Kenyans in Diaspora seek labour agreements

An association representing Kenyans working abroad now wants the Government to be pro-active in protecting its citizens in the Middle East.

Diaspora Welfare Association Chairman David Njogu asked the Government to formulate policies that will address working conditions of Kenyans in the Middle East.

He told The Standard they have already drafted two documents, which he believes if implemented will protect the interests of Kenyans working in foreign countries.

Mr Njogu said the two proposals: Kenya's Foreign Policy and Diaspora Workers Policy, would be presented to the Government for consideration.

"Parliament should have by this time enacted and created an Act that can support labour export in this country. Whereas our fellow Kenyans are suffering, other workers from other countries are enjoying better terms with better wages compared to Kenyans who are underpaid and overworked," Njogu pointed out.

He said they want the Government to emulate other countries whose citizens are enjoying better working relationship in foreign countries. According to Njogu, Kenya should emulate Uganda, which has already signed bilateral labour agreement with Saudi Arabia.

"We want Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed to address the plight of Kenyans suffering in the Middle East," he added.

He also wants the Government to start vetting agencies taking advantage of poor Kenyans who are lured into insecure jobs.

"Many agencies which are recruiting Kenyans to work in those countries are not registered. There is a need for an overhaul so that only a few agencies can deal with labour export, provided the agencies prove to have capacity to work with the Government on monitoring Kenyans' situation in the foreign lands," he said.

"While countries like Indonesia passed their foreign Act, which is being used to execute its mandate of protecting its citizens, Kenya is yet to create its own policy. The Government needs to change strategies," he added.