Kenyan association helps fight recruitment fraud

Abu Dhabi: Unscrupulous agents in Kenya are trying to cash in as more Kenyans choose to work and live in the UAE, community leaders say.

The Kenyan Welfare Association (Kewa) in the UAE is trying to raise awareness in the community about such dishonest people.

“They [unscrupulous agents] pose a major challenge to the Kenyan migrants,” said Pennina Nyokabi, Organising Secretary of the association.

Agents lure people with the promise of fabulous salaries and perks and many who leave their jobs in Kenya often get disappointed when they come to learn of their actual job profile and salary.

The agents have started targeting the recruitment of housemaids to the UAE, which has shown a surge of late. In the wake of Ethiopia’s ban on sending housemaids to the UAE and the toughening of rules in some other countries, Kenyan housemaids have started filling the vacuum in the job market.

“Three years ago there were not many Kenyan housemaids here,” Nyokabi said.

Agents lure women with good educational qualifications, offering them jobs in the hospitality industry, but the women are shocked to land a housemaid’s job after coming here. “We understand that the Kenyan government is working to address this issue,” she said.

Many new migrants are not aware of the UAE immigration rules, which the association is trying to address. Many people do not know that they cannot stay here without a job as their residence visa is issued only for a job. “We try to raise awareness on the fact that employees cannot break contractual obligations during the stipulated period,” she said.