Chelugui calls for elimination of migration disputes

Wednesday, November 18th, 2020 00:00 |
Labour and social protection Cabinet Secretary Simon Chelugui.

Labour Cabinet Secretary Simon Chelugui has called for elimination of challenges that result in poor labour migration to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states.

Chelugui said Kenyans are increasingly seeking employment opportunities beyond the borders, with data indicating that there is an estimated four million Kenyans in the diaspora. 

 “Well-managed labour mobility has the potential to yield significant benefits to origin and destination countries. We therefore need to work together to make sure that we eliminate the challenges associated with poor labour migration,” said the CS.

The CS, who made the remarks yesterday during a virtual meeting with ambassadors from GCC countries, said a significant number of Kenyans are in those countries, which is mainly influenced by the geographical proximity of these regions and existing demand for workers in the region.

The CS said they have been receiving numerous reports ranging from unethical recruitment practices, smuggling and trafficking, cases of contract substitution by some unscrupulous employers/agencies to confiscation of travel documents by some employers.

There have also been cases of mistreatment and abuse by employers, inadequacy of social protection to migrant workers and failure by employers to observe agreed terms and conditions of employment such as paying workers promptly.

To encourage orderly labour migration, the CS said Kenya has signed three Bilateral Labour Agreements (BLA) with a few members of GCC like State of Qatar, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates.

He said the government has initiated Bilateral Labour Agreements with Jordan, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain. Kenya also posted labour attachés to Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar to support services for migrant workers.

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