Parliament has directed the committee of Gender, Labour and Social Development to institute an investigation into the lucrative business of exportation of labour to the Middle East.
The committee was given five terms of reference to conduct the probe, following several concerns on the licensing of companies and mistreatment of Ugandans in the Middle East.
While announcing the directives on 6th October 2016 during the plenary sitting, the Deputy Speaker, Jacob Oulanyah directed the committee to ascertain the conditions and circumstances under which the companies continue to export labour, in spite of a moratorium placed by Parliament stopping exportation of labour in January 2016.
Oulanyah said the committee would also probe into allegations of abuse of Ugandans exported to the Middle-East; scrutinize agreements between the companies involved in the export of labour and Ugandans working in the Middle East and also inquire into the role of the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development and any other entities in the matter.
At least 58 companies are involved in the exportation of labour to the Middle East, however the Directorate of Immigration in the Ministry of Internal Affairs has often than not, rescued young women exported to the countries but mistreated at the hands of the foreign employers.
During debate on the same issue in August 2016, the State Minister of Labour, Herbert Kabafunzaki came under fire from legislators over government’s failure to track Ugandans who go abroad to work and penalize companies involved in sham employment.
Kabafunzaki says the committee will answer the concerns of the MPs as well as give more information on the companies involved in the trade, with the aim to sanction those involved in violation of Ugandans’ rights.