The new measures suggest harmonized training curriculum for labour export agencies and Ugandans; partnership with foreign law firms to arbitrate violations of labour rights as well as foreign non governmental organizations working against exploitation of labour and trafficking in persons among others.
The new faction of foreign labour recruitment agencies in Uganda
asked government to address challenges in labour export industry with
harmonized training of domestic recruitment agencies.
The group, the Uganda Federation of Foreign Recruitment Agencies (UFFRA) says
the measure will eliminate trafficking in persons, introduce standards and
foster safety of Ugandans taken abroad for various employments.
The Federation consists of 100 agencies that recently broke off from the Uganda
Association of Externalization Recruitment Agencies (UAERA).
Issa Kato, the General Manager of Cella Investments Limited, a recruitment firm
in Ntinda says they would like to use their newly established secretariat at
Crested Towers to coordinate common training among members of the Federation in
view of consolidating labour safety abroad.
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Kato, who is one of the Executives in the Federation says the secretariat will
also help them share best practices responsible for safety of labours working
abroad. He says the federation is drafting new guidelines for exportation of
labour to introduce among others monitoring mechanisms for Ugandans employed
abroad in collaboration with Ugandan embassies abroad.
The new measures suggest harmonized training curriculum for labour export
agencies and Ugandans; partnership with foreign law firms to arbitrate
violations of labour rights as well as foreign non-governmental organizations
working against exploitation of labour and trafficking in persons among
Kato says the Federation has already entered a contractual agreement with a law
firm in Riyadh in Saudi Arabia to arbitrate labour disputes for Ugandans
employed in Saudi Arabia.
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He says the Federation has signed memorandums of understanding with some
non-governmental organizations opposed to trafficking in persons to help
Ugandan labours embroiled in disputes while abroad.
The Federation has urged Ugandans seeking job abroad to insist on licenses of
the recruitment agency to avoid being trapped in rackets of trafficking in
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According to the Federation, trafficked labour are the most abused while
working abroad in terms of failing to receive their pay, harsh working
conditions and confiscated travel documents.
Data from the Federation says out of 900 labour exported over the past two years,
eight have been returned due to sicknesses and other labour disputes. Those
returned due to distress are rehabilitated in a Clinic in Entebbe International
Airport and Mengo Hospital
Daniel Mburu, an official of Migrant Workers’s Voice, another member of the
Federation in Mengo says they would like to see government build a proper
rehabilitation Center for exported labour in Uganda to help those who suffer
distress during their employment.
The firms also blame some of the loopholes in the industry on existing gaps in
the Labour Export Regulation of 2005 which does not clearly spell out the
mandates of the labour export firms.
“For instance, where does our mandates start and stop as labour firms? There
are diplomatic issues which we can’t handle ourselves. Can we have proper
mechanisms for monitoring our workers when we send them out?” a member of a
recruitment firm in Kyebando said on condition of anonymity.
Sticking issues around export of labour has to do with mismanagement of
information related to death of exported labour. Some firms have introduced
periodic monitoring and controlled communications for their clients to check on
Earlier, the Federation met the Minister of Labour, Gender and Social
Development Janet Mukwaya to share these proposals. A source who attended the
meeting said the Minister pledged to work with them to weed out loopholes in