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.