There has been a spate of opinions from different quarters since MP Betty Nambooze penned a story about girls who came back from the Middle East claiming to have been tortured while there.
Some people have suggested that there should be a total ban on the exportation of labour. Others have suggested that government should not only regulate but also takeover the exportation of labour. Let me pose a question: Is government in position to do this business? For us to tell whether government can do this, let us first look at those institutions which are totally in the hands of government including government schools and government hospitals.
If government can’t do well in these institutions why would anybody in their wildest imaginations believe that it can do a good job in managing labour exports? Can someone tell me which business the government of Uganda is running and it is doing it well?
The only thing I would advise government to do is regulate the whole process: Close all those routes through which Ugandans are trafficked, severely punish the traffickers, and seriously monitor the activities of certified labour agencies. I understand we currently have over 150,000 thousand labourers in the Middle East. That is the figure from labour organizations. Government should also know that there are so many girls in Oman yet this destination is not authorized. Just ask yourself how do these girls get there?
Every Ugandan seeking work abroad should go through the regulated agencies. Job descriptions and working hours must be clearly spelt out. Agreements should be reached between Uganda and the importing countries with regard to human rights. In other words no Ugandan should be treated like a slave while in the Middle East.
Namulindwa Lillian, Mukono