Illegal Withholding of Passports by Labor Exporters Sparks Concern in Uganda
The Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration Control (DCIC) in Uganda has uncovered a grave issue of labor exporters illegally confiscating over 8,000 passports belonging to job seekers.
According to Simon Peter Mundeyi, the Internal Affairs Ministry Spokesperson, the DCIC began receiving complaints primarily from women who found themselves in the distressing situation of having their passports seized by labor export firms. These companies purportedly cited the need to wait for employment contracts as the reason behind their actions.
Mundeyi noted, “Ever since the business of exporting labor reduced, so many girls who had applied have had their passports withheld. The companies claim they are waiting for contracts. We have received several complaints. A total of 8,000 passports are being held by labor exporters.”
Several factors have contributed to the slowdown in the labor export industry in Uganda. Reports of Ugandans being exploited, mistreated, sexually assaulted, and even killed in the Arab world have caused an uproar.
Mundeyi has emphasized that some labor export companies, unhappy with the reduced business opportunities, have chosen to withhold applicants’ passports. He issued a warning to these companies, stating;
“We would like to warn these companies that they should return these passports to the owners. We are going to carry out operations to ensure these passports are returned to owners.”