KAMPALA – The Deputy Speaker, Jacob Oulanyah, has tasked the Uganda Association of External Recruitment Agencies (UAERA) to expeditiously handle the repatriation of workers stranded in foreign countries under uncomfortable working conditions.
Hon Oulanyah said labour export agencies that are licensed and operating within the law, subscribe to UAERA through payment of insurance, and should handle repatriation or treatment of workers.
“So there should not be any burden to any parent that their child is stranded somewhere and they are looking for money to repatriate them or that they should refund money before they are brought back,” Oulanyah explained.
The Deputy Speaker made the remarks in response to a concern raised by Mukono Municipality MP, Hon. Betty Nambooze on Thursday, August 1, 2019.
Hon Nambooze said that the youths who sought employment abroad through labour agencies were stuck and unable to return to Uganda.
Hon Nambooze noted that following the Deputy Speaker’s directive on July 18, 2019, several girls are stranded at the Uganda Embassy in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as they wait for support to return home.
“The Ambassador was even captured on video chasing the girls away. It is very painful that a Ugandan in Dubai is being chased away by their own Ambassador,” said Hon Nambooze.
She observed that there are new cases of Ugandans stranded abroad and that victims of trafficking by unlicensed recruitment agencies had increased.
“It is very sad that one of my constituents died in Riyadh last week under circumstances yet to be established; so we need guidance on how to handle these new cases,” Nambooze said.
According to the Coordination Office for Prevention of Trafficking in Persons under the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, as of 10 May 2017, there were 66 licensed private recruitment companies.