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Labour Exporters Protest Ministry’s ‘Illegal’ Move To Ask For Bank Details

Workets recruited by Premier Recruitment Limited prepare to fly to Saudi Arabia recently Workets recruited by Premier Recruitment Limited prepare to fly to Saudi Arabia recently

The Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development in a rare move wrote to all external labour recruitment companies asking them to submit list of employees and bank statement for financial year 2017/2018.

The letter date 5th June, 2019 and signed off by the permanent secretary Pius Bigirimana says the companies should submit as required a list of employees working in each company and the bank statements for financial year 2017/2018 through Uganda Association of External Recruitment Agencies (UAERA) 10th June, 2019.

However the companies have protested saying the request by the ministry is unlawful and tramples on human rights of said Ugandans. Export companies say that submitting bank statements is not a requirement under the Employment (Recruitment of Ugandan Migrant workers abroad Regulations Statutory Instrument number 62 of 2005 under which export of labor is regulated.

Also pointed out by the companies is the Bank of Uganda Final Consumer Protection Guidelines 2011under guideline 7(3) (a) which provides for safeguarding of consumer information and precludes financial service providers from disclosing information about a consumer to a third party except where the financial service provider is compelled by law to disclose the information or where the disclosure is made with express consent of the consumer.

Also, a bank statement falls within the definition of data which is defined under the Data Protectionand Privacy Act to mean “information that is processed by means of equipment operating automatically in response to instructions given for that purpose.

And section 10 of the Data Protection and Privacy Act provides for protection of privacy and states that a data collector, data processor or data controller shall not collect, hold or process personal data in a manner which infringes on the privacy of a data subject.

The Constitution of Republic of Uganda Article 27 explicitly recognizes the right to privacy and calls for its protection. The companies urge that privacy is a fundamental human right enshrined in numerous international human rights instruments such as Article 12 of Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

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