KAKUMA: Kenyans on Sunday held peaceful demonstrations outside Kakuma refugee camp in northwest Kenya over the sacking of pregnant female employees from an international aid agency.
Hundreds of local residents matched outside the UNHCR compound, demanding the reinstatement of the three employees allegedly sacked by the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) after they became pregnant.
The protesters claimed the humanitarian organization operating in Kakuma refugee camp had overstepped its mandates and breached human rights by targeting local pregnant employees.
Kakuma Community Development Forum General Secretary Paul Lokiru who led the protesters said it was illegal for NRC to sack female employees after they become pregnant.
He added that this was a total abuse of individuals’ privacy and freedom of association which is a constitutional mandate. Kakuma refugee camp mainly hosts refugees from South Sudan.
The community representative confirmed that three female and one male employees had been replaced by non-locals.
Angry locals paralyzed the humanitarian operations in Kakuma refugee camp which also houses UNHCR offices, accusing the NRC’s human resource manager and top management in the area of being behind the sacking of the employees.
The NRC spokesperson Fred Magumba declined to comment over the matter, but added a meeting will be held between the organization and the locals on Monday.
Local community also accused the NRC of failure to heed the agreement between them on provision of water service, employment and contracts for the host community which was part of the corporate social responsibility. NRC supplies the refugee population with foodstuffs, firewood and also offers sanitation services.
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