We will crack down on jobs authority that registers agencies importing migrant workers, says Bore » Capital News
NAIROBI, Kenya, October 22 – Labor and Social Care candidate Florence Bore has vowed to crack down on the National Employment Authority which registers agencies that import migrant workers.
If approved, Bore told MPs during his vetting of the cabinet post that there could be gaps in the vetting and approval of nearly 500 agencies in the country.
Bore mentioned that the inefficiency in approving agencies has led to the current crisis related to importing workers into Saudi Arabia.
“There could be shortcomings within these agencies and it is the multisectoral committee that checks these agencies. This committee needs to be streamlined so we can see what these agencies are doing,” she said.
The Labor candidate has pledged to streamline the welfare of migrant workers. Bore told MPs during her review that she would get to the bottom of the matter by ensuring that no migrant worker from the country died while in the Arab country.
Domestic workers in Saudi Arabia often face severe abuse from their employers. Reported cases range from psychological torture to physical torture, with some resulting in death.
“I want to sympathize with the migrant workers who have gone to the Middle East and who have been oppressed because of their time there. No parent sends a child to the Gulf expecting them to come in a coffin,” she said.
The Labor candidate has assured that he will employ a labor attaché who will be deployed to various cities in Saudi Arabia to directly oversee the welfare of migrant workers in the Middle Eastern country.
Bore also said she would set up a welfare fund for migrant workers alongside long-term medical coverage in case they fall ill in the line of duty.
“It seems that when they have health issues they are not treated well and they are in pain and when they come back they would have had to go through a lot of challenges,” she said.
Saudi Arabia has a modern slavery prevalence index of 138 out of 167 countries according to the Global Slavery Index.
The index also estimates that 61,000 people live in modern slavery and that 46 out of every 100 people are vulnerable to modern slavery.
Faced with some of the highest unemployment rates in the world according to the UN’s International Labor Organization (ILO), hundreds of vulnerable women continue, more often than not, a doomed journey to the Gulf.
The Parliamentary Labor and Social Welfare Committee says the number of Kenyans working in Saudi Arabia has risen from 55,000 in 2019 to 97,000. The number of deaths and incidences of distress have also increased.
In 2019, three deaths were reported at the Kenyan Embassy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, rising to 48 deaths in 2020 and, in September 2021, 41 deaths.
So far in 2021, three deaths have been reported in Qatar, one in the United Arab Emirates, two in Kuwait, nine in Oman and two in Bahrain.