U.S. Department of State 2003 Trafficking in Persons Report - Bahrain
|Publisher||United States Department of State|
|Author||Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons|
|Publication Date||11 June 2003|
|Cite as||United States Department of State, U.S. Department of State 2003 Trafficking in Persons Report - Bahrain, 11 June 2003, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4680d7b528.html [accessed 21 August 2014]|
Bahrain (Tier 2)
Bahrain is a destination country for trafficked persons in search of work who are put into situations of coerced labor, where they endure physical abuse or other extreme working conditions. Victims come primarily from the Philippines, Bangladesh, Indonesia, India, and Sri Lanka to work as domestic servants and in the construction industry. Female domestic servants also may be sexually or physically abused. Many low-skilled foreign workers in Bahrain have their passports withheld, their contracts altered, and suffer non-payment of salaries of varying degree and duration.
The Government of Bahrain does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government has made great progress in the areas of prevention and prosecution, but it should expand services provided to victims, and needs to continue to expand prosecution efforts.
A newly created interministerial task force drafted and distributed a manual on the rights and duties of expatriate workers in Bahrain to local embassies, Bahraini embassies abroad, and manpower recruitment agencies in Bahrain. It also drafted a simpler brochure for distribution to workers in their languages. A media campaign raised awareness nationwide about the manual and brochures. In order to certify that employers need the number of foreign workers for whom they are requesting visas and to inspect working conditions, the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs increased the number of labor inspectors from 9 to 40. The government reformed work sponsorship rules to allow foreign workers to change sponsors or jobs without a "no objection" letter from their current sponsor. This allows foreign workers to legally remove themselves from potentially abusive situations.
The Penal Code outlaws forced labor and prostitution. Bahraini law enforcement actively investigates allegations of abuse. In addition to criminal remedies, through administrative measure and mediation under labor laws, the government allows and assists domestic servants and foreign workers to seek redress against traffickers. There are no indications that government officials condone or facilitate trafficking.
The government does not regularly provide assistance to victims but does provide shelter in extreme cases. There is no established system for providing legal or psychological services, but emergency medical treatment is available to anyone in Bahrain. In cases where mediation does not succeed, government officials assist workers in finding lawyers to pursue legal action. The government often allows temporary residency during disputes and permits a foreigner to work while he or she seeks settlement or legal redress.