By Oyet Okwera
Marginalised and vulnerable workers in the country are set to get free legal aid aimed at protecting and promoting their rights. This comes after allegations by workers that some employers infringe on their employment rights and exploit them.
Platform for labour action (PLA) with fi nancial support from Democratic Governance Facility has increased this legal aid.
Diana Prida, the legal officer at PLA said the project entitled “legal action for vulnerable and marginalised workers” seeks to enhance access to justice for the vulnerable and marginalised workers.
“We should stand firm to defend the rights of these workers in the courts of law in an alternative justice process,” Prida said Prida was speaking during a training session for human rights advocates held at St. John Baptist Primary School in Kabalagala in Kampala.
According to Prida, this free legal aid will start in Iganga, Bugiri, Kaliro, Lira, Amolatar, Dokolo and Kampala.
The key target groups under this project are the vulnerable and marginalised employees living in abject poverty mainly in urban poor informal settlements.
The other target group includes; children in exploitative forms of work, informal sector workers, women, youth and low income earners.
Expedit Khaaya, a lecturer at Law Development Centre said there is need to sensitise workers and encourage them seek legal redress.
Khaaya noted how unfortunate it is for workers to run elsewhere yet labour officers exist to handle issues affecting workers.
He explained that “there is need to strengthen the provision of legal aid services and access to justice by poor and marginalised workers.”
According to Prida, there should be creation of legal awareness on the need to operationalise industrial court, its rules and procedures coupled with office quasi courts.
This is intended to promote respect for human rights and non-discrimination of workers on the grounds of HIV status, disability and gender