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External Recruitment Firms Want Special Police Unit

The gender affairs state minister, Hon. Charles Engola addressing the congregation.


External labour recruit firms under their umbrella of Uganda Association of External Recruitment Agencies-UAERA, have called for the establishment of a special police unit to handle crime related to their sector.


In their joint engagement with the Gender, Labor and Social Development Ministry officials in Jinja city on Wednesday, UAERA members argued that the general police lacks officers with expertise to investigate crime relating to the sector and end up arresting their colleagues without concrete evidence.


Baker Akantambira, the UAERA chairperson, says that there is a need to establish a special police unit, which is thoroughly oriented with the labour externalization legal frameworks to avoid harassment of their members, most of whom are prosecuted without conducting the necessary inquiries.


Akantambira stresses that most police officers are found of classifying all external labour recruiters as perennial human traffickers before carrying out investigations.


Derrick Orone, the Gogonyo County MP, who doubles as the chief executive officer of Rokas recruitment agency, says that much as some external recruiters are involved in illegalities, the government has often signed bilateral agreements with countries where labour is externalized and such should be the basis of protecting Ugandan migrant workers abroad.


Orone wants the government to deploy Liaison officers mandated with addressing the challenges raised by migrant workers within their host countries, which he says will reduce the cases of criminality, being orchestrated by some labour export companies.


Charles Engola, the Gender and Labor Affairs State Minister, says that it is the responsibility of the state, hosting countries and external recruitment agencies to ensure that Ugandan migrant workers are safe and not exposed to ill-treatment while abroad.


He revealed that the gender ministry will hold more engagements with UAERA board members and their counterparts from the Internal Affairs Ministry, to ascertain whether there is a need to create a special police unit to handle crime within the external labour recruitment firms.


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