Government through the Ministry of Gender Labor and Social Development is putting stricter regulations on labour export to curb human trafficking.
The Ministry’s Permanent Secretary Aggrey Kibenge says priority is to make sure Ugandans are safe wherever they travel for employment especially those that travel to the Middle East where so many complaints of abuse have been coming from.
“The Ministry is working with partners and embassies in the destination countries to protect the dignity of Ugandans who travel abroad for work,” he said after while receiving a petition from unemployed women who stormed the Ministry on Monday protesting double standards exhibited in the sector.
The Uganda Association of External Recruitment Agencies (UERA) an organization that brings together all licensed labour export companies in the country, recently sent agents to Saudi Arabia to open up offices in different cities that will coordinate with the home main office to protect Ugandans working there.
Mr Kibenge said the President gave a directive to the Ministry to cancel licenses of all companies that operate irresponsibly and prosecute the perpetuators.
Companies and individuals have for long been illegally exporting especially the youth to Middle East promising them better opportunities which sometimes turn out to be a myth.
When government instituted a local down in March this year due to the outbreak of the covid-19 pandemic, labour export is one of the sectors that were strongly affected.
Youths seeking to travel abroad for employment are putting much pressure on government to open up and freely allow Ugandans travel for employment.
They say the continuous travel restrictions put lives of vulnerable youth in danger when they land into the hands of traffickers.
Kibenge however, told the youths to be patient that the restrictions are in place to protect them.
“Though you are looking for jobs before you travel government has to make sure you’re safe where you are going, you can travel any time but safety should be priority.”
The Ministry says it’s within its mandate to protect Ugandans who travel abroad for work. Therefore, when government opens up for them to freely move out of the country for employment, whatever is needed will be in place for the smooth running of the sector.