Concerned about rising mistreatment of Kenya migrant workers, the Ministry of Labour has drafted a bill to protect the welfare of those working abroad.
This comes as the ministry seeks to rein in, via several regulations, private employment agencies that violate policies in sending workers abroad.
The Labour Migration Management Bill, 2021 is awaiting input from stakeholders before it is taken to the Cabinet for approval and ultimately channelled to Parliament for the legislative process to start.
The Bill seeks to reinforce existing legislation on labour migration and accord additional protection to migrant workers.
Labour Cabinet Secretary Simon Chelugui told the Senate Labour Committee that the ministry will need the support of lawmakers to turn the proposals into law.
The government in collaboration with stakeholders, he said, is designing an oversight mechanism to more effectively monitor private recruitment agencies in order to ensure that they adhere to ethical practices throughout the recruitment process.
Mr Chelugui also told the committee that employment agencies will be subjected to more regulations in order to enhance accountability.
“The ministry is in the process of reviewing the regulations of private employment agencies with a view to enhancing ethical recruitment and increase accountability,” he said.
“The regulations will, among others, address the issue of capital base, responsibilities of recruitment agencies during the labour migration cycle and code of conduct.”