BAHRAIN treats migrant workers as badly as other Gulf states despite its superior labour law, human rights watchdogs warned on Tuesday.
It is the only country in the region that allows migrant workers to join trade unions. It also allows migrant workers to change jobs while in the country.
However, Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain director Husain Abdulla said that the law was rarely implemented and that employers found ways to punish workers who wanted to quit by withholding their salaries and passports.
“One thing Gulf countries are good at passing is legislation,” he said. “However, in implementing those laws — which look very good on paper, look humanitarian, reasonable and up to international standards — we see little to nothing.”
The charity visited labour camps in Qatar, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia over the past six months and reported back in a document entitled Slaving Away: Migrant Labour Exploitation and Human Trafficking in the Gulf.
Mr Abdulla said that migrants’ current situation amounted to slavery.
“The idea is to put fear in these migrant workers. No-one speaks up and everyone works as a robot,” he said.
“Migrant workers built these countries and for them to be treated this way is just obscene.”
And several European countries appear to agree.
The Gulf Co-operation Council cancelled a June 23 meeting with its European Union counterpart yesterday in protest at an unfavourable statement at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva last week on the human rights situation in Bahrain.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.