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Government sets new terms for labour exporting firms

By Faith Amongin

Added 23rd May 2017 04:27 PM

The new measure is intended to curb rampant cases of harassment, abuse and exploitation of Ugandan migrant workers especially in the Middle East.

Government sets new terms for labour exporting firms

Pius Bigirimana, the Permanent Secretary of the Gender ministry. Photo/ File

The new measure is intended to curb rampant cases of harassment, abuse and exploitation of Ugandan migrant workers especially in the Middle East.

All labour exporting firms will be required to sign employment contracts to make them "jointly and severely liable" for any breach of contract, the new government regulation states.

The new measure is intended to curb rampant cases of harassment, abuse and exploitation of Ugandan migrant workers especially in the Middle East.

Under the new arrangement, there will be government to government (Uganda and the recipient country), agency to agency mutual agreements and the migrant worker will have to sign a contract with the employer.

Every employment contract for domestic workers will be authenticated by Uganda's mission accredited to the prospective recipient country before a domestic worker is cleared to leave.

This was revealed by Pius Bigirimana, the Permanent Secretary of the Gender ministry during a press conference at the ministry's headquarters in Kampala on Monday.

Bigirimana said that foreign recruitment companies will no longer transfer responsibility over an individual domestic worker.

"In other words, a foreign recruitment company will retain full responsibility over any worker recruited from Uganda during the contract period," he disclosed.

Only foreign recruitment companies that have been accredited by the government through the Ministry of Gender on recommendation of Uganda's Mission accredited to the prospective recipient country will be allowed to recruit domestic workers from Uganda

So far, a total of 65 labour exporting agencies have been accredited by the ministry.

Bigirimana further revealed that the coordination between the Ministry of Gender and other agencies like the Directorate of Immigration, Internal Security Organization (ISO), External Security Organization (ESO) and the Police has been improved at all exit points.

Every migrant worker will also be required to undergo a mandatory pre-departure orientation and training prior to exit clearance by the ministry.

Bigirimana also noted that some measures have been taken to protect the rights of Ugandan migrant workers in countries with whom the Uganda government has concluded bilateral agreements, that is, Saudi Arabia and Jordan.


So far, two bilateral labour agreements have been signed between the government of Uganda and the respective governments of Saudi Arabia and Jordan.

The two countries (Saudi Arabia and Jordan) have developed online systems for tracking the recruitment and location of domestic migrant workers in addition to submitting quarterly reports on the status of each and every Ugandan worker.

There has also been a resolution to provide these domestic workers with a telephone SIM Card on arrival by the respective governments. This is to enable these people to communicate easily with their loved ones in Uganda.

Bigirimana, however cautioned those seeking to travel abroad for work to guard against traffickers and unlicensed recruitment companies.

"Any person in doubt about the credibility of his or her recruiter should contact the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development on telephone number: 041-4 345002.

He explained that this is in a bid to reduce the plight many Ugandans go through while desperately searching for employment abroad. 

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