Kenya moves to combat migrant workers' abuse

Labour Cabinet secretary Ukur Yatani. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NMG

What you need to know:

  • Labour CS Ukur Yattani also says Bill on labour migration policy and management on the way
  • Kenyan nationals currently working in Gulf countries such as Dubai, Qatar and United Arab Emirates estimated at 100,000

Kenya will intensify a crackdown on rogue employment agencies to try curb exploitation and abuse of its migrant workers in the Gulf countries.

Labour Cabinet secretary Ukur Yatani says the government will also sign labour pacts with countries in the Middle East to protect Kenyan workers.

This comes in response to the alarming number of cases involving the mistreatment of Kenyans abroad.

“Some Kenyans seeking employment abroad and those already working there sometimes faces challenges,” said Mr Yatani, during Wednesday’s national Labour Day celebrations held in Nairobi.

“To address this, the government has put in place measures from; signing of bilateral labour agreements with key labour destination countries, vetting of all local private employment recruitment agencies by an inter-ministerial vetting committee in addition to posting of labour attaches.”

Labour policy

Mr Yatani added a labour migration policy and a labour migration management Bill have been developed to streamline the migration of Kenyan workers.

He noted that labour migration contributes significantly to the development of the economy.

“The over 4 million Kenyans in diaspora provide immense human and capital resources in the form of remittances, knowledge, skills, and technology transfers.

"Last year alone, the inward formal annual remittance stood at Sh270 billion,” said Mr Yatani.

There are an estimated 100,000 Kenyan nationals currently working in Gulf countries such as Dubai, Qatar and United Arab Emirates, though the true figure could be much higher.

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