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Kenya Proposes Ban On Export Of Workers To Saudi Arabia

Kenya Proposes Ban On Export Of Domestic Workers To Saudi Arabia

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kenya has recommended a temporary ban on recruitment and export of domestic workers to Saudi Arabia.

The ministry said the ban will be effective until adequate protection measures for these workers are put in place.

Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary, Macharia Kamau told MPs that the ministry had already sent a letter to the labour ministry in July. The letter requested to impose a temporary blockade.

‘’As additional measures to protect the rights and welfare of migrant workers are put in place, the ministry recommends for temporary recruitment and export of domestic workers to Saudi Arabia,’’ Mr. Kamau said.

Further, Mr. Kamau said ever since the parliamentary visit to Saudi Arabia in 2019, the situation had drastically worsened.

The number of deaths had increased on top of the distress cases that were through the roof.

He said in 2019, they reported three cases of death to the Kenyan Embassy which rose to 48 in 2020.

And currently, the number of deaths is at 41 as of 2021. Distress cases rose from 88 in 2019/2020 to 1,025 in 2020/2021.

‘’The statistics indicate the dire reality that we face. It warrants bold and decisive action to curb further suffering of Kenyan domestic workers in Saudi Arabia,’’ he said.

He also said Kenya shouldn’t condon such a high number of deaths and distress to citizens. He added that a majority of these are young and vulnerable women.

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