Lest We Forget: Kenya’s Magical NUMBER (0800222223)

After years of effort, the Kenya government finally emerged a step closure to realizing a major achievement in the rescue and repatriation of trafficked Kenyans in the diaspora. This was made possible through the National Employment Authority (NEA) with support from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) who jointly implemented the “Fostering Recruitment Agencies’ Ethical Practices and Accountability” project as well as supporting the government of Kenya to pilot a recruitment oversight and community feedback mechanism to prevent trafficking in persons. Funded by the US Department of State Office to monitor and combat trafficking in persons, through the Global Fund to End Modern Slavery (GFEMS), the project was implemented from November 2020 to October 2022.

The project which as steered by a technical committee set up by the Minister for Labour and Social Protection in 2020 was officially inaugurated in July 2021. The committee drew membership from a multi-agency government team who incorporated non-state actors. CHTEA was one among three Civil Society Organisations nominated to sit at the technical committee.

The oversight mechanism was however established in June 2021, through a collaborative process involving key labour migration stakeholders from Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), non-state actors at National and County levels as well as communities at the grass root level. The Oversight Mechanism and Community Feedback Mechanism will serve to monitor the Kenya Labour Recruitment industry and identify Private Recruitment Agencies operating unethically.  

Some of the key achievements accomplished under this project include;

  • The establishment of a 9-member Advisory Committee and the Multi-Stakeholder Technical Committee to provide technical guidance to the National Employment Authority (NEA) on the operations of the Oversight Mechanism.


  • The establishment of the Toll-Free Hotline 0800222223


  • The development of the distress reporting tool which is accessible through the NEA Information and Management System ( neaims.go.ke.). Through the system, Kenyan migrants in distress can report their cases and those seeking to get a job abroad can get a list of private recruitment agencies registered by the National Employment Authority (NEA).


  • Over 100 Private Recruitment Agencies (PRAs) were trained using the IOMs International Recruitment Integrity System (IRIS). Out of the 100 trained PRAs, 46 expressed interest to proceed and enroll in the IRIS capacity building program. 17 PRAs are currently enrolled in the IRIS capacity building training, with 2 agencies already undergoing a maturity assessment.

To ensure sustainability and continuous awareness creation at the community level, the project has trained over 250 resource persons on the Oversight and Community Feedback Mechanism in the five pilot counties of Nairobi, Mombasa, Kilifi, Nandi and Busia. This led to the development and dissemination of the key labour migration guidelines and procedures which were translated to Kiswahili language for ease of understanding by the public. These include;

  1. A guide to safe labour migration.
  2. Information guide on the National Employment Authority Information Management System (NEAIMS).
  3. Regulations on the Private Recruitment Agencies and key sections of the labour institutions Act, 2007.

Additionally, as an exit strategy, the 22-member multi-Stakeholder committee on the oversight and community feedback mechanism held a technical committee meeting on the 23rd of September 2022 to review their terms of Reference (TORs) towards the establishment of sub-committees as per the agreed thematic areas which include;

  1. Migration Governance and Compliance.
  2. Capacity Building and Outreach.
  3. Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning.
  4. Media publicity and Advocacy.

The sub-committees will be composed of at least 5 members and shall report to the larger committee. The Ministry of Labour, NEA and IOM will act as secretariat to the sub-committees and the meetings will be held once per month before the technical advisory committee meetings or as per need basis.

To mark the closure of this project, IOM in collaboration with NEA, organized a one-day closing workshop on Tuesday 11th October 2022 at the Crown Plaza Hotel.  In attendance were key labour migration stakeholders from Government, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), members of the Multi-Stakeholder Technical Committee and representatives from the Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and the Private Recruitment Agencies (PRAs).

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