Saudi Arabia is the Only Middle East Country with Bilateral labor export Agreements With Uganda
The Chairperson of the Committee on Foreign Affairs also Woman MP Bulisa District, Hon Norah Bigirwa, has advised the Government to consider engaging in bilateral relations with other Middle East countries on matters of employment opportunities for Ugandans.
This follows remarks made by State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Hon Okello Oryem, who disclosed that it is only the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Uganda government has a labor agreement on employment for Ugandans with.
“Since Ugandans have the interest to work in those countries, it would be better for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to relate with them and allow girls to formally be employed there as well as facilitate their monitoring” Hon Bigirwa explained.
She says, Ugandans sneak out through the Kenyan border via Busia yet Uganda does not have any formal agreement with several Arab countries to allow Ugandans especially girls to seek employment there.
She says there is no labor organization that officially allows girls to travel to those countries where Uganda does not have bilateral agreements.
While appearing before the committee with other officials from the ministry, Hon Oryem said that Uganda does not have bilateral agreements with Oman, Jordan, and Bahrain to export labor where many Ugandans go to work there, as a result, when they get problems it becomes a very big challenge to follow them up.
“We have cases of girls who go through Kenya mainly to Oman, Bahrain, and Jordan, unfortunately, where we don’t have any form of agreement in these countries,’’ Hon Oryem noted.
He also revealed that recently the ministry of labor also signed a labor agreement with the United Arab Emirates.
He said the ministry has deployed a legal officer at Ugandan mission in Saudi Arabia, to help girls when they arrive there and when they get problems.
He said the challenge however is the lack of enough funds to facilitate the legal officer since Saudi Arabia is a big country for one officer to traverse and access every migrant.