The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has followed Jordan as another country with which the republic of Uganda has severed its bilateral labour externalization agreement.
In a letter dated December 23, 2022, addressed to all labour externalization companies and general stakeholders, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Gender Labour and Social Development, noted their bilateral labour agreement which is due for “expiry on December 27, 2022, shall only be given a grace period up to February 23, 2023 to allow those whose contracts have already been signed to proceed with travel arrangements”.
Strictly no more recruitments of migrant workers to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are permitted right now.
What Is The Root Cause Of This Stand Still?
According to the spokesperson of the licensing authority, Ministry of Gender Labour and Social Development, Mr. Frank Mugabi, a number of agreed on terms for migrant workers when they reach Saudi Arabia have been flouted by the Saudis with absolute abandon.
The bilateral terms stipulate that the girls should be allowed to communicate with their relatives unfettered but Saudis, confisticate the girls phones and their passports on arrival.
Very often than not, when a girl gets any misunderstanding with the first employer necessitating going back to the office to explain her predicament, the Arab agent, in total contravention of the two year contract the girl has signed, is completely ignored, the agent ‘sells’ the girl to another employer on a fresh new two year contract.!
Should the girl endure to complete the new two year contract, she will already have gone into over stay making her an out law in Saudi Arabia.
Many girls find themselves in this forced situation that renders them susceptible to all sorts of mistreatment that at times lead to death of these unfortunate Ugandan girls.
In August this year, a group Saudi Arabian government officials traveled to Kampala and had serious discussions with their Kampala counterparts in order to sort out the issue of mistreatment of Ugandans but on return to Saudi, apart from facilitating 9 girls who had been detained in various Saudi deportation centres to return to Uganda, nothing much was achieved on the crucial torture and mistreatment of migrant Ugandan and other African migrant workers. September 06, 2022, the 9 girls arrived at Entebbe and all were in dire need of treatment. Read https://ugandatoday.co.ug/?p=4548
Over the years, social media, conventional media, parliament and some international organisations like IOM have carried stories of several girls rescued from torture from Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia has maintained that unenviable and unacceptable state of mistreatment to migrant workers. Just this week a Uganda girl Nabumati Esther was found dead on the streets of Saudi Arabia. Her body was found on the street with her Ugandan identity card.
Torture And Mistreatment Of Ugandans
New Vision deployed a cover girl journalist who paused as a domestic migrant worker to Saudi Arabia, she went through all the rigours of labour externalization with a Ugandan company till the time she reached Saudi Arabia. The horrific endurance she went through was serialised in the daily reporting death, to the girls at the hands of their employer, agents and deportation centres prisons!
Vision journalist was all along in collaboration with Ministry of Gender official during her clandestine venture, no wonder at this material time, the ministry has cracked the whip.