Amb. Abbey Walusimbi, the Senior Presidential Advisor on Diaspora Affairs, stated that the government is concerned about the rising number of cases of human rights violations against Ugandan migrant workers.
The call was made by Amb.Walusimbi during the closing ceremony of a three-day retreat hosted by the Uganda Association of External Recruitment Agencies (UAERA) with the subject “Retreat, Review, Recharge.”
Over 100 recruitment companies attended the seminar.
“There have been multiple complaints against you, the owners of enterprises, that you provide bogus job orders for clearance, as evidenced by the growing number of Ugandans stuck at your offices abroad and in warehouses with nowhere to work.” This must not be allowed to happen.
He demanded that recruitment firms be investigated and that migrant employees, particularly housemaids, be given proper training before leaving for employment overseas.
A number of complaints have been filed against labor export companies, according to the Senior Presidential Advisor on Diaspora Affairs, including mistreatment of Ugandan workers, withholding of their passports, denial of basic human rights such as access to healthcare, communication, and inadequate access to government services, among others.
“It has come to my knowledge that you have assembled to discuss how to improve such concerns, and I applaud you for taking this step, which we hope will bring better outcomes.” “We should all work together to develop long-term answers,” added Amb. Walusimbi.
He urged members of the Uganda Association of External Recruitment Agencies (UAERA) to come up and expose the bad actors in the industry, warning that the longer they keep the wrongdoers hidden, the more the sector as a whole suffers.
Charles Engola, the Minister of State for Gender, urged all stakeholders to join forces and work to improve the welfare and rights of Ugandan migrant workers overseas.
According to Engola, the ministry is committed to working with all stakeholders to find practical ways to improve labor externalization in the country.
“We should all join together and devise a monitoring mechanism that will be utilized to monitor all migrant workers abroad,” Engola said. “This will go a long way toward minimizing incidences of human rights violations against Ugandans.”
He vowed to look into the difficulties presented by UAERA members, such as the recent arrest of some of their members, delays in the approval of employment orders, and visa issuance delays, among other things.
Baker Akantambira, the UAERA chairwoman, noted a variety of issues that businesses continue to face in providing services to Ugandans, which the government must address immediately.
One of the most significant obstacles, according to Akantambira, is the unjustified arrest of five of their members who, he claims, had completed all of their tasks.
“We are still waiting for a Joint Technical Committee, and we urge that UAERA be represented on the government of Uganda’s committee by default,” Akantambira said.
He added that UAERA members have determined, among other things, to establish an internal monitoring framework based on self-discipline, self-regulation, and a rigorous monitoring mechanism to safeguard the welfare of migrant workers.