Employment Authority Develops New Bill To Protect Kenyans Working Abroad

Yatani, Acting CS Treasury

The Labour Ministry under the newly operationalized National Employment Authority (NEA) is looking to tap into the foreign employment, to ease the pressure on tarmarking graduates and shortfalls in the industry. According to the Labour Ministry Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani, the government is keen on doubling its efforts to multiply the contribution of the overseas market which has immensely contributed to economic growth and development.

“There are over 4 million Kenyans in the diaspora providing human and capital resources in form foreign remittances, knowledge skills and technological transfer. Foreign employment has been a strong source of employment. Last year remittances from diaspora stood at Ksh 270 billion. As the country continues on the path of economic growth and development, we expect that the remittances from Kenyans who secure employment abroad and tax revenues from others who are absorbed in the local job market will grow to match our plans and ambitions,” he noted during the official launch of NEA.

Qatar, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and the United Arab Emirates (UAE)  are the largest employment markets for Kenyan Immigrants with majority composing of domestic roles,  NEA will take the lead in the promotion of employment facilitation in both the private sector and government it is emigration that takes centre stage with the government primarily eyeing the Middle Eastern labour market over the medium term.

To have a grip on the opportunity, the Labour Ministry has developed the Labour Migration Management Bill to oversee the administration of foreign employment through the monitoring of complaints, the dissemination of information received from emigrants and the establishment of a fund to cater for the welfare of migrant workers.

“If we had the fortunate opportunity of the economy growing at a faster rate to absorb all the graduates, there wouldn’t be a need to export jobs. We have to look for other pragmatic measures outside the boundaries of this country,” said CS Yatani.

The Bill will guide the formulation of sound policy to mitigate against human rights violations which range from human trafficking, exploitation and abuse which has on occasion stretched to physical injuries and even sudden death.

Additionally, the ministry will further initiate the development of bilateral labour agreements to promote Kenyan labour migrants and ensure the creation of not just domestic but also skilled roles, though an established curriculum.