Woman returns Home after Housemaid job turns sour

At least six months after first landing in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, former domestic worker Nusula Naali, 26 sat on a flight back to Uganda, carrying a few clothes and her personal belongings.

Naali was promised a housemaid job which never came to fruition, the employment agency confiscated her passport and coerced her to stay in a warehouse with other migrant job seekers from across the world. In September, with the help of Ugandan Vlogger, Zack Maya and local charity, Lubowa Ssebina Foundation, she found herself on a repatriation flight.

“I do not regret returning home, it has been a long six months of suffering and traumatizing torture, I was unable to earn a single coin, the promised jobs were never given to us,” Naali told this publication upon her arrival at Entebbe International Airport. “I wish I had stayed home because my life matters.”

Naali alleges that a Ugandan travel agent based in Abu Dhabi identified as Michael cut communication with her and three other Ugandan girls after they reached Dubai. “Everything seemed to be going well as we waited to be taken to the homes we were to work in, before we could do a thing 3 months had passed. we had endured poor facilities, limited food and space in the warehouse, when we complained to our agent, he stopped talking to us, then we were left on our own in a foreign country,” she said.

Naali also revealed that they were mistreated and abused by workers of the employment agency in Dubai. “We were deployed for short stints to different places without any pay after doing heavy work for days or weeks.” she said.

According to Gyaviira Lubowa who is the director of Lubowa Ssebina Foundation, government needs to step up in surveilling migrant workers and as well develop mechanisms to assist all stranded Ugandans abroad.

“This a drop in the ocean, many Ugandans continue to be trafficked abroad and sold in modern day slavery and servitude, labour laws for migrants especially in the Middle East need to be followed or checked.” Lubowa said.

Reports by the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development and Civil Society bodies in Uganda and beyond reveals that several migrant workers have reported being mistreated and abused in detention centres in countries where they were working, such as Saudi Arabia and Jordan.

Every year, thousands of Ugandan migrant workers flock to Middle East in pursuit of better-paid jobs. Unfortunately many end up being exploited as housemaids and nannies since a domestic worker’s residency status is linked to their job owing to the existing sponsorship system.

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