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Protect Ugandans working in foreign countries, govt told

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Government has been told to review the exportation of workers to Arab countries and do more to protect their rights. This appeal was made by Mr Yasin Kakande, a Ugandan journalist, who was recently expelled from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for authoring a book about the mistreatment of labourers from poor countries. “Government of Uganda should take initiative to protect its people in these Arab countries by signing contracts that guide the minimum wages and conditions of work for Ugandans to prevent them from being in a vulnerable position where they can easily be exploited,” he said.Mr Kakande, who had lived in the UAE for 10 years before being forced to leave, says he was the longest serving of the five journalists in the country. “I was a voice for Ugandans in this part of the country and would help those in trouble by referring them to responsible officials for help. By throwing me out, how many voices did they silence?”He also implored government to improve on the way it responds to the crises of its citizens who are living abroad instead of abandoning them.However, Mr Ofwono Opondo, the executive director of the Uganda Media Centre, said since Uganda has no formal contracts with many of the Arab countries on how migrant workers should operate there, it is incumbent upon individual citizens to behave well and take the necessary precautions before going to work in these countries.“Ugandans should not expect to find the same freedoms that they enjoy in Uganda when they travel abroad because the international laws don’t even allow us to export workers like nurses and doctors.”

sdkafeero@ug.nationmedia.com

SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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