Lobby group urges government to rescue Kenyans stranded in Beirut

The Kenya Diaspora Alliance now wants the Kenya Government to rescue scores of Kenyan girls who are stranded in the Middle East.

The Alliance working in collaboration with the International Human Rights Commission (IHRC Beirut) and the AU ECOSOCC (EAST Africa Region) says these girls were workers in the formal and informal sectors in the said Countries.

In a statement, the Alliance says the Kenyans lost their jobs following the massive explosion in Beirut that killed over 100 people and left 300,000 people homeless.

“They are now living off the streets with children as young as 3 months old, some are pregnant and are now requesting the government to fly them back home,” The statement reads.

The workers have also condemned the kafala system; a form of Employment contracts that gives employers enormous control over their employees. “This has resulted in exploitation and abuse of their rights by the employers among them withholding of wages, confiscation of passports and long working hours in substandard or unsafe conditions.

The Kenya Diaspora Alliance has also called for the replacement of the Honorary Consul in Lebanon, expressing concern about the safety of Kenyans in Lebanon.

KDA Chairperson Dr. Shem Ochuodho has raised issues with the Kenyan consulate in Beirut for labeling the stranded protestors’ employment and immigration status as “unknown”.

“Whether documented or not, these are Kenyans who need to be back home with their people, The Ministry of Labour needs to revisit and preferably review policies regarding Domestic Workers that find themselves in the Middle East in inhuman conditions,” he said.

The Alliance has further advocated for reforms on the consulate and possible transition from a Lebanese run consulate to a Kenyan run consulate; to reduce instances of extortion claims by Kenyans that seek help from the consulate.

Thirty-one Kenyans from Lebanon were expected back in the Country on Saturday while twenty-three Kenyans are expected back on Sunday.

  

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