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Uganda Government bans exportation of labour to Iraq

Discussion in 'International Forum' started by ByaseL, Aug 6, 2009.

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    ByaseL JF-Expert Member

    Aug 6, 2009
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    Yasiin Mugerwa & Eve Mashoo

    The government yesterday slapped a ban on exportation of Ugandans working as maids to at least six countries following reports that a host of women were increasingly sold to work under slave like conditions.

    Some of the countries blacklisted include: Iraq, Yemen, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan and United Arab Emirates.

    Speaking to journalists at Parliament, the Labour Minister, Dr Emmanuel Otaala said the government has also ordered the managing director of Veterans Development Ltd, one of the labour recruiting and exporting firms in the country, to return about 150 girls they took to Iraq as a matter of urgency.
    “After receiving complaints, as government we have written to Ms Grace Kanyike of Uganda Veterans Development company and given her only two weeks to return the 150 girls who are reportedly suffering in Iraq,” Dr Otaala said.

    He added: We have decided to stop people from going to do domestic work because we cannot monitor them in their individual homes.”
    Dr Otaala said the government has established a committee and a budget of about Shs500 million to visit the countries where Ugandans are said to be working under slave-like conditions.

    However, sources close to the Ministry of Labour told Daily Monitor that early this week, the government helped Ms Kanyike to process a visa to Iraq, but when she reached Baghdad, the 150 girls reportedly refused to return, citing the biting unemployment in Uganda.

    Last month a Ugandan woman, allegedly sold to work under slave like conditions in Iraq by a local labour recruitment company was brought to Parliament by Makindye West MP Hussein Kyanjo. However, since then, at least 15 more women have been rescued in a joint operation mounted by some Ugandans working as guards of American bases and the US Marines serving in Iraq.

    The women who were rescued and were being cared for at an American Military base in Baghdad known as Victoria Base Camp include: Ms Shamim Namutebi, Ms Fatuma Ndagire, Ms Agnes Twesigye, Ms Brenda Nakanjako, Ms Amina Nakiwauka, Ms Saudah Kizito, Ms Hamidah Namatovu, Ms Razia Muhasa and Zurah Nabukenya among others.

    The women were recruited by the Veterans Development Limited, a company based in Muyenga, a Kampala suburb. They were reportedly told they were to work as secretaries or supermarket attendants but when they arrived in Iraq, they were instead turned into domestic workers.

    Meanwhile, Interpol in its latest report on the alleged mistreatment of Ugandans in Iraq, a copy Daily Monitor has obtained, confirmed that the girls were not paid the $200 (about Shs400,000) they were supposed to get for the eight hours work but instead laboured for 15-22 hours with no pay.