Limited Coordination with other Government Agencies;Because the law does not recognize the trade dimension of labor externalization, there is limited coordination between the unit and other relevant government departments in charge of trade and trade diplomacy. The absence of the Steering Committee has exacerbated the limited coordination between the unit and other government agencies and stakeholders particularly with regard to promotion of labor exports. The main strength of the unit is that it‘s being headed by a relatively experienced officer with adequate understanding of labor migration issues. The officer has created the current systems of the unit, prepared the regulations and guidelines and has clarity of the future direction the unit should take to become more effective. In addition to the above, the unit seems to enjoy some degree of recognition by policy makers within the government partly arising from the increasing importance of labor remittances to the national economy and the unit‘s role in labor externalization. 5.6.3Emerging Issues and Policy Implications For Uganda to fully realize its full potential through labor export a number of reforms need to be considered for implementation in the short and medium term. In the short term, there is need to take measures to strengthen the Labor Externalization Unit in the Ministry of Gender, Labor and Social Development. This will involve increasing the program budget for the unit up to 10 times from its 2009 levels. The unit needs to be strengthened with additional staffing of experienced personnel in labor migration and externalization; the unit currently requires 3 additional staff to fill the establishment. The unit also needs to be strengthened by appointing an Institutional
58 Steering Committee to facilitate decision making and improve inter-institutional Coordination. It‘s expected that these measures when implemented will enable the unit to become a functional division within the Department of Employment Services of the Ministry of Gender, Labor and Social Development. In the medium term, legal reforms particularly with regard to amending the Employment Act, 2006 to give explicit statutory recognition to Labor Externalization and provide for the creation of a competent authority responsible for labor externalization and export. The scope of the legal reforms should include strengthening the Employment (Recruitment of Ugandan Migrant Workers Abroad) Regulations to provide for sanctions and their enforcement and provide for mandatory Pre-Departure Orientation Seminars, a clear Code of Conduct for Recruitment Agencies including minimum staffing standards. The regulations also need to provide for mandatory site visits by the licensing authority to verify workers complaints while abroad and compliance with the terms and conditions by recruitment agencies and their principals. A mandatory levy may be considered as a possible funding option for the future.