Statement to Mark World Day Against Trafficking in Persons


30th JULY,2020


Kampala, Uganda — As the world marks the World Day Against Human Trafficking, the Women’s Probono Initiative (WPI) and Ms Nansikombi Janet have dragged the Uganda Government and Transcend International to the High Court for failing to protect human rights of victims of labour exportation to Saudi Arabia.

Namubiru Justin (now deceased) was in good health when she was exported to Saudi Arabia by Transcend International on the 2nd day of June, 2019 to go provide domestic services to someone in Saudi Arabia. In January, 2020 the late Namubiru Justin through phone calls to her mother and Transcend International severally complained about the harsh working conditions, illnesses she had acquired and prayed that she be repatriated for care and support back in Uganda with her family.

Transcend International did not honour this plea but rather the late Namubiru reported to her family later in February, 2020 that she was imprisoned for not working to her employer’s expectations and for demanding her salary areas. Ms Nansikombi Janet (Namubiru’s mother) went to transcend Offices and prayed for the repatriation of her daughter but that did not happen. She was called at the end of June, 2020 and told her that her daughter had died and the company requested for her consent to have her child buried in Saudi Arabia.

The family of the late Namubiru Justin wants her remains and property to be repatriated so the family can pay their last respects to their fallen child.

“The Ugandan government has an obligation to put in place a law to regulate labour externalization and actions of labour recruiters. They in turn, should allocate resources to embassies to support victims of trafficking or labour externalization. When they omit to do this, they are violating human rights of Ugandans and permitting traffickers to operate with reckless abandon in our society.” Notes Ms. Kayaga Beatrice a lawyer with the Women’s Probono Initiative.

“We understand that times are hard, but the President passed a directive allowing for dead bodies to return and very recently trafficked women and girls stuck in Saudi were brought home with government support. I don’t see any reason why my child shouldn’t be brought back home.” Says Ms. Nansikombi Janet.

In their urgent application to the High Court, the Applicants are seeking the court to

Order Transcend International to return the remains of the deceased Namubiru Justin within 30 days, Order government to put in place a law to regulate labour export agencies and to declare among others that failure to provide information on the deceased Namubiru Justin was a violation of rights to information, health, freedom form torture, inhuman and degrading treatment contrary to Articles 24, 44, 45 and that the right to life of the deceased Namubiru was abused  in contravention of Article 22 of the 1995 Uganda Constitution.

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