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Agencies oppose ban on domestic workers going to gulf

Private recruitment agencies in Mombasa have asked the government to not to make decisions based on content shared on social media on mistreatment of domestic workers in gulf countries saying some content are mainly to spread malice.

Led by their chairperson Mohammed Mwaguzo, the agencies accused social media users responsible for slandering thus asking the government to investigate further on a recent video that went viral on social media where a woman alleged to be a house help in Saudi Arabia was seen breastfeeding puppies.

Mwaguzo noted that the proposed ban on recruitment agencies by Secretary General of Central Organization of Trade Union (COTU) Francis Atwoli is unfair to the accredited employment agencies.

He said that despite the few misfortunes, many Kenyans have benefitted from labour migration to the gulf countries.

“We are really concerned as to why people are producing fake videos on mistreatment in Saudi Arabia. This is a serious issue that needs no social media entertainment for followers. We are calling upon the government to apprehend and arrest those responsible for such videos,” he said.

At the same time, he asked Kenyans who wish to travel abroad for work to use registered agencies to avoid future misfortune. “Travelling through a registered agency is important as they can easily follow up on any incident happening abroad in case the worker is in trouble,” added Mwaguzo.

On his part, Yusuf Ibrahim, a member of Pwani Welfare Association and also an accredited agent based in Mombasa said that they are happy as the new government introduced the State Department of Diaspora Affairs that will help them tackle all the issues happening in Saudi Arabia.

Ibrahim also asked the government to sign the pending bilateral agreement and also negotiate the few terms on labour immigration with the concerned countries.

He also thanked the National Employment Authority (NEA) for their support and the good partnership they have with civil organizations in sensitizing private recruitment agencies on practicing ethical recruitment.

Mathias Shipeta from Haki Africa has asked Kenyans to verify the agencies that take them to the Middle East as some are illegal. “Before you go to the Gulf, find out the details of the signed agreement and who takes you there,” said Shipeta.

He further added that there are not enough job opportunities in Kenya and that is why many people want to travel abroad to at least curb the poverty they face here at home.

Maimuna Hassan, a representative of Asali Commercial Agency said many people think that recruitment agents are criminals and are doing illegal jobs due to how they are portrayed on social media platforms.

She added that most of them only look on the negative side of Saudi Arabia without pointing out the positive side where many Kenyans have benefited from.

By Chari Suche and Mishi Lwambi



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