Government must stop protecting foreign investors as one of the ways of eliminating modern day slavery, the Leader of the Opposition in Parliament, Hon. Betty Aol Ocan, has said.
Ocan said that foreign investors are the biggest culprits in the exploitation of workers, which is tantamount to modern day slavery.
“If we think citizens should be exploited and we are happy about that, then we are doing nothing,” said Ocan.
She was speaking during a meeting with a delegation from the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) UK on Tuesday, 4 September, 2018 in Parliament.
The delegation under the UK Modern Slavery Project is visiting Parliament and other stakeholders for discussions on how to curb modern day slavery, human trafficking and forced labour.
Ocan vowed to push for a minimum wage as a way of reducing exploitation, especially of domestic workers.
“We still don’t have a law on minimum wage in Uganda and yet if enacted, it can help in curbing exploitation,” said Ocan.
The UK Modern Slavery Project Office is supporting Commonwealth Parliaments to review, amend and enact legislations against modern day slavery, human trafficking forced labour and commercial sexual exploitations.
They are currently supporting the drafting of the Modern-Day Slavery Bill 2018 being moved by Hon. Herbert Edmund Ariko (FDC, Soroti Municipality).
Ariko noted that it is important to enact a law which addresses all the facets of modern day slavery.
“We must understand that modern slavery is more of a secretive happening. Even the victims may not understand that they are slaves. These are some of the issues the law seeks to address,” said Ariko.
The Legal Advisor from the CPA UK, Hon. David Hanson said that Britain has made key progress in addressing modern day slavery through enactment of laws, adding that they are willing to support Uganda in achieving the same.
“We had experienced people who had been trafficked for sexual purposes and those who had been exploited through being brought into the UK and working under poor conditions. So, we had to really take strong action,” said Hanson.