Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU) Secretary General Francis Atwoli has asked President William Ruto to ban employment agencies overseeing migration of Kenyan workers to Saudi Arabia. Mr Atwoli said he received a disturbing video from a woman in Saudi Arabia, who alleged that her employer forced her to breastfeed their dogs.
“She left her husband and children in Kenya two months after giving birth. When they realised she can breastfeed, the employer gave her a job of breastfeeding puppies,” Atwoli told a local TV as he displayed a video of the alleged distressed woman breastfeeding the dog.
Mr Atwoli called for intergovernmental diplomacy to address the plight of Kenyans in Saudi Arabia and other gulf countries. “This is indirect slavery; I want to appeal to our government to go the way President Kibaki’s government under Phylis Kandie did, she banned all employment agencies in Kenya.
Let this issue be government-to-government. Let Kenya negotiate with Saudi Arabia on terms and conditions of service, so that our people can do decent jobs and not a job of breastfeeding dogs,” he said.
Atwoli said the inhumane actions being witnessed in Saudi Arabia are denying Kenyans dignity and respect. “It denies us our own citizenship as Kenyans who are from a free and independent country. I want to appeal to the government to ban all employment agencies and review issues related to outside employment as advocated for by the International Labour Organization.
Mr Atwoli says it would be better for Kenyans to remain as they are instead of losing dignity. He termed such actions as indirect slavery.