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Uganda, Saudi Arabia sign agreement on employment of Nurses, Doctors - News - Nurses Arena Forum

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Uganda, Saudi Arabia sign agreement on employment of Nurses, Doctors by Idowu Olabode : January 10, 2018, 10:45:08 AM
-Licensed recruitment agencies in Uganda can now recruit nurses, doctors, engineers etc to Saudi Arabia

The governments of Uganda and Saudi Arabia have inked a new bilateral labour agreement that will see Ugandan proffesionals get employment in the Arab country.In the past, the only labour agreement Uganda had with Saudi Arabia was to export domestic workers.

However, in a statement released Tuesday morning, Uganda’s minister for gender, labour and social development, Janat Mukwaya, confirmed that on the 31st December 2017 her ministry signed a new bilateral labour agreeemnt with Ali Bin Nasser Al Ghafis, Minister of labour and social development of Saudi Arabia.

The new General Labour Recruitment Bilateral Agreement now paves way for Ugandan-licensed companies to recruit professionals and non-skilled workers, including doctors, nurses, engineers, drivers, carpenters, welders and domestic workers, among others.

“We also signed off the amended Labour Agreement on Domestic Workers, earlier signed in 2015, to specifically streamline the operations of the labour externalization sector with focus on fighting against trafficking and violation of workers’ rights.” Minister Mukwaya revealed.

She noted that both countries have also agreed to step up their Labour management and regulation mandates to ably weed out exploiters, and ensure protection of workers’ rights.

Her remarks come in the wake of reports of increased cases of exploitation of Ugandans in Arab states, including Saudi Arabia.

Pius Bigirimana, permanent secretary at Uganda’s Ministry of gender, labour and social development, said the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Kampala is expected to resume issuing visas for workers destined for the Arab state, following the new agreements signed.

“The Embassy stopped issuing labour export visas when we imposed a ban on export of domestic workers on January 22, 2016 in response to reports of violation of their rights. The purpose of the ban was to stop migrant workers from getting into hostile domestic working conditions,” said Bigirimana.

He said after the new agreements signing, the Saudi government directed that their embassy in Uganda immediately starts issuing visas, and expressed optimism this will be effected.

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