On 23 January, 2018 the Association of Skilled Migrants Agencies of Kenya (ASMAK), which is now a self-regulating body for the Private Employment Agencies (PEAs), elected into office new officials who will form the Secretariat that will represent the interest of the association.
Currently, there are 45 licensed and accredited agents for export of labour and it is for this reason that the industry needs to be monitored and regulated.
IOM is supporting this process through its project “Promoting Safe and Fair Labour Migration from Kenya to the Gulf States” funded by the U.S Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor and implemented in partnership with Verite, a labour rights Non-Governmental Organisation.
This is part of IOM’s comprehensive efforts to support the Government of Kenya through the National Coordination Mechanism on Migration (NCM), established under the framework of Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD) to address migration challenges in Kenya.
The National Employment Authority (NEA) which is a department under Ministry of Labour, Social Security and Services, a member of NCM, presided over the elections that saw 14 officials elected into their respective posts at the IOM Kenya Country Office in Nairobi.
Through the project, IOM is working with the Government of Kenya in the development of a plan for regulating labour migration to the Gulf, identify barriers and build support and capacity for ethical recruitment within the industry.
Senior Assistant Deputy Director, NEA, Ms. Millicent Muli, supervised the election process that saw John Muiruri and Fatma Nyokabi, elected as the Chairperson and Vice chairperson of the association respectively by over 30 Private Employment Agents. She lauded the association for holding the elections and said she was happy that the Government will now have structured engagement with the association.
“The Government of Kenya is now looking forward to have structured engagement with ASMAK,” she said.
IOM facilitated the election process as well as the final adoption of the association’s constitution that aided in nominating and electing the new officials. IOM will soon facilitate training workshop for PEAs and Government partners with an aim to strengthen the capacity of the agencies to provide ethical recruitment services and the Government to monitor and enforce the accountability of the recruiters.