By Andrew Lwanga
According to Hajat Janat Mukwaya, the Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development in the statement released on Friday she revealed the availability of jobs though she did not specify.
the Emirates minister who was in Uganda late June to sign a memorandum of understanding on labour export to that country.
“Immediately upon signing of the MoU, my colleague Minister H.E Nasser bin Thani Al Hamli challenged me as follows: “I need 80,000 Uganda workers in the next 12 months”. This is a huge undertaking and I urge the private sector to take up this offer,” Said Mukwaya
Hoowever, Premier Recruitment Limited, a subsidiary of Ruparelia Group of companies that specialises in labour recruitment and export has been praised for its efficiency and transparency in its process. The company supplies young men and women to Qatar and middle East.
She said the signed MoU between the Government of Uganda and UAE offers protection to Ugandan migrants in a number of ways, especially through: Strengthening cooperation by providing a legal framework for the employment of Manpower from Uganda in the UAE; establishing a mechanism to discuss and exchange views on labour related problems and to resolve any outstanding issues relating to workers and their rights.
The others are; creating mutual understanding between the Governments of the two countries to protect all workers, with special consideration to the specific vulnerabilities of female migrant workers; facilitating healthy cooperation and exchange of information on best practices between the two states on labour migration for mutual benefits; and Establishing a mechanism to discuss and exchange views on labour related problems and any outstanding issues relating to workers wellbeing and their rights.
She said the UAE has been the largest destination for the bulk of Ugandan migrant workers. Without an undertaking with the UAE Government, protection of migrant workers and their welfare has not been very easy. The unregulated business had given room to illegal recruitment, trafficking and exploitation.
“However, with an agreement in place, more organized and safe employment shall be created. The terms and conditions of employment of Ugandan worker in the United Arab Emirates shall be defined by an individual employment contract between the worker and the employer,” she said.
Further, she said, an offer that is mirrored on the contract will be signed by both parties prior to the worker’s departure from Uganda. The written text of the employment offer shall be delivered to the prospective worker in English and Arabic and explained by the Ugandan recruitment agency to the recipient where unclear.
All recruitment, hiring and placement activities of workers in both countries shall be permitted only under recruitment companies licensed by both governments.
According to the MoU, upon arrival of the worker in the United Arab Emirates he/she will sign an employment contract that will clearly state the rights and obligations of the worker and employer, in conformity with the labour laws of the United Arab Emirates, and the contract will be duly filed with the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization in the UAE to constitute the sole binding contract document for the purpose of enforcement in the United Arab Emirates.
“One sticking point has been the role of the middlemen who end up taking a huge share of the recruitment and placement costs. For us in Uganda, we have always looked forward to a situation where such charges are eliminated for all categories of workers. We are glad that Article 5 of the MoU is clear on that, by ensuring that the employer incurs all recruitment fees and that none shall be levied on the worker. She adds
She reviewed that, the two countries present a critical effort in the fight against human trafficking that has become a menace. This shall be achieved by the two countries enforcing fair and transparent recruitment practices in their respective jurisdiction and ensuring that all actors comply in the process of recruiting Ugandan workers for employment in the UAE in accordance with the rule of law.
She said her ministry shall continue the efforts to have more bilateral labour agreements signed with other countries for purposes of ensuring the safety and productivity of Uganda’s labour in overseas employment.
She urged the public, most especially the job seekers, to remain vigilant, seek guidance from the ministry, and report any suspected illegal recruiter and anybody involved in any form of exploitation. “We remain committed to ensuring safe, orderly, regular, dignified and productive migration for our people,” she said.