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Gov't told to act after maid torture incident

By Vision Reporter

Added 26th November 2014 10:56 AM

Uganda Human Rights Commission has tasked the gender ministry to urgently develop regulations for domestic workers.

Gov't told to act after maid torture incident

Uganda Human Rights Commission has tasked the gender ministry to urgently develop regulations for domestic workers.

By Cecilia Okoth

KAMPALA - Uganda Human Rights Commission has tasked the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development to urgently develop regulations for domestic workers.

During a press conference held at their head offices, Agaba Maguru, the rights body’s acting chairman, said the Police should also provide a mechanism for monitoring the workers.

“We condemn in the strongest terms possible the barbaric and despicable act [below-right] by Jolly Tumuhiirwe who meted violence and torture against an innocent baby,” he said. true

Maguru was presenting a joint statement on the recent reports of the torture of baby Aneela and the accident that caused the death of baby Ryan at City Hall in Kampala.

“We regrettably note that the act of unleashing such violence against the baby has violated a fundamental non-derogable fight of the baby that prohibits a person from being subjected to any form of torture as laid down in the Constitution,” he said.

Agaba added that the act of violence against Aneela contravenes other laid down international human rights standards.

“We are particularly perturbed because the reported heinous acts were meted out against a child who falls in the category of vulnerable persons of society who should instead be protected,” Maguru added.

On the City Hall accident, Agaba condemned the decision of the law enforcement officers and other court officials to deny the mother access to her baby while in court.

Maguru said they had on several occasions raised the concerns over the methods of work of the Kampala Capital City Authority’s enforcement officers which disregarded the human rights of the victims.

In a press statement issued on Monday, UNICEF condemned the action of the maid.

“The video of this baby being beaten is shocking,” said Aida Girma, UNICEF’s representative in Uganda.

“Any such act of abuse and violence against children is completely unacceptable and a violation of every child’s fundamental right to be protected,” Girma added.

She said a child helpline 116 has been set up to report cases related to child abuse.

Domestic workers agencies speak out

Veronica Kemirembe, a manager at Sarafina Skills Services in Kampala, says most of the domestic workers who turn up for jobs are frustrated.

She, therefore, advises those seeking for housemaids to get them from recognised agencies who labour to train them.

“For a maid to be recruited, they must have a letter from their area local council, three passport photos and a photo of their next of kin,” Kemirembe says.

She adds that this helps them trace the maid’s history.

Kemirembe, however, called for the formation of an association that will clearly track domestic workers to prevent them from being recruited elsewhere in case they have a bad reputation.

Moses Ninsiima, a manager at DIFRA Language and Housemaid Services, also in Kampala, told New Vision that their agency had since stopped outsourcing domestic workers.

He also noted that the domestic workers they used to receive often came from families of failed marriages and were visibly frustrated.

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