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AIIJ puts Busoga on spot in dark side of labour externalization

AIIJ findings indicate that a number of girls are suffering abroad to the extent of sustaining permanent body damage and others dying as they try to make ends meet based majorly in Arab countries.

Busoga Community and leaders in Bulamagi pose for a group photo with AIIJ officials after the engagement on Thursday, May 11, 2023 (Photo/Isabirye Simon Peter)

KAMPALA, UGANDA: African Institute for Investigative Journalism (AIIJ), a media organization which investigates pertinent matters in the country have unmasked the dark side experienced by Ugandan girls moving abroad for work through their documentary dubbed ‘On the Go, The dark side of labour externalization’.

AIIJ led by their project manager, Ms Barbra Kalumba on Thursday engaged the community and leadership of Bulamagi Sub-county in Iganga district after watching a 45 minutes documentary at the Sub-county headquarters where a number of challenges faced by these girls were spotted. The institute says Busoga is on the spot after having a big percentage of girls going abroad for work.

The investigation made by AIIJ indicates that a number of girls are suffering abroad to the extent of sustaining permanent body damage and others dying as they try to make ends meet based majorly in Arab countries.

Ms Kalumba says most girls are sent abroad without total knowledge of handling work citing that locals reported that most girls resort to going abroad for work after experiencing a number of challenges like domestic violence, and poverty at home, among others.

“We have come to present the documentary to the community of Bulamagi after finding out in our investigations that Busoga Sub-region holds a bigger percentage of the children going abroad for work. Some people send their loved ones abroad for work without knowing some of the challenges they face,” Ms Kalumba said before adding that the business may not end today but they aim at engaging the public to find out where the problem is and how they can overcome the challenges.

The senior labour officer in Iganga district Mr Waiswa Abubakar says that the public most of the time ignores the right channels of departing for work and their children end up suffering.
He warned all individuals dealing in illegal labour export companies to stop before they are apprehended and charged with trafficking in persons.

Senior labour officer Iganga district Mr Waiswa Abubakar addressing speaking to the participants

“We always sensitise the public about genuine labour companies and still urge you to use the district labour office to cross-check if you’re dealing with a registered company. We have discovered that most of the children suffering from abroad are being taken by non-registered companies,” Mr Waiswa said.

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One of the parents and woman councillor Bwanalira Parish in Bulamagi Sub-county Ms Kiwala Florence says the cause of ladies going abroad rotates domestic violence where husbands abandon their responsibilities and poverty in families. She urged women to love their husbands and involve in work that can lift their incomes.

The youths councillor for Bulamagi Sub-county Ngobi Paul told this publication that girls move abroad for work due to the lack of good-paying jobs in the country. He requested government to streamline the systems of labour companies and the Arab countries by following up Ugandans working abroad and engaging such countries against mistreating Ugandans.

A section of community members and leaders who attended

The chairperson of Bulamagi Sub-county Mr Kaule Latif quoted poverty as the major reason that lures children to go abroad for work. He says that some girls are taken without a good background of education and they end up crashing with their bosses especially when communication is not effective.

Mr Kaule added by requesting government to always update Ugandans with the genuine labour export companies and pin them at Sub-county notes boards such that locals can draw a line between the genuine and fake companies.

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“Most parents burden children with responsibilities when they are still young and poverty is also another factor forcing these girls to process jobs abroad. We urge parents to first educate their children before they can move abroad because the training which they go through before going is not enough to produce a tolerant person at work in case the conditions are hard,” Mr Kaule said.

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