89 Kenyans died in Saudia Arabia between 2019-2021
NATIONAL | By Joackim Bwana | November 28th 2021
Eighty-nine Kenyan domestic workers died in Saudi Arabia between 2019 and 2021, National Assembly Committee on Labour and Social Welfare report revealed in Mombasa on Friday.
The committee chairman who is also Mwea MP, Wachira Kabinga, the Kenyans were killed in road accidents while others died of heart attacks and other illnesses.
"Due to the high temperatures most of them died from heart attacks," he said.
Kabinga said 200 domestic workers are being held in deportation camps after escaping from their employers following disagreements.
"Five are hospitalised. One of them has been held in the hospital for over six years," said the chair who insisted that Kenya must deal with the mistreatment of its citizens working in the Middle East.
Speaking during the committee's retreat at a Mombasa hotel, Kabinga said when MPs visited Saudi Arabia they came face to face with Kenyans' sufferings.
He said 90 per cent of Kenyan domestic workers have been sexually harassed.
The chair cited the Philippines that has strict protocols on its migrant workers in the Gulf. He termed Kenyans working in the middle east as helpless Kenyans running from the hardships in Kenya.
"Just like the Philippines, Kenya should work on clear policies to come up with solutions between Kenyan domestic workers and their employers in Saudi Arabia, " he added.
Kabinga said the Philippines has issued a memo to stop the recruitment of its citizens as housemaids in the Arabian nation.
Nominated MP Wilson Sossion said Kenya, as a country, is sleeping since the rate of unemployment is too high.
"We should work on the recruitment agencies and the government should also work on labour exports to stop the issues of modern-day slavery, " said Sossion.
Labour Cabinet Secretary Simon Chelugui said they are working with the concerned stakeholders to make sure the welfare of Kenyans working abroad is taken care of.
"We want to fight for the rights of Kenyans who travel to work abroad, we are here not to blame each other but find solutions," said Chelugui.
Chelugui said they condemn any form of discrimination, oppression, and denial of human rights to any Kenyan.
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