- People Daily
The Central Organisation of Trade Unions (COTU) Secretary-General, Francis Atwoli, has accused senior government officials of ignoring the plight of migrant workers in the Middle East and the Gulf region.
Speaking on Thursday, April 21, Atwoli alleged that the employment agencies which offer job opportunities to Kenyans who want to work in the Gulf nations are owned by top officials within the Ministry of Labour.
Atwoli claimed that he was surprised to learn that senior government officials in the Ministry were part of the problem which they pretended to solve without giving any conclusive way forward.COTU Secretary General Francis Atwoli during a public rally on March 28,2022.jpgFrancis Atwoli
“I learnt that senior officers from the Ministry of Labour are the people owning these agencies. How do they stop it and they are the ones promoting this direct slavery? They are doing all funny types of things and they are protected,” he alleged.
He insisted that the employment contracts of the migrant workers must be bilateral negotiations between the government and Gulf countries if the situation is to be solved.
Atwoli stated that the government was ignorant of the welfare of Kenyans despite multiple reports sent to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs over the mistreatment and torture of Kenyan migrant workers.
“Our government is not sensitive. I have time and again appealed to the Kenyan government to stop this menace of sending our young girls to the Gulf. You can be poor but a proud poor person in your country.”
“I hear our Minister for Labour talking proudly that we have managed to secure more than 500 jobs. What type of jobs? Are these decent jobs? These people come back in coffins,” he remarked.
“We can’t sit pretty happy when our young men and women are coming back from the gulf in coffins. What type of jobs are we giving our people? It’s sad that every week we are receiving cases of our people dying in the Gulf and nobody is sensitive about it."An undated image of COTU Secretary General Francis Atwoli addressing the press.The StandardCollins Oduor
Data from the Ministry of Labour showed that as of July 2021, 93 Kenyans died in the Middle East nations in three years.
Labour Cabinet Secretary, Simon Chelugui, did not, however, provide a precise analysis of areas where the victims were buried in the country.
He stated that the Ministry was unable to provide a meticulous analysis of the deaths of Kenyans which occurred mostly in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arabs Emirates (UAE).died death
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