Migrant Rights in International Relations: A Case Study of Kenyan Workers in Saudi Arabia 2015-2019

Abstract:

In the last few years, a significant number of Kenyans have temporarily migrated to the Gulf Cooperation Council Countries namely; Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman and the United Arab Emirates in search of jobs in the labor shortage region. There are approximately four (4) million Kenyans in the diaspora 200,000 of whom are said to be in the Gulf Cooperation Council states and Saudi Arabia claims the largest portion of this number. For most Kenyans, the rising levels of unemployment and income unavailability in home country coupled with the close proximity of Saudi Arabia have intrigued the interest of would be migrants despite the incidences of abuse. On the other hand, recruitment agencies and employers from Saudi Arabia have turned to Kenya as a fresh source for inexpensive labor. Significant problems particularly in the area of labor rights and human rights violations on migrant works have been highlighted due to the kafala (visa sponsorship system) system which abets the illegal and unethical treatment by recruitment agents and employers in Saudi Arabia. Despite this, Kenya is yet to come up with watertight comprehensive policies or bilateral labor agreements to guarantee the safety of its workers in Saudi Arabia. The study’s objectives sought to establish human rights issues faced by Kenyan migrant workers in Saudi Arabia, evaluate the measures taken by the Kenyan and Saudi Arabian governments in curbing the human rights abuse of Kenyan migrant workers as well as assess the impact of labor migration on the bilateral diplomatic relationship between Kenya and Saudi Arabia. The study adopted the descriptive research design in order to focus on the discovery as well as the understanding of the respondents’ experiences and perspectives. The target population was made up of returnee Kenyan migrant workers from Saudi Arabia and representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Saudi Arabian embassy respectively. Snowballing was used to gain access to difficult subjects within the target population; some of the existing study subjects helped the researcher recruit other subjects among their acquaintances. Primary data was collected through sharing of questionnaires on email as well as WhatsApp video chats while secondary data was collected from published journals and reports. The study adopted content analysis to quantify and analyze the presence, meaning and relationships of certain words and concepts from the data collected. The study revealed the forms of human rights abuses experienced by the Kenyan migrant workers in Saudi Arabia, what both Kenya and Saudi Arabian governments have done to curb human rights violations on Kenyan Migrant workers and also revealed cooperation and coordination as the major impact labour migration has had on the bilateral diplomatic relationship between Kenya and Saudi Arabia. The study recommended compulsory predeparture training by a government official to all Kenyans intending to migrate to Saudi Arabia for employment purposes, provision of the pre-departure training certificate as a requirement for visa and work permit application, the finalization of all pending labour migration policies, the provision of emergency numbers to report human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia, sensitization drives to create awareness of human rights issues in the GCC states, setting up a migrant workers help fund, the introduction of employment based visas, incorporation of domestic workers in the Saudi Arabian Labour Laws as well as the full abolishment of the kafala system.
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APA

Josephine, M (2024). Migrant Rights in International Relations: A Case Study of Kenyan Workers in Saudi Arabia 2015-2019. Afribary. Retrieved from https://afribary.com/works/migrant-rights-in-international-relations-a-case-study-of-kenyan-workers-in-saudi-arabia-2015-2019

MLA 8th

Josephine, Mwaniki "Migrant Rights in International Relations: A Case Study of Kenyan Workers in Saudi Arabia 2015-2019" Afribary. Afribary, 03 May. 2024, https://afribary.com/works/migrant-rights-in-international-relations-a-case-study-of-kenyan-workers-in-saudi-arabia-2015-2019. Accessed 15 Jun. 2024.

MLA7

Josephine, Mwaniki . "Migrant Rights in International Relations: A Case Study of Kenyan Workers in Saudi Arabia 2015-2019". Afribary, Afribary, 03 May. 2024. Web. 15 Jun. 2024. < https://afribary.com/works/migrant-rights-in-international-relations-a-case-study-of-kenyan-workers-in-saudi-arabia-2015-2019 >.

Chicago

Josephine, Mwaniki . "Migrant Rights in International Relations: A Case Study of Kenyan Workers in Saudi Arabia 2015-2019" Afribary (2024). Accessed June 15, 2024. https://afribary.com/works/migrant-rights-in-international-relations-a-case-study-of-kenyan-workers-in-saudi-arabia-2015-2019