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Even at home, they are slaves of poverty

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Even at home, they are slaves of poverty

Post  mara thon on Sun 6 May - 14:38

http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/standarddigitalworld/?articleID=2000057582

BY NGUMBAO KITHI
Migrant workers from Kenya who have had time to work in the Middle East are a crying lot.
According to the Coast-based Muslims for Human Rights (Muhuri), there are more than 30,000 Kenyans working as domestic workers in the Middle East.
The Executive Officer of Muhuri, Khalid Hussein, described the movement of Kenyans to the Middle East as human trafficking.
“This is human trafficking because the girls are not allowed to negotiate for the jobs available in the middle East, they are just taken there and forced to work as domestic workers, mostly with no payment,” he said.
Last year alone, there were seven Kenyans who died under the hands of employers in the Middle East.
“This is according to the report we have about the suffering of Kenyans working in the Middle East,” he said.
The human trafficking dilemma has affected girls, mostly from the Coast region.
Programme
Mr Khalid says his organisation has decided to provide unemployed girls with the right information lest they fall prey to human
traffickers.
Already, a prograqmme has been set up to ensure that girls who receive offers to work in the Middle East have read and understood the job description.
He said several girls were not educated on the job description, and upon landing there, the employers take advantage of them and force them to work as house helps.
“The procedure has been sucessful and several girls will now not accept to go and work as slaves if the job description is not on the initial appointment papers,” he said.
Mr Khalid says the programme also educates the girls on the terms of payment, teaching them that the initial job offer must state the salary and agents fees and that they should not accept any less once they have started work in the Middle East.
“Most agents intimidate the girls and demand more money from them. The initial job terms must be respected and money paid,” he says.
He says Muhuri has started the Immigrant Workers Union to help educate Kenyans who are victims of slavery in the East.
Mr Khalid claims that despite the suffering Kenyans in the Middle East, the Kenyan envoys in those countries have refused to assist victims.
He claimed several girls have had their passports and other travelling documents confiscated and they only get them back when they are travelling back home.
He says the Foreign Affairs Ministry in Kenya has been helping some of the girls but their efforts are frustrated by lack of information on the exact number of girls working in the Middle East due uncooperative agents.
However, he claims several Kenyans have been killed by their employers in these countries and no action has been taken
“The Kenyan envoys in the Middle East must wake up. Our people are suffering and the team is fast asleep,” he says.
“Some Kenyans have died in these countries and Kenya must say no,” he said.
Complexion
Several girls were initially promised to be paid US$200 while in Kenya but once in the Middle East, most of them are paid about Sh10,000 per month.
Mauwa Bakari, 26, was recruited as a personal assistant only to be turned into a house girl.
Her first job as a house girl did not work out well and she was transferred to work in a house for an employer who would soil his clothes with semen and force her to clean them.
The employer claimed, she was a slave due to her complexion.
Mary Andeka Malungu, 34, was employed to work in Lebanon in 2010 as a house help on a promise of US$200 per month.
On arrival in Lebanon, Ms Malungu was picked up from the airport by her sponsor and taken to the home where she worked as a house help.
Within six months, she was transferred to three different houses and was never paid for her services.
“I cannot explain how I went to work in one house and was later forced to work in three houses for the same pay” she said.
Ms Malungu adds that was repeatedly mistreated by the Lebanese families she worked for.
A month ago, Asha Nassoro Ali, from Likoni, sent a cry for help to her parents claiming something terrible was about to happen to her in Saudi Arabia.
The 22-year-old who left for the Gulf in March this year said she being mistreated and forced to work for up to six households and that she was about to be sold out to a slave master in Dubai.
“Mum, yesterday my boss asked me if I want to be sold or not. I fear he might kill me. It is God’s plan that I die in Saudi Arabia, there is nothing I can do,” she said during a brief telephone conversation.
After the telephone call, the family tried to contact her but her she could not reached. The family now lives in anguish as they do no know if she is dead or alive.
Millicent Anyango, 23, got a job to go to work in Dubai and worked out the process to get her passport and all the required arrangements.
Later, an agent gave her a document to read and sign. She went through the document and listed certain conditions against her job description in Dubai.
Later however, the agent told her that her job would be in Saudi Arabia and not Dubai.
“I questioned the change. He said his client was looking for a Christian and that I now had to work in Saudi Arabia without giving details,” Ms Anyango says.
She says that after she refused to travel to Saudi Arabia, the agent took her passport and school leaving certificates and he now cannot be reached.
“I want my passport back, why is this agent holding my passport and education papers?” she asks.
Mr Khalid says the programme run by Muhuri advises migrants to keenly study the conditions of their contracts and ensure their job descriptions are complied with the document.
He asks agents to discuss the terms and job descriptions with employers and ensure the jobs offered in Kenya are the same offered in the Middle East.

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Re: Even at home, they are slaves of poverty

Post  Panda on Sun 6 May - 15:52



Sad to say it goes on all over the World, many from different Countries are forced into prostitution.

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