41 Kenyans Die In Saudi Arabia: MFA Proposes Travel Ban.

41 Kenyans Die In Saudi Arabia: MFA Proposes Travel Ban. Photo Courtesy
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41 Kenyans Die In Saudi Arabia: MFA Proposes Travel Ban.

Following the alarming number of Kenyan migrant workers deaths in Saudi Arabia, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is calling for a temporary ban on recruitment and exportation of Kenyan domestic to the said country.

This year alone, 41 Kenyan migrant workers have died in Saudi Arabia 28 being domestic workers while the number of those in distress stands at 1,025 up from 883 cases reported to the embassy in 2019/2020.

This was revealed by Ambassador Macharia Kamau Principal Secretary of Foreign Affairs when he appeared before the Labour and Social Welfare Parliamentary Committee Thursday morning.

He exonerated his ministry from blame saying it plays no role in labour migration and foreign employment of Kenyans stating that they only learn about the plight of Kenyan migrant workers when they die or are in distress abroad.

He, however, said in July they have raised concerns with the Ministry of Labour, which is in charge and proposed a ban until adequate protection measures are put in place.

41 Kenyans Die In Saudi Arabia: MFA Proposes Travel Ban. Photo Courtesy

An inter-agency task force was formed immediately to address the situation No substantial action to alleviate the suffering of the Kenyan workers and the PS admits that the situation has drastically worsened with increasing deaths.

“These statistics indicate the dire reality that we face. It warrants bold and decisive action to curb further suffering of Kenyan domestic workers in Saudi Arabia. It should not be seen to be condoning such high number of deaths and distress of citizens’ majority of whom are young and vulnerable women” he said.

He said although the Foreign Affairs ministry, is only mandated to provide consular services, it will endeavour to support efforts geared towards protecting Kenyan living abroad.

“The Executive order mandates Labour and Social Protection Ministry to handle national labour and employment policy management and migratory labour and international job policy…Ministry of Foreign Affairs provides consular services to Kenyan diaspora ” the PS said.

Currently, 200,000 Kenyans comprising are working in eight Middle East countries. 100,000 Kenyans are in Saudi Arabia, UAE (53,000) Qatar (35,000) Bahrain (7000) Oman (4,900) Jordan (1,700) Kuwait (1500) Lebanon (900).  The number comprises domestic and semi-skilled workers and skilled workers.

Last year 48 workers died in Saudia Arabia among the 29 domestic workers. Only three deaths were reported in 2019.


Felicity Gitonga
Felicity Gitonga is the founder of Africa Business News. abn, freelance writer, journalist, and author with a passion for telling stories.

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