The Kenyan government is planning to build safe houses in Saudi Arabia for migrant workers who are victims of abuse.
Reports of Kenyan domestic workers being subjected to serious maltreatment by their Saudi employers are frequent - some cases resulting in death.
"We shall open safe places to protect those being abused as we plan for their return, as a swift solution to help people suffering overseas and more so in Saudi Arabia,’’ Labour Minister Simon Chelugui told reporters on Tuesday.
Nearly 100 Kenyans had died while working abroad in the last two years and "we want to put an end to it”, he said.
The government had allocated 70m Kenyan shillings ($594,000; £490,000) for the purpose and attempts were being made to actively look for Kenyans who were suffering in the Middle East, Mr Chelugui said.
Kenyans working and living in Saudi Arabia rose from 55,000 in 2019 to 97,000 this year - and most of them are domestic workers, according to data from Kenya’s parliamentary Labour and Social Welfare Committee.
The government was going to strictly enforce the requirement that all recruiting agencies register with the country's National Employment Authority before sending Kenyans to work abroad, the minister added.
He also warned rogue agencies that had abused policy loopholes to exploit Kenyans in the past that they would be shut down if they did not conform.