Kenya has suspended the recruitment of its citizens to work in the Middle East following rampant cases of abuse.
The Foreign Affairs ministry said the mostly domestic workers, who sought employment in those countries, ended up being mistreated after being promised lucrative jobs.
"The government has noted with concern, the increasing number of Kenyan citizens who have sought employment in the Middle East as domestic workers (housekeepers/maids) and ended up in distress.
"The complaints received range from mistreatment, lack of payment of salaries, overwork, denial of food and lack of communication with their relatives in Kenya," said the political and diplomatic secretary in the ministry Patrick Wamoto Friday.
Mr Wamoto said the government had instituted various measures including the vetting afresh of all hiring agents.
"In some cases, the Kenyans are lured by unscrupulous and unregistered agents who promise non–existent and supposedly lucrative jobs to desperate and unsuspecting Kenyans.
"The Government is therefore working on a mechanism, including but not limited to, vetting of all recruitment agents afresh and signing of labour framework agreements with various countries, to address some of the concerns raised by the distressed Kenyans in the Middle East," he said in a terse statement.
There has been a large number of cases of torture and death involving Kenyans who had gone to Middle East countries, especially Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates, in pursuit of jobs.