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Labor Officials to Travel to Saudi Arabia to Discuss Mistreatment of Kenyan Migrant Workers

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Officials from the Labor Ministry are set to make a trip to Saudi Arabia in a bid to address the mistreatment of Kenyans working there.

Labor Cabinet Secretary Simon Chelugui said during the visit next month, the officials will seek to find a lasting solution to the problem.

He indicated that Kenya and Saudi Arabia will sign a bilateral agreement on laws governing the employment of Kenyan immigrants in the Gulf state.

“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,” said Chelugui.

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

Chelugui was responding to Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU) secretary-general Francis Atwoli, who accused his ministry of failing to protect Kenyan migrant workers in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries.

Speaking in Mombasa on Thursday, Atwoli asked the government to ban all agencies taking Kenyans to work in the Middle East.

He claimed that most Kenyans working in Gulf nations were being treated like slaves, adding that the rate at which Kenyan migrant workers were being killed was alarming.

“By allowing these agencies to operate we are glaring at slavery yet our people expect us who are in charge to make a change,” said Atwoli.

“Sometimes these young men and women land into the hands of unscrupulous employers who take their passports and mobile phones yet their addresses are not known by the families. Something needs to be done.”
 
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