Kenya: Streamlining the labour market

To address numerous issues faced by the labor market in Kenya paying attention to the various recruitment agencies. The Chamber 2nd Vice President Ms. Fatma Elmaawy took lead in having a consultative meeting with the leaders from the Association of Skilled Migrant Agencies of Kenya (ASMAK) led by their Chairman Mr. Francis Wahome. The Association of Skilled Migrant Agencies of Kenya (ASMAK) was established in 2018 as a professional body of Private Employment Agencies that have undergone vetting and are licensed by the National Employment Authority under the Ministry of the East African Community, Labour and Social Protection.

ASMAK is the largest recruitment association representing Kenya’s migrant recruitment and staffing industry.

During the meeting, it was agreed upon that both KNCCI and ASMAK form a joint technical team that comes up with a framework on how to engage and service individual recruitment agencies within the association. Both organizations also deliberated on benchmarking with other countries that have successful labor economies such as the Philippines.

KNCCI, ASMAK in collaboration with all other relevant entities will establish policies to promote compliance mechanisms for recruitment companies to adhere to global labor standards, ethics, and human rights.

This meeting comes at a time when the Labour Cabinet Secretary Simon Chelugui said Sh70 million has been set aside to build safe houses in Saudi Arabia where Kenyan migrants have undergone mental and physical violations. Domestic workers in Saudi Arabia are often reported to be victims of severe abuses by their employers. The reported cases range from psychological to physical torture, with some leading to death. The government has also begun tracing Kenyans suffering abroad as it puts stringent measures to control illegal labor immigrants

CS Chelugui said it will now be mandatory for all private recruiting agents to register with the National Employment Authority (NEA) to be allowed to export labour.

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