Qatar scraps licences of hiring agencies in Kenya – report

Qatar has revoked the licences of 12 recruitment bureaus in Kenya in a bid to shield migrant workers from poor working conditions in the Gulf state, reports say.

The move follows a meeting between Kenya’s trade union boss Francis Atwoli and Qatar’s labour minister Ali bin Samikh Al Marri in Doha on Sunday, local newspaper Daily Nation says.

“The minister noted that they are currently in the process of cancelling the operations of Kenyan-owned employment agencies. At least 12 licences have been cancelled so far,” the Daily Nation quoted Mr Atwoli as saying.

The closed employment bureaus can no longer hire or seal contracts with workers.

Qatar says the move is aimed at safeguarding the rights of the employers of migrant workers.

Mr Atwoli, the Central Organisation of Trade Unions secretary general, asked for better working conditions for migrants.

Mr Al Marri assured him that domestic workers will be safe in the country, saying Qatar was also closing down agencies used to sneak Kenyans into the Middle East.

Qatar – which will host the 2022 football World Cup in November and December – is one of the Gulf states where reports of abuse of domestic workers at the hands of their employers have been emerging.

Many Kenyans were left stranded without travel documents and tickets after falling out with their employers in Qatar in August 2018.

The workers had protested over working conditions.

A report by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2021 showed that 89 Kenyans, a majority of whom were domestic workers, died in Saudi Arabia in the past two years.

Source: bbc

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