The government, through the Ministry of Labour, has begun the process of ensuring the safety of Kenyans working in the Gulf countries, especially Saudi Arabia.
In a conference on Tuesday, June 28, Labour CS, Simon Chelugui, stated that all recruitment agencies will be required to register with the National Employment Authority before recruiting Kenyans to work in the Gulf states.
“We are laying a process which will handle any Kenyan who loses his job or maybe disagree with the employer that no Kenyan ends up in the street or becomes destitute,” Chelugui stated.
The CS directed the agencies to ensure that they receive adequate information about employers before sending Kenyan workers to foreign countries and also link up with other agencies in the host countries.
“All Kenyans who wish to travel or are seeking jobs abroad to use established agencies. They must know where you are going, they must know the employer on the other side, and they must partner with an agency on the other side so that the movement from Kenya to that destination country is smooth,” Chelugui added.
He further confirmed that the government had allocated the Ministry of Labour Ksh70 million to secure a safe house in Saudi Arabia to help shelter the Kenyans suffering abroad.
He noted that the state had gotten into contact with its Saudi Arabian counterparts to secure a safe house for the workers.
“We have received a budgetary allocation of Ksh70 million. We are engaging with Saudi to see whether they can donate or give us a house where we will equip or refurbish to be used by Kenyans in that country,” stated Chelugui.
Towards the end of May, the Ministry of Labour had applied for Ksh304 million to build a safe house in Saudi Arabia to cater for troubled Kenyan workers in the Gulf region.
The National Assembly Budgets and Appropriation Committee explained that the safe house will provide refuge for the Kenyan workers who suffer mistreatment by their employers.
While addressing the press, the Central Organisation of Trade Unions (COTU) Secretary-General, Francis Atwoli, also challenged Parliament to fast-track the Labour Migration Bill.
Atwoli argued that if the country created a conducive working environment for all, Kenyans would not find the need to seek employment elsewhere.