The Ministry of Gender, treat Labour and Social Development has Monday clarified on the lifting of the ban on the externalization of domestic workers to the middle East as well as the nature and amount of fees payable by a migrant worker.
The clarity was made by the Ministry Permanent Secretary (PS), sick Pius Bigirimana while addressing the media at the Ministry Headquarters in Kampala.
Bigirimana reiterated that the Government decided to lift the ban on the externalization of labour on two grounds that; despite the ban, drugs trafficking of persons for domestic work continued and the majority of the trafficked workers ended in exploitative work and in unknown destinations.
He said that this made it necessary to reopen a safe and monitored official channel of externalization of domestic workers.
“Secondly, a number of measures aimed at protecting the rights of migrant workers have been taken by the Government of Uganda and some recipient countries,” Bigirimana said.
The PS noted that government has since entered bilateral agreements with the governments of Saudi Arabia and Jordan and has put up several measures to protect the rights of Ugandan migrant workers.
“Only licensed recruitment companies will be allowed to recruit workers from Uganda; Jordan and Saudi Arabia have developed online systems for tracking the recruitment and location of domestic migrant workers.”
Among other measures, Saudi Arabia and Jordan have accepted to submit quarterly reports on the status of each and every Ugandan worker;
All domestic workers are provided with a telephone Sim Card on arrival by the respective Governments of Jordan and Saudi Arabia. Some companies will soon begin issuing cell phones;
“For avoidance of doubt, the lifting of the ban on the externalization of domestic workers is effective for only countries that have concluded a Bilateral Labor Agreement with Uganda. That is Saudi Arabia and Jordan.”
Regarding, recruitment, placement and related fees, the PS clarified that despite the country’s regulation providing for payment by workers, through the different negotiations for domestic workers destined for Saudi Arabia and Jordan, all the recruitment and placement costs are covered.
“This includes air ticket, visa fee, passport, medical and inoculation. Therefore candidates for domestic work destined for Saudi Arabia and Jordan must not pay any fee whatsoever.”
“Visa and air ticket costs are covered for other categories of workers (professionals, Drivers, labourers etc) destined for Sauidi Arabia. Therefore no worker in this category destined for Saudi Arabia should foot costs for the air ticket and visa.