Uganda will soon sign bilateral labour agreements with Qatar, the United Arab Emirates (UEA) and Oman, the minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Janat Mukwaya has said.
The agreements if signed will ensure rights of Ugandan workers employed in the three Arab states in the Middle East.
“Draft agreements have been drawn and presented to the governments of Qatar, United Arab Emirates and Oman for consideration, after which bilateral agreements will also be concluded,” she said on Friday.
Uganda has already signed bilateral labour agreements with Saudi Arabia and Jordan, which she said have eased the conditions of Ugandan workers in those two countries as they are protected by the laws there.
“The bilateral agreements establish a joint monitoring mechanism for purposes of protecting the rights of Ugandan migrant workers,” Ms. Mukwaya said, adding that Ugandan officials visited Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Jordan to check Ugandans working there.
The minister’s revelations came after the parliamentary committee on gender, labour and social development said that over 40 Ugandan workers have died in the Arab world in the past nine months, worrying families which have their relatives working there.
According to minister Mukwaya, the government of Uganda had restricted the recruitment of domestic workers to Saudi Arabia and Jordan as the two countries are the only one in the Middle East that have bilateral labour agreements with Uganda.
She says government on October 12, launched an online system for recruitment, vetting contracts and monitoring of workers deployed in Saudi Arabia. “This system facilities traceability of any worker who is deployed in Saudi Arabia,” she adds.
Uganda is said to export over 50, 000 youthful boys and girls to the Arab world to work as housemaids, guards, waitresses, clerks and drivers.