commit To Monitor Welfare Of Migrant Workers
By Uganda Online Media
Kampala: The Governments of Uganda and the United Arab Emirates have committed to setting up an efficient monitoring system linked to Saudi Arabian authorities to monitor the condition and the welfare of all migrant workers who travel to the middle east countries in search of greener pastures.
This has been revealed by the Minister of Gender, Labor, and Social Development Betty Amongi while addressing journalists at the media center after her one-week working visit in Saudi Arabia to discuss the safety of Ugandans following reports of abuse and other complaints.
Amongi revealed that for effective monitoring of the deployed workers, both foreign and local recruitment agencies will be required to produce quarterly reports on each deployed migrant worker adding that the foreign agencies must also employ Ugandan translators to respond to distress calls raised by migrant workers.
Amongi further revealed that a joint technical team is to be set up before the end of this month to support the two countries implement the situation to ensure safe and decent labor externalization.
According to Amongi, the government of Uganda and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have reached an agreement that Uganda will have the authority to suspend Saudi Arabian labor companies that abuse the contractual obligations and rights of Ugandan migrant workers working in the Middle East country.
During their visit to UAE Ugandan delegation reported breaches of terms and conditions in migrant workers’ contracts and nonenforcement of sanctions on perpetrators.
Click Here To Read Full Statement
The delegation cited issues such as; denial of access to adequate medical services by the employers; incomplete and/or non-payment of wages; denial of access to a telephone, internet, and other communication services, confiscation of the identification documents by some employers and agencies; instances of torture and mistreatment of domestic workers; cases of denial of proper meals to the domestic workers among others.
On the hand, other concerns raised for attention by Saudi Arabian authorities include; hardship in the acquisition of exit visas for domestic workers with psychiatric problems, hardship in the acquisition of exit visas and birth certificates for babies born to domestic workers, cases of death and burial of some of the domestic workers without family consent among others.
During her media address today Wednesday, February 2, 2022, Amongi noted that two labor companies in Saudi Arabia have already been put on notice to rectify certain issues in two weeks, or face suspension.
“We will continue to ensure cases that are reported on abuse and noncompliance of contractual obligations, we put strict sanctions on the companies and individuals involved in the violation of rights, this will not only be companies in Uganda; even companies in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia that employ Ugandans. We agreed that if any of them abuses contractual rights and obligations without reasonable cause, we will suspend them,” Amongi said.
“Because we are the ones who vet and license them with Ugandan companies through our Ugandan Embassy, so, we have made it very clear to them. For those that have issues, we have already given notice to them to rectify those issues within the next two weeks. If they don’t, I will write to the Ambassador to suspend them,” she added.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a key destination for Ugandan migrant workers estimated to be more than 140,000 in different categories.