Saudi Arabia torture: Atwoli accuses corrupt officials of approving notorious employment agencies

Cotu Secretary General Francis Atwoli during a past press conference/ NATION

Cotu Secretary General Francis Atwoli has accused some government officials of colluding to approve employment agencies notoriously known to corruptly facilitate the travel of Kenyans to Saudi Arabia.

“It is an established fact that some officials in authorities are known for being bribed and receiving bribes to facilitate the transportation of innocent Kenyans to a foreign land for torture in the name of employment,” Atwoli said in a statement on Tuesday.

The veteran unionist said Cotu had been opposed to having employment agencies that most often than not don’t meet the minimum requirements of an employment agency.

He further said some are notoriously known to collude with top government officials to have paper work done and get registered without following the due process.

Atwoli called on the government to crackdown on the agencies and revoke licences of those that don’t meet the minimum qualification standard.

This is in connection with media reports of Kenyan workers being abused in foreign Middle East countries, particularly Saudi Arabia.

KTN on May 3 run a documentary detailing the suffering and killings og Kenyans who seek jobs in the Gulf.

“There have been numerous cases of violence, torture, sexual harassment, and sometimes, murder most foul. Slaida Vugutsa Talian is the latest Kenyan to die in Saudi Arabia under mysterious circumstances, and the mystery and bad luck seem to follow her even in death,” KTN said in the report.

Atwoli called for an immediate suspension of the employment agencies notoriously known to corruptly facilitate the travel of Kenyans to Saudi Arabia.

Additionally, he called on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to establish bilateral engagements with Saudi Arabia to sign agreements touching on the rights of Kenyans working within Saudi Arabia.

The Secretary-General also demanded that the Foreign Affairs ministry posts more labour attachés to countries in the Middle East, where many Kenyans are present, to help in protecting the rights of Kenyans working in Saudi Arabia.

He urged the government develop policies that will create employment for the youth in Kenya to avoid having them going to poor foreign countries in search of employment.

“That many innocent Kenyans have been tortured to death while others have been subjected to slave like standards of life whilst in a foreign land is not in question. Notorious for these acts are countries in the Middle East and specifically Saudi Arabia,” Atwoli said in the statement.

 

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