Ugandan youth have been cautioned against the mass move to other countries outside of Africa for job opportunities that they risk walking into modern slavery.
Commissioner of Parliament Cecilia Ogwal says that majority youth seeking job opportunities abroad including those with degrees end up doing jobs way below their professions amid tight immigration policies that don’t allow them to progress in their careers.
Uganda is currently experiencing a high wave of people going across borders to seek job opportunities in the face of the high unemployment levels. However, many have fallen victim to various abuse whereas others have ended under mysterious circumstances.
It is upon this background that the youth are being cautioned against leaving their own country in the search for better jobs.
Cecilia Ogwal while officiating at the 4thAfrican Youth Parliamentary Conference warned that the youth against walking into modern slavery.
“Those days our parents were taken by force, these days they are not being taken by force we are willingly enlisting ourselves, willingly boarding the plane and willingly allowing to be someone’s slaves,” Ogwal said.
Many youth have been promised better opportunities abroad, only for them to find themselves entangled by very restrictive immigration policies that don’t allow them to thrive and progress with their professions.
Sameuel Ikon, a Nigerian legislator and regional treasurer at the commonwealth parliamentary association says; “you can’t make the impact you think but instead you end up in drugs, prostitution, and certain vices. Even our professionals who go out they are not given the same template as their own, they are not given similar salary scales which in the end leads to some form of slavery.”
“So we must look inside because Africa has the population, raw materials and all that it takes, all we need is political will to put funds where the are needed to transform our lives,”Ikon added.
To this effect, there is a call upon government to create jobs through value adding and for the youth to look within the country for job opportunities that will benefit the country.
“We should try to transform our youth to begin to look at land as a source of wealth and what can government do, training the youth, equipping them and popularizing agricultural production. Government should also set agro based industries at the smallest rural scale,”Ogwal said..
The caution was during the fourth African Youth Parliamentary Conference which accords the youth chance to deliberate on issues affecting governance across the continent. The youth legislators discussed issues relating to unemployment, climate change, child marriages and domestic violence that affect them directly.