Thursday, December 31, 2009

Ugandan Women Rescued

From New Vision Online:
A GROUP of Ugandan women who travelled to Iraq in the hope of finding jobs but ended up in exploitation have been rescued and returned to the country by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).

An IOM official in Kampala said 14 Ugandans have been rescued from exploitation in Iraq and returned to Kampala between September and October this year.

The rescued Ugandans, all women, have also been given assistance to reintegrate into the community and assisted to start businesses to generate incomes. The identities of the women were not revealed.

The official said Ugandan women travel to Iraq under the understanding that they would work as supermarket attendants but they end up working as servants in homes, often working long hours without remuneration.

An unspecified number of other Ugandans are still under exploitative conditions in Iraq, according to the Geneva-based organisation.

The stranded Ugandans are part of hundreds of African and Asian migrants lured to Iraq by recruitment agencies who promise them jobs in supermarkets, construction sites and domestic labour.

The migrants are coerced to sign false employment contracts, and their passports are confiscated and they become victims of exploitation, according to IOM.

Mid this year, Makindye West MP Hussein Kyanjo told Parliament that Ugandan women taken to Iraq with promises of lucrative jobs ended up trapped in slavery and forced sex.

The MP reported that the stranded girls were taken to Iraq by a company, which has offices in Muyenga, a Kampala suburb.

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