“Externalization of labour will include a document processing fee that will be applied on candidates through the recruitment companies”,said Mwesigwa Rukutana the State minister for labour, employment and industrial relations.
Rukutana told the house during plenary chaired by Speaker Rebecca Kadaga on Wednesday afternoon that this fee will create non tax revenue that will be appropriated by parliament to the Gender ministry to improve labout migration management.
Rukutana was presenting a statement on his ministry’s intervention in the plight of stranded domestic workers in Saudi Arabia.
The Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga two weeks ago asked the Ministry of Gender Labour and Social development to brief Parliament on the matter.
Rukutana says so far 17 of the stranded workers have been repatriated following the intervention of the recruiting companies and the Ugandan Embassy in Riyadh, the return of the remaining 26 has been limited by a Saudi ban on flights to UAE and Egypt which are the main transit destinations for Ugandans from Riyadh.
The minister told the house that the share of unskilled workers among Ugandan domestic workers in the Middle East should be gradually reduced. He reveals that with part of the resources raised through the non-tax revenue, professional training institutions in various vocations will be licensed to train the youth before they are taken abroad.
A study by Uganda Parliamentary Forum on Youth Affairs (UPFYA) affirms that 70,000 Ugandans of whom more than 64% are youth have been recruited as workers into some countries in the Middle East while 50,000 Ugandan workers sought jobs on their own. Remittances to Uganda have increased from $ 1.6 billion (Sh4.6 trillion) in 2016, to $ 2.0bn (Sh7 trillion in 2017 and they can only go higher as the labour export industry is regulated and formalized so that the nation can gain from the labour and exploits of her citizens.