By Our Reporter
Members of Parliament (MPs) and youth spoke in unison on Friday as they called for a tough law on Labour Export. This was during a National Engagement Conference on Labour Exportation and Anti Trafficking/Slavery.
The conference was held on Friday 21st June 2019 at Eureka Hotel in Ntinda, a Kampala suburb. The conference was organised by the Uganda Parliamentary Forum on Youth Affairs and West Minster Foundation for Democracy.
The conference was intended to generate views on the Labour Externalization Bill and Anti – Slavery Bill that are to be tabled before Parliament very soon. The Youth called upon the MPs to help put in stringent measures in the bill as they are being exploited and oppressed by quack labour companies.
Joan Natamba, a Youth leader from Kiruhura District noted that very many youth are suffering but the Government is turning a deaf ear and that through these two bills, the youth will be helped because they have been exploited enough.
Paul Rukundo Rwabihurwa, a youth leader from Rukungiri said that Government should look into Exportation of Skilled Labour as most uneducated youth that have gone to the Middle East are seriously suffering. Rukundo’s statements were re – echoed by Kanungu Woman MP Elizabeth Karungi, who retorted that most of the Victims are those using short cuts ‘panyas’. Karungi called upon the youth to go through registered Labour Export Companies like Middle East instead of being hoodwinked by quack companies.
Western Youth MP, Mwine Mpaka, who also doubles as the Vice Chairperson of the Uganda Parliamentary Forum on Youth Affairs noted that there are several youth that have reaped highly from Labour Export but the majority that have ventured into this business are nursing wounds as they have been cheated, exploited and dumped. Mpaka wondered as to how the Ministry of Gender isn’t committed to repatriating the youth especially girls that are suffering in the middle east yet the Labour Export Companies are charged huge amounts of money to take these youth abroad.
Capt. Donozio Kahonda, the MP for Ruhinda pledged his support to the bill as he noted that he himself found very many youth suffering in the Middle East yet they had paid huge amounts of money to these quack Labour Export Companies. Geoffrey Macho, the Busia Municipality MP called upon the youth to start small scale projects instead of rushing to pay all these huge amounts of money to labour Export companies. On his part, Mr. Joseph Munyangabo, the Country Director for West Minster Foundation for Democracy stressed that the Labour Externalization Bill is urgently needed to save the suffering youth.
The participants in the Conference took a bold step and final resolution to lobby and have the Labour Externalization Bill and Anti Slavery Bill tabled before Parliament so as to fully regulate the Labour Export sector.