Labor CS Kazungu Kambi has announced an immediate freeze in the recruitment of workers to the Middle East following numerous claims of mistreatment.
The ministry has also suspended the operations of all recruitment agencies involved and ordered their fresh audit.
Kambi said most of the about 900 firms have continued to mislead job seekers hence the need for the government to take measures to streamline the industry.
Talent Quest Africa Ltd is one such firm. Its director David Njoroge said in an interview last week that the Middle East, specifically Saudi Arabia and the Persian gulf region, have employed many of Kenya’s youth who would otherwise be jobless.
Njoroge who has been in the job recruitment business for five years was speaking at his Nairobi office. He was responding to calls from politicians urging Kenyans seeking greener pastures to keep off Saudi Arabia claiming it is hostile.
“Politicians should not brand Arab countries as killers because of the few recent cases of employers allegedly molesting their employees,” he said.
Foreign Affairs CS Amina Mohammed had said Saudi Arabia was a key partner in creating jobs for Kenya. Some of the firms have also maintained that Saudi Arabia has done Kenyan youth more good than harm.