Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU) Secretary-General Francis Atwoli is calling upon the government to immediately stop the operation of those employment agencies notoriously known to corruptly facilitate the travel of Kenyans to Saudi Arabia.
He specifically called on the Ministries of Interior and Coordination of National Government, Ministry of Labour and Social Protection and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to crackdown on employment agencies and revoke licenses of those that don’t meet the minimum qualification standard.
In a statement Monday, Atwoli said COTU (K) has been opposed to having employment agencies that most often than not don’t meet the minimum requirements of an employment agency and also those that are notoriously known to collude with top government officials to have paper work done and also get registered without following the due process.
” That many innocent Kenyans have been tortured to death while others have been subjected to slave like standards of life whilst in a foreign land is not in question. Notorious for these acts are countries in the Middle East and specifically Saudi Arabia.” He said.
Atwoli said it is an established fact that some officials in authorities are known for being bribed and receiving bribes to facilitate the transportation of innocent Kenyans to a foreign land for torture in the name of employment.
” Reading stories, watching news and viewing images of how innocent Kenyans are suffering in a foreign land in the name of seeking greener pastures is extremely heart wrenching. It is not just painful for the Labour Movement fraternity in the country when young boys and girls come back in coffins but I believe it is equally disturbing to any Kenyan who loves his country and its people.” He added
To solve this issue, Atwoli says the government should establish bilateral engagements with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to sign agreements touching on the rights of Kenyans working within Saudi Arabia; Post more Labour attachés to countries in the Middle East, where many Kenyans are present, to help in protecting the rights of Kenyans working in Saudi Arabia and come up with policies that would create employment for the youth to avoid having them going to poor foreign countries in search of employment.