The Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga, has demanded that government explains and cancels an agreement it signed for the export of domestic workers to Saudi Arabia.
Speaker Kadaga said government was not capable of supervising or monitoring of domestic workers employed in a foreign country to ensure the respect of their human rights.
The Speaker made the remarks during a sitting of Parliament held Tuesday, September 22, 2015.
She said that countries like the Philippines and Ethiopia had banned the exportation of their people to work in the Middle East, but that government had ignored a Parliament resolution to stop the practice in Uganda.
Following the Speaker’s communication, legislators told harrowing tales of girls working in the Middle East, from where they cannot leave having deposited their travel documents with the employers or employment agencies.
Hon. Elijah Okupa (FDC, Kasilo) said his delegation had found sex workers, who had escaped from their employers’ in Dubai, but could not return home because their employers had confiscated their passports.
Hon. Beatrice Anywar (FDC, Kitgum) said government must be restrained from exporting domestic workers, who end up as sex slaves.
“Women deserve to do decent jobs. We need dignity for women, but not to work as sex slaves,” said Hon. Anywar.
Members said government was being insensitive in signing MoUs with countries with a poor record on human rights issues.
They said government must be able to protect its citizens living everywhere in the world.
The Minister of State for Finance, Hon. David Bahati, said government would look at loopholes in any MoU signed such that they can be put right.
He promised that a Statement would be presented to Parliament during its next sitting.