Since June, the Kenyan government has strengthened regulations relating to the recruitment of foreign professionals in the volunteering field. From now one, any NGO not complying with these regulations can lose its operating permit.
Thus, thousands of foreign nationals working in non-governmental organizations may lose their privileges, including 30 local leaves, health insurance and their children's education being taken care of by the organization. Some of them might even their jobs.
To date, more than 240,000 people, including 12 000 foreign nationals, work with NGOs involved in the fields of human rights, conservation, maternal health, among others. According to these regulations, NGOs will have to recruit more Kenyans instead of foreign nationals who often do not have appropriate permits.
A circular issued by the Kenyan authorities provides for sanctions under existing laws against foreign nationals who do not have proper permit or whose work permit is no longer valid. NGOs must therefore make sure that their foreign staff complies with these provisions.
As regards recruitment, according to local media reports, the NGO council recommends that no foreigner should be hired unless it is proven that there is no competent Kenyan national in the labor market to fill the position offered. The Board also condemns the disparity in wages earned by foreign nationals and local staff, which particularly allows foreign nationals to from an NGO to another.
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