UAE: Agreement to facilitate hiring of Ugandan domestic workers
Protecting the workers' rights and welfare are the biggest priorities
The UAE and Uganda governments have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the recruitment of domestic workers, which will be implemented following discussions between both parties.
In a recent meeting with leaders of the Ugandan community in the UAE, which was held at the Embassy of Uganda in Abu Dhabi, Betty Amongi, the Ugandan Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development, said the MoU is intended to facilitate manpower, including domestic workers in the UAE.
“As a requirement of article 14 of that MoU, we have submitted our joint committee through our embassy in Abu Dhabi. We are now required to ensure that the UAE domesticate and submit the requirements from their side,” she said.
Amongi explained that the agreement in the field of manpower and labour export seeks to strengthen cooperation by providing a legal framework for the safe employment of workers from Uganda in the UAE.
“It also seeks to create mutual understanding between the governments of the two countries to protect all workers, with special consideration to the specific vulnerabilities of female migrant workers,” she said.
Moreover, the MoU seeks to help improve the administration of Ugandan migrant workers and to facilitate increase in the exportation of semi-skilled and skilled workers to the UAE.
“The MoU is also aimed at promoting and realise the rights and welfare of Ugandans living in the UAE,” she said.
More than 70,000 Ugandans are currently living and working in the UAE.
The minister said the government of Uganda will also provide for a lawyer who would represent its nationals facing legal issues in courts of law.
The Ugandan embassy and community leaders in the UAE said they always receive many complaints from Ugandans, especially housemaids running away from their employers due to ill-treatment and not being paid by their bosses.
Amongi had promised that the government, through its embassy, will establish a reporting mechanism by introducing a mobile app, through which domestic workers who are facing issues with their employers, including mistreatment, can contact authorities for help.
Under the MoU, both governments have agreed to recruit enterprises’ workers, according to a certain mechanism. Under the agreement, the employer, located in the UAE, should provide a detailed job offer to the worker recruited from Uganda.
Such job offers should include a comprehensive description of the rights and duties of each party as well as the terms and conditions of employment. The concerned Ugandan government entity is to make sure the worker would sign the job offer after obtaining access to it and approving its content.
In addition, the offer should come with proof that the employers have submitted a work permit request to the UAE's Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (Mohre).
In relation to recruiting domestic labour, the bilateral cooperation agreement provided for facilitating the procedures of admitting and recruiting Ugandan domestic labour in the UAE.
They will also be employed according to the provision of the UAE’s Law on Domestic Labour the Ugandan legislations and regulations governing the migration and recruitment of its labour overseas.
On the issue of Ugandans having to send their expired passports back home for renewal, the Amongi said the government will look into resolving it by introducing a machine that would print new passports at the UAE Embassy in Abu Dhabi.
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