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The Central Organization Trade Unions (COTU) Secretary General Francis Atwoli says the government should be involved in negotiating working terms for domestic workers in Arab counties.

Atwoli spoke after a disturbing video of a woman alleging to be in the gulf seen breastfeeding puppies.

The lady laments that she travelled to the country in search of greener pastures after two months of giving birth and upon the realization of her employer, she was asked to feed the dogs.

Speaking to the media,

"This is indirect slavery. I'm appealing to the new government to do what Kibaki did when Phyllis Kandie was Minister for labour. She banned employment agencies in Kenya. 

"Let negotiations for immigrant workers to the Middle East from Kenya be government to government so people can do decent jobs. Some of these terms and conditions of services are  dangerous and deny Kenyans dignity and respect. I appeal to President William Ruto to review issues related to outside employment as guided by the international labour organisation," Atwoli

At the same time, Atwoli pleaded with women to stay in the country with a small pay instead of travelling to the Arab nations terming it as modern-day slavery.

"I'm appealing to young men and women, remain the way we are but keep our dignity, let us remain here as poor as we are. You better earn Ksh 10,000 and remain here since jobs out there are demeaning," Atwoli pleaded.

Own will...

This comes barely months after foreign affairs Principal Secretary Macharia Kamau said that Kenyans are suffering in Saudi Arabia out of their own free will. 

He says the ministry has cautioned against shipping domestic workers to Saudi but Kenyans 'have chosen not to listen'.

His statement was in response to AMREF Communications Director Lizz Ntonjira who questioned why there are agencies still facilitating their travel regardless of the many tragedies in the past.

"For how long will our sisters continue being enslaved in the middle east? Does it have to always get here for Govt to intervene? How many lives have been lost in the past?

"Still, do these rogue agencies that send these young girls out there exist? What is being done?" Lizzie questioned.

Macharia responded by putting the blame on the victims saying;

"We have told Kenyans repeatedly to stop sending this category of workers to Saudi. You’ve chosen not to listen."  By Naomi Njoroge, K24

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