Sri Lankan Workers in Bahrain have Nowhere to Turn

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Oct 4 2009

The Sri Lankan Sunday Times published a report earlier this week about the dire situation of Sri Lankan workers in Bahrain. Delrine Embuldeniya of the Migrant Workers Protection Society who was interviewed for the article described the difficulties in handling the cases of abused Sri Lankan workers in Bahrain, since Sri Lanka doesn't have a consulate in the kingdom. According to Embuldeniya, there are 38,249 Sri Lankans working in Bahrain, 28,008 of whom are female who work as domestic helpers.

Embuldeniya detailed the different types of abuse that workers suffer in Bahrain, including sexual abuse, physical attacks, house confinement, deliberate starvation, denial of wages, and abnormally long working hours. The poor conditions the workers live in and the abuse often results in health problems. Out of the workers who suffer abuse and run away from their employers, some resort to prostitution to survive. Unfortunately, because Sri Lanka doesn't have a diplomatic mission in Bahrain, the abused workers have nowhere to turn. Usually, the embassies set up shelters under their diplomatic jurisdiction for the runaway workers. This is especially important since Sri Lankan workers are the second most abused group of workers in Bahrain after Indian workers, according to the statistics of the Migrant Workers Protection Society.

(Images from the Sunday Times)

Type of complaints lodged by domestic workers

Type of complaints lodged by domestic workers


Victims Housed in MWPS Shelters

Victims Housed in MWPS Shelters

Advancing the rights of migrant workers throughout the Middle East