By Spy Uganda
Kampala: The Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development has revealed that a total of 452 Ugandans are awaiting to be repatriated from the United Arab Emirates.
According to Betty Amongi, the Minister for Gender and Labour, there have been reports indicating that many Ugandans especially young women are stranded and sleeping on the streets in Dubai and other areas compelling her ministry to follow up on the matter to ascertain the authenticity of the reports.
“Some of the cases have turned out to be pranks. The majority of the genuine cases have been victims of human trafficking or individuals who travelled on their own and have overstayed their tourist or visit visas,” Amongi said.
According to a report released in August 2022 by the Ugandan Mission in Abu Dhabi, several Ugandans illegally staying in UAE have been living on the streets.
“The report indicates that in early August 2022, the authorities of UAE offered free tickets to all illegal immigrants. As a result, many illegal migrant workers have reported to Al Awir Immigration Centre for assessment and eventual repatriation to Uganda,” part of the report indicated.
The minister revealed that none of the 452 Ugandans who have reported to the immigration centre at Al Awir had gone to UAE through recruitment companies but rather on their own.
Among further noted that while Uganda cannot halt labour externalisation to Arab countries as requested by some stakeholders in government, she cautioned Ugandans to make sure they use authorized labour recruitment companies since they can easily seek redress in case of any problems to them while at work in UAE or anywhere abroad.
A large number of Ugandans are currently employed in the Middle East countries of Qatar, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia among others and the biggest number of these are females.
Official data from the Ministry of Gender indicates that there are 200,000 Ugandans currently employed in the Middle East. Of these, Uganda has the lion’s share with UAE at 20486, Saudi Arabia at 156,281 and Qatar at 10203 respectively.