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Kenya has been commended by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) for its renewed efforts to engage with Kenyans who have migrated to other countries.
IOM Regional Director Ashraf El Nour has particularly singled out the new Constitution which now allows Kenyan migrants to acquire dual citizenship.
“The new Constitution that Kenya adopted has helped Kenyans establish themselves better while outside their country,” he said.
“Their contribution to the economy is big when it comes to remittances and offering new skills. This broke a new ground for them to engage with the country more effectively.”
Nour spoke during the release of a new report on World Migration following studies conducted by the IOM.
He however says a more structured institution and legal framework should be formed when it comes to labour migration, in particular for Kenyans moving to Middle East countries.
In response, the Deputy Commissioner in the Ministry of Labour, Joseph Yida, said the government is set to form a national migration policy that will ensure migrants’ well being is considered.
“Our legal framework is supported by the Employment Act 2012 and Labour Institution Act that provide regulation and protection of migrants,” he stated.
Yida noted that the government will also form bilateral agreements with countries providing employment opportunities to Kenyan youths.
“We have so many youths going out in search of job opportunities mostly in Middle East countries. We shall engage with respective governments to ensure our citizens working in their countries are safe,” he affirmed.
He added, “Everyone going out of the country must have his entire contract attested by our officers so that we can make sure the terms and condition given are in line with our laws and international Labour standards.”
The IOM report indicates that most migrants across the world are living in deplorable conditions.
“The likely financial challenges faced by most migrants are due to the difficulties in obtaining work or, if employed, obtaining a full-time job,” it reads.