All recruitment agencies in the country will be deregistered and required to make fresh application in a bid to abolish unscrupulous agents behind suffering and death of Kenyans recruited to work in the Arab world, Labour cabinet secretary Kazungu Kambi said on Saturday.
Kambi said his ministry was also drafting a policy that would ensure all the over 930 recruitment agencies operating in the country are monitored and regulated to ensure their activities are checked and that they operate within the confines of the law.
“I will not allow our citizens to go out to suffer, die and be brought back in the country in coffins. All the agencies will have to be registered afresh under new terms and conditions, and after undergoing thorough scrutiny through vetting,” Kambi said at a ceremony to mark the International Maritime Day, in Mombasa.
He said all duly registered agencies will be required to deal directly with Kenyan embassies in countries they intend to send Kenyans to work, so as to abolish what he described as briefcase agencies behind the illegal recruitment.
The remarks came with increased reports of Kenyans working under torture and slavery in the Arab countries, after being lured by deceitful recruitment agents who entice them with lucrative offers only to reach those countries and be forced into slavery.
In August the Kenyan embassy in Oman had to intervene and help bring back home a Mombasa woman who was had been assured of a job as an air hostess only to reach there and be forced to work as a house maid under abuse and torture.
Anxiety gripped Malindi in Kilfi County last week after reports filtered in that six bodies of Kenyans who had allegedly died through torture in Saudi Arabia, had been flown in through the Malindi airport, but police denied the reports.