December 8, 2022

Initiate Rescue Centres to Combat Abuse of Migrant Workers, Agencies Urge

Kenya Association of private employment Agencies, National Chairman Mwalimu Mwaguzo (Left) Talking to Hussein Shatry (Right) former Migrant worker Saudi Arabia (Photo By Mwakwaya Raymond)

By Mwakwaya Raymond

Email, thecoastnewspaper@gmail.com

A section of recruiting agencies in Kenya now wants the government to initiate Rescue centres in a bid to curb abuse or any illicit act against migrant workers in the gulf countries.

The migrant recruiting agencies say such centres will help to address recurrent issues between an employer and the Kenyan employees who travel to the gulf countries in search of green pastures.

They say though some cases might look exaggerated there’s still need to have a lasting solution and bring sanity to the whole industry as far as Migrant workers are concerned.

Led by Kenya Association of private employment Agencies, National Chairman Mwalimu Mwaguzo, the agencies claim there’s too much misinformation doing rounds on the authenticity of migrant jobs especially in Saudi Arabia.

They further say the industry has been hijacked by unscrupulous agents who are not accredited by government authorities hence causing mayhem in the whole industry.

‘The government should now start thinking about putting up rescue houses so as to address any emerging issues that might arise anywhere in the Gulf before the relevant authorities come in to tackle it” said Chairman Mwaguzo.

His sentiments were echoed by Fatma Abdul Kadir the Chief Executive Officer of Fabra Agency who has been in the industry for the last thirteen years saying the idea is long overdue.

‘Some ladies who claim to be mistreated in Saudi Arabia venture into other businesses such as prostitution once they land there forgetting that they should stick to their sole mission. Such occurrences cause a breach of contract and in many cases the ladies end up being at loggerheads with their bosses, that’s why we need the rescue houses to handle these teething problem between the employer and the employee before it gets out of hand” Said Fatma  

Hajra Ali (Left) former migrant worker now talking to her Boss Fatma Abdul Kadir (Right)the Chief Executive Officer of Fabra Agency (Photo/ By Mwakwaya Raymond)

Breast Feeding Video

However, the team took issue with both the Central Trade Union COTU Boss Francis Atwoli and a section of the Media for bashing the agencies and for airing a video of a Kenyan Migrant worker allegedly breastfeeding puppies in Saudi Arabia respectively claiming it’s not authentic and unprofessional.

Addressing the Media at Mama Ngina Waterfront on Thursday the agencies claimed the video was misleading for it was downloaded from a certain pornographic site before being edited and voiced to suit a certain claim that indeed Saud Arabia a cruel country and it’s mistreating Kenyan Migrant workers.

Earlier in the week the COTU Boss called on the government to ban private recruiting agencies for being un ethical and not responsible enough with the lives of Kenyans working in Saudi Arabia moments after the video went viral in social media.

 “We want to ask the DCI to investigate and arrest the person behind the edited video of the lady who was captured breastfeeding puppies, the person voice synchronized the video just to tarnish the image of that country,” Mwaguzo said.

Among the organizations that turned up for the Presser are Haki Africa which has been in the forefront condemning illicit activities on migrant workers, Kenya Youth Assembly Foundation, Kenya Muslim Youth Alliance, CIPK, SUPKEM and OTRA claiming the video has cause mistrust between the government and the recruiting Agencies.

“We can confirm that this photo was retrieved in a pornographic site, and edited to meet a certain agenda, so we want the government to apprehend the person who posted it, and be charged for blackmail,” said Mathia Shipeta, Haki Africa Human Rights Rapid Response officer.

Atwoli petitioned the government to blacklist recruiting agencies brokering job opportunities in foreign countries saying it’s the only way that will bring the matter to a dead end.

He said there is a need to protect migrant workers from Kenya and that can be achieved by banning the agencies promoting domestic jobs, especially in Saudi Arabia.

The agencies now want the government to sign the pending bilateral agreements with Saudi Arabia as a measure to reduce cases of mistreatment of Kenyans working in Saudi Arabia.

They also want the government to mope up rogue agencies transporting Kenyans to Saudi Arabia saying they are to blame for the rising violation of rights.

The organizations have vowed to continue agitating for the rights of Kenyans working in the gulf countries.

Outgoing Labour Cabinet Secretary Simeon Chelughui at a past migrant worker forum Sarova Whitesands Mombasa (Photo By/ Mwakwaya Raymond)

Revenue

According to records by Statista there are about 2million drivers, 1.65 servants and house cleaners, over 51,000 cookers and food providers, Manson’s and guards are over 29, 000 alongside others.  

Saudi Arabia has so far been rated the fastest-growing source of remittances, pointing to increasing migration of jobless Kenyan workers despite cases of abuse and cruel treatment of foreign domestic workers in the Middle East nation. Saudi remittances to Kenya double to $187m with about 300,000 agents in Kenya transporting workers annually.

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