Experts want laws enacted to protect online workers from abuse

ICT & Digital Economy CS Eliud Owalo in a past event. There is need for the government to enact laws to protect online workers from abuse.

Experts have warned that unless laws are quickly enacted to protect Kenyans working in the digital space from exploitation by local and international firms, thousands of digital enthusiasts will enter the field exposed to all sorts of abuses.

While welcoming the government launch of digital hubs across various technical institutions, the experts insist that protection rules and laws need to be mainstreamed through the education sector.

High Court Judge Byram Ongaya, offering some guidelines to the government while handling a cases in which a section of Kenyans working in the digital space filed a case on their labour rights, directed five government bodies to review laws in the area.

A report which was ordered by the High Court Judge directed the five government bodies to review Kenya’s laws and file a report in court whether they are sufficient to cater for stakeholders in the digital workspace.

A minor gets his hands on a computer. Experts have asked the government to formulate laws to protect these young people from exploitation.

The analysts note that labour cases by Kenyans working in the digital space, mainly controlled by international giant tech firms, have opened a debate on whether Kenya’s laws are sufficient to tackle challenges and disputes arising from the complex work in the digital space.

They insist that understanding of laws on protection of digital innovators and even workers now entering the space at school level, sometimes at primary school, require that laws and rules should be available to them.

With learners debuting in digital work spaces, sometimes in their formative ages, the experts argue that the government must hasten enactment of laws for the protection of their digital products and labour rights.

The entry of Kenyans, some of them too young and lacking any knowledge of the digital space, places a majority in vulnerable position.


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