AMMAN—Jordan, an Arab nation on the east bank of the Jordan River has agreed to reopen its labour market to Ugandans, Ambassador Abbey Walusimbi, the Senior Presidential Advisor on Diaspora Affairs has announced.
The development follows a meeting with Jordanian Vice Minister and Secretary General of Ministry of Labour Farouk Al Hadidi.
Others who attended the meeting held in Amman, the capital of Jordan included among others Eng. Eman Suleiman Alja’fari, the Head of International Cooperation Directorate, Mr. Fagez Al Jbour Director Domestic Workers, and Mr. Riyad Banhaar the Director Foreign Affairs.
“We are happy to note that the Jordan market is now legally open for Ugandan migrant workers, and we have committed to do everything possible to ensure that our local recruitment companies follow the requirements of Jordan to the dott.” Walusimbi announced.
“While we do this, we must ensure that we protect the rights and safety of Ugandan migrant workers, while Ugandans do the same for the Jordanians in our country. Our President, whom I represent here today, has faith that with such initiatives and improved regulations within the sector aimed at ensuring the safety of migrant workers, it will not only benefit Ugandans in Jordan and pave way for even greater opportunities for nationals of both countries.”
As part of the trip, Ambassador Walusimbi and his delegation, met with the Jordanian Recruitment Agencies Association (RAA), and they discussed lifting the suspension of the BLA between Uganda and Jordan, releasing of Ugandan domestic migrant workers who are in detention, fixing gaps that promote human trafficking, deployment of other categories of migrant workers, Reopening the labour market for Ugandan domestic migrant workers, and leaving the issue of price/commission to the open market or setting it at $1400.
They also met members from the Kenya Association of Private Employers (KAPEA) and the Association of Skilled Migrant Agencies of Kenya (ASMAK), led by their Chairperson Ms. Susan Wamaitha and deliberated on issues of mutual interest as East Africans including stopping human trafficking (through borders & airports), and fighting against runaways, fighting against fake documents and negotiating for better terms of service for East African migrant workers and most importantly, they agreed to collaborate as one bloc and ensure that the rights, dignity & welfare of East African migrant workers are well respected.
The Jordanian authorities informed the Ambassador Walusimbi that the Bilateral Labour Agreement that expired in Nov 2022 was automatically renewed for another 5 years and will expire in Nov. 2026, however there is a need for the Uganda government to stream line the companies exporting Migrant workers to Jordan, because in the past, they were receiving Ugandans with fabricated medical results, which was putting the lives of their nationals at risk and that is the reason most of them were detained.
The Jordanian government said that they are ready to form a Joint Tech. Committee to address any Administrative issues that may arise out of the Bilateral Labour Agreement.
He further informed us that the Jordanian officials said that although there are about 50,000 Migrant workers in Jordan of which 30,000 are Ethiopians. the rest of the 20,000 are shared between.
(Uganda, Ghana Nepal, Bangladesh and Phillipines), Jordanians prefer Ugandan migrant workers because of their politeness, good attitude towards work and their command of the English language.
Jordan has put in place a medical check up system that ensures only fit and healthy migrants get Visas to travel to Jordan.
“It is therefore important that we as the Government of Uganda open this destination to avert the ongoing illegal recruitment practices and get better terms for Ugandan migrant workers in Jordan. We have also requested the Jordanian govt to release our Ugandan girls who are in detention.”
The delegation also met some Ugandan youths who have started to come for work in Jordan through unofficial means which they say calls for the MGLSD to expeditiously consider streamlining this Labour destination to allow more youths the opportunity to decent employment.
Ambassador Walusimbi and Mr. Baker Akantambira Chairman UAERA also visited the Honorary Consul for Ethiopia in Jordan Hon. Yousef Abdo, and he said that he is ready to support Uganda in putting up support systems for Ugandans.