Human trafficking is on increase despite a ban on export labour, says Mukwaya

Janat Mukwaya, minister of labour and social development

Minister for Labour and Social Development, Janat Mukwaya, decried the increasing cases of human trafficking despite government’s measures of a temporary ban on labour export to control the vice earlier last year.

She attributed the increasing human trafficking to the weak offices with under staffing that cannot adequately complicated cases that are involved in the trade.

Mukwaya who was on Thursday presenting a progress report on the labour export in Uganda, also said human trafficking control is not archived in the country since neighboring countries did not impose a similar ban on labour export and that this left gap for traffickers to exploit.

“They have devised ways of smuggling people through Kenya where they have agents who take them through Jomo Kenyatta airport and to their final destinations. It is challenging to stop this since our neighbours still have casual workers leaving the country for the Middle East,” Mukwaya said.

According to records, there are about 50,000 Ugandans in over 50 countries who are reportedly providing external labour. However, there are also cases especially in the Middle East countries like Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Oman, Kuwait where reports have indicated that employees mistreat their workers who mostly leave the country to do casual work as house girls and shamba boys.

Reports also indicate that there have been cases of murder while others have found themselves under unknown circumstances with the vital organs like kidneys removed without their consent.

Some girls who have recently returned from the Middle East due to mistreatment

Mukwaya, however, said that recently the labour ministry inspected all the licensed labour companies to weed out brief case companies.

However, Lucy Akello, the opposition shadow minister for gender said government should put in place proper measures of stopping human trafficking.

Akello, warned Ugandans about the dangers of going abroad for jobs without going through licensed companies.

Patrick Nsamba,the MP for Mityana South wondered why local jobs are given to foreigners and yet Ugandans are subjected to looking jobs in foreign countries where their rights are violated.

“We always see these foreigners here getting jobs so easily yet our own are mistreated and murdered in foreign countries because they want to make a living and support the families.It is very unfortunate and I hope it is addressed before things get out of hand,” Nsamba said.

Another MP for Workers, Margaret Rwabushaija, called for punitive measures to labour companies that default payment of the persons taken for work.
She said government should put in place plans to return Ugandans who are stuck in foreign countries.
Moses Kasibante, the Rubaga North MP, said that government should double its effort to creating more jobs locally instead of encouraging the people to look  for jobs abroad which   expose them to sexual violation for especially women.

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