20 Aug, 2021

Domestic workers push State to ratify safety conventions

Most domestic workers operate in risky and inaccessible environments that do not promote basic human rights, decent work, social protection, safety and occupational health. The national celebrations were held at the East African Institute of Homecare Management in Githurai 45, Kiambu County.

In 2012, Sophia Amimo left the country for Bahrain to look for greener pastures as a domestic worker. At first, Sophia says things were rosy and fulfilling in her job. Hell broke loose shortly thereafter. In an interview with nation.africa, she recounted how she escaped a gang rape ordeal and lost about Sh500,000 after one of her employers refused to pay her salary, which had accumulated for several months. “I was usually overworked, abused and neglected. It was one of the most trying moments of my life, more so being in a foreign country,” she says.

At one time, she was required to take care of pets, which included cats and dogs. She sustained serious injuries after she was attacked by one of the dogs. “You go to a home and among the work you are supposed to do is taking care of the pets. I at one time was required to take care of five cats and two dogs. It was a challenge as I had no prior knowledge of or training in how to take care of pets,” she adds. Not ready to give up on her search for greener pastures and make it in life, the tour of duty would see her also work in Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). In these countries, she worked as a domestic worker and in several companies as secretary and sales person. And even though she terms the pay for domestic work and other jobs good, she has reservations about how workers are treated in these Gulf and Middle East countries.

Centre for Domestic Training and Development