The Government of Uganda is considering a ban on the externalisation of labour, especially in the Middle East.
This has been confirmed by the Minister for Gender, Labour and Social Development Betty Amongi saying she has been directed by the cabinet to produce a justification that would compel the central government not to ban the externalisation of labour to Middle Eastern Countries.
Minister Amongi made the revelation while meeting the proprietors of Labour Companies in Kampala on Wednesday to explain the government’s position regarding the numerous complaints surrounding the sector.
The development follows several cases of mistreatment, sexual harassment and lately legal organ harvesting among other challenges faced by Ugandans working in the Middle East.
According to Amongi, her ministry has registered over 300 cases this year which prompted President Museveni to call for a cabinet meeting to forge a way forward to save Ugandans.
“To the cabinet, the number one complaint is mistreatment, this year alone, we have received 300 cases of mistreatment and the second is sexual harassment,” Amongi said.
Amongi further noted that the Cabinet had several suggestions including halting the sector, imposing a total ban on the industry, and halting externalisation of house maids among other measures to mitigate the situation.
“Some said that we should ban the industry, some proposed that let us place a ban, but only for house maids.. others said that let us hold for some time,” Amongi said while briefed labour export companies players” she noted.
According to Uganda Association of External Recruitment Agencies (UAERA), over 350,000 Ugandans work in the Middle East doing both domestic and non-domestic jobs.
However several numbers are believed to have been trafficked and their details are not captured in government statistics.
Remittances from Ugandans in the diaspora are estimated to bring into the country $1 billion every year. This is actually a drop by $300million, from close to $1.4 billion, because of COVID-19.
Uganda still remained among the top 10 recipients of remittances on the continent, staying in the top position among sub-Saharan African countries.