Uganda: Parliament to Investigate Labour Export Companies – African Business
Anita Among, the Speaker of Parliament, has asked the Committee on Gender, Labour and Social Development to work with the line minister to investigate companies involved in labour export to the Middle East.
This is in response to the numerous and unspecified deaths of casual labourers, particularly girls, who were working in the Middle East.
Hon. Kayunga District Woman MP Idah Nagaba, a woman MP for Kayunga District, submitted a petition on 09/11/2022 to Parliament concerning the repatriation or return of Lydia Ayila, her constituent, who died in Saudi Arabia.
Nantaba said that the family was distraught because they didn’t know what caused the death of their loved ones and that they wouldn’t be able to bury them back home.
Speaker then directed the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development (MoGLO) to compel Ayila’s former employer to pay for the repatriation expense.
Nantaba noted, however, that the ministry had only been able to pay US$1,000 of the US$3,400 return costs. The authorities in Saudi Arabia would then proceed with the burial of the deceased if the costs are not paid by Thursday 23 November 2022.
When Nantaba, accompanied by the late Ayila’s mother, raised the matter of the US$2,400 balance in a meeting with the Speaker before commencement of the plenary, she [Speaker]Quickly, the money was mobilized and transferred to the deceased in order to save them from being interred at Saudi Arabia.
During the plenary, Speaker proposed that the ministry ensures that companies involved with exporting human labour cover such costs whenever possible.
“I gather that the companies involved in this trade must pay Shs100 million for a license; some of this money should be used to meet such costs,” Among noted.
The Speaker requested that a detailed analysis be done of companies that export labour to Middle East countries into their operations and ownership. He directed the committee to return to Parliament.
Hon. Medard Sseggona stated that government must have a clear strategy and bilateral relations to the countries it intends to export labour. This will help to mitigate these problems.
“This incident has come out because it has been brought to you. However, we deal with these cases almost on a daily basis especially when it comes to repatriation of our dead children,” he said.
Sseggona stated that all aspects of labour relations worldwide are the responsibility and responsibility of the state. Therefore, the government must fully participate in any aspect of exportation of labour.
He expressed his unwavering backing for the Speaker’s ruling on the matter and asked for the halting of transfer of labour to a country with which the government has no bilateral relations.
Distributed by APO Group for Parliament of the Republic of Uganda
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