KENYAN Recruitment Agency

ANONYMOUS REPRESENTATIVE


kenyan recruitment agency

MDWinfo interviewed an employee of a Kenyan recruitment agency on November 26th, 2021. This agency is specialised on migrant domestic workers. The person interviewed remains anonymous.

The recruitment agency is based in Kenya, Nairobi, and recruits national domestic workers for the Arab World, including Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE etc. They mostly send women aged 20 to 40, most of whom have worked as domestic workers before in Kenya. Often the migrant domestic workers stay in one country for 2 years and then return or change employers.

STRUCTURE

A bilateral agreement between Kenya and the host countries serves as a legal framework for certain labour provisions such as the duration of two-year contracts and further domestic migrants' rights.

As part of the immigration process, a domestic worker from Kenya signs two contracts, one with the intermediary and one with the future employer.

The recruitment agency works with agents in different destination countries. Depending on its capacity, an agency works with one or more agents in the destination countries. Upon arrival in the destination country, domestic workers meet with the intermediary of the agency in the respective country. After their arrival, the intermediary is responsible for solving any problems the migrant domestic worker may faces.

The employer pays for all costs, including airfare, visa costs, training and the salary of migrant domestic worker in the host country and the recruitment agency.

RECRUITMENT PROCESS

The jobs are advertised by the recruitment agency on social media, especially Facebook and Whatsapp. Some also contact the agency based on a recommendation from friends who are already employed as domestic workers abroad.

Before going abroad, domestic workers are trained for four weeks in a school run by the Kenyan government. They learn about Arab culture, first aid, child care, how to use cleaning machines, and their rights.

CHALLENGES

According to the interviewee, domestic workers face various problems, including mistreatment, late pay, lack of food, exhausting work, and sexual harassment. When encountering problems, they may contact the host agent, who sometimes places the workers in a dormitory. In some cases, the Kenyan embassy also intervenes. According to the interviewee, the situation has improved somewhat because domestic workers know their rights after receiving four weeks of training in Kenya.

Domestic workers face a lot of racism, which is reflected in the amount of salary, among other things: While someone from the Philippines gets 1500 riyal, a Kenyan gets only 1000 riyal for the same work, "just because of the color of his skin," as the interviewee said.