Hon. Mukwaya flies to Jordan over employment
Uganda’s Gender, Labour and Social Development (GLSD) Minister Hon Janat Mukwaya flew to Jordan late last month to review existing employment contracts between Uganda and foreign companies.
Director for Labour at Gender Ministry Hon Martin Wandera told the Workers Eye the Minister’s visit follows accumulative reports of breach of employment contracts in Jordan that hold bi-lateral agreements for domestic workers.
There have been increased reports of violation of labour rights, breach in employment terms, sexual harassment, violence against workers, pathetic conditions under which employee s work and general welfare of workers.
Reports have also been increasing of employment companies flouting labour laws and under investigations reports of human parts mainly kidneys being extracted from workers.
Hon Hajjat Mukwaya led a delegation of Uganda Association of External Recruitment Agencies (UAERA) leaders to Jordan to assess the situation.
UAERA Chairman Andrew Tumwine Kameraho, Secretary General Noor Mayambala and Executive Director Ms. Enid Nambuya are in Jordan on a situation analysis, monitoring and evaluation mission of the sector.
Early this year the Ministry signed a second protocol to export labour to the United Arab Emirates but the guidelines for implementation of the protocol is yet to be fulfilled.
The protocol once finalized will add at least 80,000 jobs to the labour export market in a year. Uganda’s Labour Liaison Officer in Saudi Arabia Mr Abdul Aziz Musoke is tasked to fast track full implementation of the UAE protocol. He is also udner instructions to monitor and supervise bilateral labour agreements to ensure strict adherance and implementation by the parties involved.
Sources within the Gender Ministry have now and then been prevailing upon the Liason Officer in intervention in several labour disputes, centering around sexual harassment, torture and breach of contracts by employers. Member of Parliament for Mukono Municipality Hon Betty Nambooze Bakireke petitioned the House over increased torture and exploitation of Ugandans abroad by employment companies.
Reports of increased torture and exploitation of workers mainly youth has culminated in the reduction in the number of Ugandans seeking employment in the Middle East.
In June 2018 Ugandan government directed recruitment companies sending domestic workers to Saudi Arabia and Jordan to stop charging them recruitment and placement costs.
According to the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development the bilateral Collective Bargaining agreement signed by countries, all the recruitment and placement costs for domestic workers destined to Saudi Arabia and Jordan are covered by foreign recruitment agencies. This includes air ticket, visa fees, passport, medical and inoculation.