Kampala, Uganda | URN | The Uganda Association of External Recruitment Agencies (UAERA) have resolved to close. The self termination of the industry has been caused by government’s continued delay to re-open their industry, making their self liquidation inevitable.
The fate of the over one hundred thousand girls whom they sent out to work especially in the Middle East is now left entirely in the hands of the government, their employers abroad and the girls themselves, according to Ronald Mukundane, the UAERA spokesperson.
Government in a statement from the Labour Ministry clarifies that plans to reopen externalization of labour is under way, however, for the domestic workers it will slightly delay to enable government put in place additional measures aimed at promoting and protecting the welfare and rights of Ugandan domestic workers abroad.
Government wants a phased clearance for reopening starting with certain categories of migrant workers for labour externalization other than domestic workers.
UAERA says that reopening for the recruitment agencies without domestic workers on board is as good as extending the suspension.
The external labour recruitment sector is among the many sectors that were suspended by government due to the spread of COVID-19 and given the nature of the work they do that involves travel using air travel, its chances of delaying to reopen were increased.
Meanwhile, the statement from the Permanent Secretary, labour ministry indicates that they are trying to seek guidance from the ministry of health on the possibility of reopening externalization of labour without compromising the SOPs of Uganda and the respective destination countries.
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According to the chairperson UAERA Baker Akantambira, the recruitment agencies have no objection about implementing the SOPs however, they have no business without the domestic workers recruitment despite the existence of other general labour categories that are licensed.
Akantambira explains that whereas licenses are issued for general categories, the dynamics in the market have dictated that domestic workers are the most demanded, confirmed by the statistics at almost 90 per cent.