Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Uganda domestic workers in Iraq recalled

KAMPALA (AFP) - Uganda has recalled 150 citizens working in Iraq as domestic servants following reports that women in the group were being abused by their employers, a government official told AFP on Tuesday. “We have made a decision that these people should be brought back. We cannot be certain under what conditions these people are serving,” State Minister for Labour Emanuel Otaala said. The controversy surrounds a company called Uganda Veterans Development Ltd., a participant in Uganda’s Externalisation of Labour Programme. The initiative began in 2004 when it became evident there was considerable demand for labour in the war-ravaged Middle Eastern nation. Sixteen companies participate in the programme and some 12,000 Ugandans are currently working as security guards in Iraq, primarily at American military installations, but also at supermarkets and banks, according to Otaala. Uganda Veterans is the only company contracting domestic servants.

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