• The government has finally taken action against the mistreatment of Kenyan workers in the Middle East country of Saudi Arabia. 

    In the latest course of action revealed on Thursday, October 14, President Uhuru Kenyatta’s-led government resolved to send officers from the Ministry of Labour to Saudi to address the ever-rising cases of mistreatment.

    Labour and Social Protection Cabinet Secretary, Simon Chelugui, confirming the latest move to avert cases of ill-treatment, stated the officials from both countries have arranged a meeting to address the thorny issue.

    Ministry of Labour and Social Protection Cabinet Secretary CS Simon Chelugui.
    Ministry of Labour and Social Protection Cabinet Secretary CS Simon Chelugui.

    In the meeting slated for November, Kenya and Saudi Arabia have resolved to sign a bilateral agreement on laws governing the employment of Kenyan immigrant workers.

    “We want to go to Saudi Arabia and meet their officials and find a solution to this problem which has been a major concern in the government,” stated Chelugui.

    Chelugui further stated the government has started amending immigration laws to regulate those leaving the country to work in foreign nations.

    “We want to manage immigration of Kenyans seeking employment out of the country so that Kenyans going to work in other countries are safe there.”

    To spearhead the whole process, Chelugui maintained that the newly appointed board of directors of the National Labour Board will be gazetted soon.

    The CS was prompted to detail the government’s plan following the recent sentiments made by Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU) Secretary General, Francis Atwoli, who accused the Ministry of failing to protect Kenyans employed in Saudi Arabia.

    He castigated the government for remaining silent yet workers were being mishandled in Saudi Arabia.

    Chelugui blamed some immigrant workers for sneaking out of the country using unscrupulous employment agents. He said those recruited by such means are the ones who find themselves stuck in Middle East countries because of a lack of proper documentation. 

    Cotu Secretary-General Francis Atwoli.
    Cotu Secretary-General Francis Atwoli on October 13, 2019
    The Standard
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