facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

HRW: Migrant workers abused in Bahrain

Oct. 1, 2012 at 3:03 PM   |   Comments

MANAMA, Bahrain, Oct. 1 (UPI) -- Nearly a half-million migrant workers in Bahrain are being exploited despite government reforms meant to protect them, a human rights group said.

Human Rights Watch said the workers routinely have their wages confiscated in the form of recruitment fees and have their passports taken away, making it difficult for them to leave abusive employers in the construction and domestic servant industries.

Migrant workers, predominantly South Asian in origin, make up 77 percent of the workforce in Bahrain, Human Rights Watch said, and are routinely discriminated against in Bahraini society.

While government reforms such as a ban on midday outdoor construction during dangerously hot summer months, have helped the situation, greater enforcement is still needed, the group said in a 123-page report published Sunday.

"Bahraini authorities understand that migrant workers have helped build the country and have instituted some important reforms," said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch. "But without more vigorous enforcement, these reforms do little to address the most widespread rights violations such as failure to pay wages and withholding workers' passports."

The group's report says government officials are lax in their enforcement of anti-human trafficking laws and suspect employers routinely get away with a slap on the wrist or no penalty at all for abusing workers.

Topics: Joe Stork
© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Featured UPI Collection
trending
Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Most Popular
1
The UN has released its list of leaders attending climate summit The UN has released its list of leaders attending climate summit
2
Hurricane Odile now a dangerous category 4 storm Hurricane Odile now a dangerous category 4 storm
3
Mary Landrieu spent $33K of taxpayers' money on campaign travel Mary Landrieu spent $33K of taxpayers' money on campaign travel
4
Bernie Sanders says he may run for president in 2016 Bernie Sanders says he may run for president in 2016
5
Navy halts search for missing jet pilot after crash Navy halts search for missing jet pilot after crash
Trending News
Video
x
Feedback