The government through the Ministry of Gender and social development has cancelled the operating licences of eight labour export companies including Middle East Consultants after several complaints made to the government including trafficking, torture and mistreatment among other issues that were raised by Ugandans.
Agnes Igoye, the deputy national coordinator for Prevention of Trafficking in Persons at the Ministry of Internal Affairs mentioned Elite Placement Consulting, Eagle Supervision Limited, Ridars Uganda Limited, Al Saudi Agency Limited, Forbes Enterprise, Fly International Jobs, HBM International Recruitment, Sahara Recruitment Limited and Top Notch Recruitment Services Limited as the other labour export companies whose licences have been revoked by the government.
“Some of these were engaged in forgeries and their licences were not extended. The Ministry of Gender also got complaints from several Ugandans against some of these companies. We ask Ugandans not to use them for labour export because they are no longer licenced,” Igoye said.
“If you see anybody working with these agencies pursuing you, report to us.”
The official from the Ministry of Internal Affairs also warned members of the public against human trafficking that she said is real and done by “people known to us.”
“They use social media to recruit you but don’t accept. Be careful. Not everything you see looking good is one.”
According to a statement on the Ministry of Gender website, the licences for the eight companies were revoked and the public is warned against dealing with the companies.
Last year, several complaints rose up against Middle East Consultancy Limited, prompting the government to suspend its licence.
Most of these companies export labour to Middle East countries where many, mostly girls work as maids.
Data from the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development indicates that 12,000 Ugandans leave for the Middle East every year in search for jobs.
In the Middle East, Ugandans mostly prefer Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Qatar and here most( over 90%) work as casual labourers.
Data from Bank of Uganda also indicates that remittances by Ugandans working in Middle East countries have increased over the years.
However, of late, there have been several reports of mistreatment of Ugandans working in the Middle East.