Government commits to helping Migrant workers

Government commits to helping Migrant workers

The  Minister of Gender, Labour and Social development Betty Amongi has confirmed  that there are hundreds of Ugandans in Saudi Arabia stranded . She further elaborated that government can only help stranded laborers if they went through appropriate  channels approved by the Ministry.

According to the Minister, one can be only rescued when he/she traveled through a licensed Recruitment company, Government to government channel and also the Individual channel if one clearly confirmed his visa upon leaving the country because those are the approved channels instituted by the Labour Ministry.

On January 23rd to 28th this year, the Minister led a delegation comprising of officials from Foreign affairs Ministry, Justice and Constitutional affairs Ministry and the Ambassador to the kingdom of Saudi Arabia with an aim of assessing the status of implementation of the Bilateral Labour agreement, Ensure that requirements of the employment regulations and presidential directives on labour externalization are being enforced plus also Appraising the condition and general welfare of Ugandan migrant workers in Saudi Arabia.

This delegation found out that Uganda currently has an estimation of 140,000 migrant workers in Saudi Arabia which generates about $900million per annum for the country by only those in the middle East. Furthermore, the delegation found out that if this is managed well to the expectation of all parties it can alleviate the unemployment situation in the country but if unregulated it can also degenerate into the vice of human trafficking and its attendant risks.

Hon. Amongi also indicated that a number of issues affecting the welfare of Ugandan workers including Non payment of laborers, instances of torture and mistreatment, denial of proper meals, confiscation of travel documents like passports among others were raised to authorities in Saudi Arabia and they promised to rectify them for smooth running of the business.

From various meetings held, both parties agreed that their should be strict enforcement of the signed agreements and contracts, a joint technical committee will be established to thoroughly review the existing contracts,  the pre departure training of migrating workers will be reviewed and also putting in place a robust and monitoring system that is linked to the Saudi based MUSANED amongst others.

In their commitment to the attainment of safe, orderly and decent migration of all Ugandans destined to Saudi Arabia the Ministry agreed with the Human Resource and Social development Minister H.E Ahmed Sulaiman that there will be a Ministerial review meeting in three months time to assess progress towards resolving these challenges.