Stringent rules for agencies sourcing work for Kenyans in Middle East

Monday, February 8th, 2021 00:00 |
Labour and social protection Cabinet Secretary Simon Chelugui.

On Thursday this week the Government announced a crackdown on irregular broker agencies that ferry Kenyans to work in other countries especially the Middle-East. 

Labour Cabinet Secretary Simon Chelugui said that the Ministry had set-up stringent rules that will see companies meet some demands before they could be allowed to engage in the business. 

People Daily has established that 300 private companies have so far been given a go ahead in engaging in the business and they will be responsible for identifying and linking domestic workers abroad. 

However, based on what has been happening in the past it is still very difficult for domestic workers who head to the Middle East because of the stringent rules in the countries there. 

The Labour Ministry estimates that 57,000 to 100,000 Kenyans leave for the Middle-East seeking greener pastures. 

On December 10, 2020, the body of a Kenyan woman who had been detained in Saudi Arabia for three months was released after the family which had been kept in the dark over her death raised concerns continuously about her condition. 

 Two years ago, Ms Shantel Nyaboke 21, had been tricked by a recruiting agent that she had secured a job in Qatar little did she know that she was headed to war-tone Iraq until she was saved by a man who she described as a church elder in Nairobi Central SDA church. 

The stranger who met her inside a Turkish Airline was heading to the USA via Istanbul, Turkey, and was concerned when he noticed that the lady was confused all through the journey. 

The church elder then asked her for her job documents and he was shocked to learn that the contract handed to Ms Nyaboke did not state her salary, expected working hours and whether she would enjoy any off days. 

This prompted the man to hand her over to the Turkish Airline management who promised to get her a ticket back home. 

According to the Human Rights Watch Dog, despite all the introduced legal guidelines on matters concerning domestic workers the chances that their rights are currently being respected and protected are very slim. 

“Pressing financial needs have led hundreds of thousands of women to migrate as domestic workers to Jordan, where many face systematic and systematic abuse,” the Human Rights said in a recent report. 

According to the watchdog the employers and recruiting agencies disempower workers through deceit, debt and blocking information about workers’ rights. 

The workers also work in an environment that isolates the worker and engenders dependency on employers and recruitment agencies under laws that penalize escape. 

People Daily has established that Middle-East countries have a migrant labour system based on ‘Kefala’ or sponsorship which bind migrants’ rights and force them to work and live in the country under the mercies of their employers. The system is the reason as to why mistreatment of domestic workers. 

More on News