Senior Presidential Advisor on Diaspora Affairs Hajji Abbey Walusimbi has urged Ugandan migrant workers and those seeking employment abroad to avoid falling into the trap of unregistered labour recruitment agencies in Uganda.
He said these agencies take advantage of unsuspecting Ugandans by promising them lucrative jobs in foreign countries, but then often leave them stranded and in debt.
Walusimbi made the remarks during a recent visit to Qatar, where he met with a group of 54 Ugandan migrant workers who had been stranded in a dilapidated building for more than three months.
The workers told Walusimbi that they had been tricked by an unregistered labour recruitment agency in Uganda, which had promised them jobs as construction workers in Qatar. However, when they arrived in Qatar, they were not given any jobs and were instead forced to live in the dilapidated building.
Walusimbi said that the government is working to crack down on unregistered labour recruitment agencies and to protect the rights of Ugandan migrant workers. He urged Ugandans to only use registered agencies when seeking employment abroad.
He also advised Ugandans to be wary of any job offers that seem too good to be true. “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is,” he said.
Walusimbi said that the government is committed to promoting the rights of Ugandan migrant workers. He said that the government is working to sign a bilateral labour agreement with Qatar, which would help to protect the rights of Ugandan workers in Qatar.
He also urged Ugandan migrant workers to register with the Ugandan Mission in Qatar so that they can receive assistance if they need it.
Ugandan migrant workers in Qatar: A growing population with persistent challenges
The number of Ugandan migrant workers in Qatar has grown significantly in recent years, from 8,000 in 2021 to nearly 30,000 in 2023. This growth is due to a number of factors, including the strong economy of Qatar and the demand for labour in the construction industry.