PARENTING: How Safe Are Your Children With a House Help?

Clare Amoit a mother of six was shocked to learn that her friends’ children were infected with the HIV virus by a house maid. She has since been taking all potential house help for an HIV test.

Many working parents have shifted the responsibility of raising children to domestic workers commonly called house girls.

A recent report by Platform for Labor Action (PLA) indicates that over 44 percent domestic workers in Uganda are below 20 years of age. PLA argues that domestic workers are among the most under privileged and despised in Uganda.

According to police, domestic workers can put the lives of children at risk. Robert Walugembe Kira Road Police commander says that parents who do not mind about the safety of their children in the care of house helps are negligent.

A survey  found no common standard for hiring domestic workers. The duties delegated to them also vary according to household.
Clare Amoit’s children are aged between 1 to 16 years. She says before employing any domestic worker, an HIV test must be done to establish their status.

Samuel Kuibya who runs the Victoria Domestic Professionals Agency says children are victims of bad relationship between employers and domestic workers. Domestic workers have are sometimes sexually exploited by male members of the family as Kuibya and Ronald Mutebi suggest.

Mastura Nabugabo a mother of two, prefers sourcing for domestic workers from her relatives. She says she would not mind hiring an HIV positive house help as long as she can do the work.Nabugabo’s current house help Shariffa Namwimba was orphaned and had to look for work.

At Victoria Domestic Professionals Agency, Kuibya is concerned that most domestic workers underpaid and cannot make any useful investment or saving.
Sections of the International Labour Organization (ILO) convention recognize the need for decent work for domestic workers

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