The government of Uganda and that of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to facilitate the protection of Ugandan migrants in the UAE.
Uganda’s minister for Gender Labour and social development Janat Mukwaya signed on behalf of the Ugandan government while the UAE was represented by Minister of Human Resources and Emiratization in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Nasser bin Thani Al Hamli in Kampala.
According to Mukwaya, the MOU in the field of Manpower and Domestic Worker Protocol seeks to strengthen cooperation by providing a legal framework for the employment of Manpower from Uganda in the UAE.
The MoU also seeks to create mutual understanding between the Governments of the two countries to protect all workers, with special consideration to the specific vulnerabilities of female migrant workers;
“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 Uganda’s minister Mukwaya
The minister says UAE has been the largest destination for the bulk of Ugandan migrant workers however without an undertaking with the UAE Government, protection of migrant workers and their welfare has not been very easy.
She says the unregulated business had given room to illegal recruitment, trafficking and exploitation.
Now with up to 40 000 Ugandans working as domestic workers, security guards, factory and hotel workers among others, the new proposal will see up to 120 000 Ugandans working in the UAE.
Uganda has already signed other two bilateral agreements on recruitment and Employment of Ugandan migrant workers with the Governments of Jordan and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The Government of Uganda, through the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, started the programme of labour externalization in 2005 with the purpose of reducing the unemployment burden.