A lobby for Kenyans in the diaspora has urged African leaders to pressure developed countries to stop harassment of immigrants, asylum seekers and foreign workers.
The Commonwealth Voter Privileges Right Association (COWEPRA) is blaming lack of commitment from African leaders for modern slavery meted on African immigrant workers and asylum seekers in the west.
“It’s a matter of great concern and should be addressed urgently. African immigrant workers and those escaping war from third world countries suffer in silence in Europe,” David Kimengere Waititu, COWEPRA’s secretary- general said.
“It hurts to see the suffering African immigrants undergo in the west. They persevere racial discrimination and are subjected to poor living conditions, this must not be the case in the modern world,” the Iceland-based Kimengere told the Nation.Africa.
He has petitioned the Icelandic Parliament to address the plight of asylum seekers.
“I submit this petition to ask honourable members of the oldest parliament, to relook the governing of the immigration department, which I strongly feel is discriminatory, oppressive and profiling which is an international crime,” Mr Kimengere states in the petition.
“The European Union, The African Union and the Scandinavian states must also wake up and end atrocities meted out on immigrant workers,” he told the Nation.Africa on phone.
According to the Secretary General, African Immigrant workers are denied basic rights despite meeting all conditions set by the host countries.
“Thousands of immigrants have suffered depression while others have died. They are even denied permission to relocate or return to their home countries, this is bad but no one speaks,” he said.
Mr Kimengere said his organisation has noted cases where African Immigrant workers are profiled, terming it an international crime.
“Some are working and paying taxes but are subjected to unhealthy labour practices including profiling,” he said.
He said COWEPRA is petitioning relevant bodies to rescue immigrant workers who, he argues, are neglected and forgotten as they suffer away from their home countries.