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By Leilah Bbaale

Members of Parliament from the Forum of Labor, Decent Employment, and Productivity advocate for the government’s ratification of the International Labor Organization (ILO) convention on domestic workers, commonly known as house help. Convention 189 provides guidelines on the treatment of house helps, both domestically and internationally.

As an ILO member state, Uganda is obligated to adhere to all of the organization’s resolutions, including conventions and protocols. Despite being an ILO member, Uganda has yet to ratify Convention 189, which is deemed critical by MPs due to the increasing number of Ugandans employed in domestic work, both locally and overseas.

Under this convention, the government is obligated to ensure domestic workers receive a weekly rest of at least 24 consecutive hours and have fair access to legal processes, either individually or through representation, on par with other workers.

The urgency to compel the government to ratify these convention requirements was emphasized during a parliamentary training session on decent employment interventions organized by the government of Belgium through Enabel Cooperation.

Roland Ndy’omugyenyi, chairperson of the forum, criticizes the government’s slow progress in the ratification process, noting that several labor conventions remain unratified, and impacting workers’ rights.

He stresses that all workers, including those in domestic roles, deserve decent employment, highlighting the increasing popularity of domestic work internationally, particularly in labor export markets.


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