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Female MPs push Kenya to ban Gulf domestic labour exports – Business Daily

A mother is overwhelmed by emotions as she narrates how her 34-year-old daughter was suffering in Saudi Arabia at the hands of her employer in this picture taken on October 6, 2020. PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT | NMG
Women MPs have asked President William Ruto to ban Kenyans from travelling to the Middle East to take up jobs as domestic workers until Kenya puts in place proper protection measures.
The MPs said unless the government addresses the plight of migrant workers following numerous complaints and deaths no other Kenyan should be allowed travel to seek househelp jobs in the Gulf states.
They accused recruitment agencies and the National Employment Authority of failing to protect young women from acts of sexual violence, and physical and mental abuse by employers in Middle East countries.
There has been a jump in the numbers moving abroad in search of greener pastures despite the rising abuse cases by employers in the Middle East.
Most young Kenyans, especially women are seeking employment opportunities elsewhere, with the Gulf States a favourite destination. “The Kenya Women Parliamentary Association decried the recent acts of sexual violence, physical and mental abuse against migrant workers in the Middle East countries,” Muthoni Wamuchomba, who chairs Kewopa said.
Read: New House committee dedicated to deal with migrant workers’ woes
Gulf State employers have been accused of mistreating their migrant workers for years with most returnees claiming they were denied food, and subjected to long working hours, beatings and inhumane treatment.
“They are forced to work in multiple homes and for longer hours and are denied enough sleep. Most employment agencies have also failed to protect the rights of the Kenyan women by giving out false re-assurance to the victims’ families,” Ms Wamuchomba said.
Nominated Senator Veronica Maina, Woman Representatives Liza Chelule (Nakuru) and Dorothy Mukami (Meru) supported the total ban on travel of Kenyan domestic workers to Saudi Arabia.
Kewopa asked NEA to table a list of all recruitment agencies and the number of girls each has facilitated to travel to the Middle East for scrutiny.
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