More than a third of Kenya’s youth eligible for work have no jobs. According to the Ministry of Labour, unemployment rate in Kenya currently stands at 7.4% with about 85 per cent of the unemployed aged below 35 years. With a population of 47.6 million, unemployment and underemployment remains a major development challenge in the country, mainly due to low economic growth, skills mismatch, lack of entrepreneurship and life skills lessons as well as the structural rigidities within the labour market. Due to these factors, Kenyans are increasingly seeking employment opportunities across boarders.
Labour migration has immense socio-economic benefits to both countries of origin and destination. It is a source of employment and livelihoods for migrant workers, bridges skill gaps in destination countries, supports skills development and technological transfer in the countries of origin and also a source of the much-needed remittances in the migrant workers’ countries of origin.
In recent developments, it has been noted with great concern the increased reports of mistreatment of domestic workers in the Middle East countries, particularly in Saudi Arabia, where the workers are subjected to human rights violations, many of which have resulted in death. To curb this injustice to Kenyan Migrant workers in the Gulf region, the Kenyan Government through the Ministry of Labour, has established various policies and frameworks to enhance safe, orderly, humane and mutually rewarding labour migration.
According to the Ministry of labour, only 40 percent of private recruitment agencies operating in the country are registered with the National Employment Authority (NEA), as a result of this Kenya continues to witness unethical practices in labour migration. The federation remains committed to building capacity of its members through capacity building engagements on labour migration regulations and social protection of our migrant workers.
As part of its engagement on labour migration, FKE recently partnered with the Association for Migrant Agencies in Kenya (ASMAK), to train its members who are predominantly recruitment agencies on Labour Migration Laws. FKE also recently participated in the Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD) and International Labour Organization (ILO) workshop on Labour Migration Reporting. The event which took place in Djibouti included participants from the seven IGAD nations .