Bahrain rights group highlight migrant worker situation

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Dec 14 2007

An excerpt from a recent article published on the Bahrain Center for Human Rights:

The BCHR feels, however, that special attention must be given to the plight of female migrant domestic workers, as they have been by and large ignored and excluded from the discourse on women's rights in Bahrain. In Bahrain, migrant workers employed as domestic helpers are not protected by the country's labor law.

Upon arriving to the country they are subjected to mandatory health testing related to sexual and reproductive health without consent or counseling. Problems faced by these women include long (or undefined) working hours, low salaries and late payment of salaries, poor and repressive living conditions and psychological, physical and sexual abuse.

Extreme local cases have seen women being trafficked into prostitution. However, few are able or willing to seek legal redress - many because they are unaware of their rights, but also because they do not have access to the institutions where they could seek help. In addition, because domestic helpers are required by law to live with their sponsor (employer), leaving the home to file a court case has lead to the jailing of abuse victims in the past.

Read more:

- Female domestic workers living under the Kafala system in GCC states

- CARAM BCHR: State of health of Migrant 2007- Mandatory testing in Bahrain

- BCHR: Death toll continues to rise as a result of migrant worker suicides.

Read the full article here.

Advancing the rights of migrant workers throughout the Middle East