The Uganda Association for External Recruitment Agencies (UAERA) has revealed that the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development has officially reopened the labour externalization sector after months under closure due to COVID-19 induced lockdown and restrictions.
“We wish to formally inform all our members and stakeholders that the long wait is over, We have today 8th.12.2020 received a communique from the Ministry of Labour Gender and Social Development authorising us that externalisation of labour has finally resumed. This will be in guidance with the COVID-19 Standard Operating Procedures,” UAERA said in a statement on its social media pages.
This means that legally registered companies dealing in recruiting and exporting of workers should resume business with strict observance of the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19 beginning tomorrow.
It should be noted that two weeks ago, a group of youth led by Joan Namale, who called herself Charmin of Concerned Citizens, petitioned the Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development over continued closure of labour external externalization sector even when the airport and other sectors have been reopened after the COVID-19 induced lockdown.
In their petition, the Group said: “Sir following the closure of external labour export due to closure of the airports following the outbreak of COVID 19, there has been a high rate of unemployment in youths across the country. Hon. Minister sir 90% of the young ladies that go out to work majorly Saudi Arabia are single mothers and uneducated mothers therefore maintaining the business closed even when the international airports re opened with SOPs observed doesn’t not only leave millions of youths unemployed but also a lot of children go hungry and can’t get the basic needs in life.”
The petition adds: “To our surprise as Ugandans who want to go and work abroad through the right channels, hundreds of girls leave Uganda on a daily basis illegally to go and seek external employment.”
The concerned citizens said they strongly condemn the act of promoting Human Trafficking because it happens every day through the board points of Uganda which has not only led to high numbers of people going out illegally, but also leaving them with no job security.
“The purpose of this petition sir is to request your good office to intervene in this situation, issue guidelines to the licensed labour export companies to continue with the business normally. We also request that this matter should be handled with the urgency to protect the Ugandan citizens and also reduce on the high rate of unemployment,” they said.
According to recent statistics, the annual remittances from over 165,000 Ugandan migrant workers in the Middle East alone into the country has grown to over $700m (Shs2.6 trillion) and domestically, the sector has also been contributing direct employment opportunities to over 4,000 Ugandans through the over 200 licensed labor externalizing companies
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