Harrion Kavisu and KNA
Distraught families of 80 Kenyan domestic workers stranded in Qatar after their employer terminated their contracts have appealed for State help in bringing them home.
United Cleaning Management Company, in Doha, is also said to be withholding their four-month salaries. The families claim the company proprietors have also confiscated their travel documents.
The Kenyans are part of 600 foreign workers stranded in derelict camps in the gulf State.
Ruth Kivali claims her brother Douglas Jack, who left the country in 2013, has been unable to return home for lack of money to buy air ticket.
“My brother left to work in Qatar but his life has been miserable since the company they worked for abandoned them. Our appeal is to the government to help us bring back our relatives home,” said Kivali.
She claims the officials of the recruitment agency that facilitated his travel have since gone into hiding. “The travel agent shut its Mombasa offices and the directors do not pick our calls anymore,” she said.
The concerns emerge as NGOs raise the alarm over continued cases of human trafficking to Middle East countries.
Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya (CIPK), led by organising secretary Sheikh Mohamed Khalifa, condemned the incident and asked MPs to enact laws that will protect Kenyans working in foreign countries.
The government has signed a bilateral labour agreement with Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which are the major markets for low-skilled migrant workers but NGOs say there still exists legal loopholes.