11/04/2018 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 11/04/2018 09:34
Dr. Shaikh Abdullah discusses welfare of expatriate workers in Kingdom of Bahrain with Filipino DFA Undersecretary for Migrant Workers' Affairs
The Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for International Affairs, Dr. Shaikh Abdullah bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, received in his office at the Ministry's General Court today, the Republic of the Philippines's Department of Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Migrant Workers' Affairs, Sarah Lou Y. Arriola, during her official visit to the Kingdom of Bahrain.
Dr. Shaikh Abdullah bin Ahmed Al Khalifa welcomed the visit of the DFA Undersecretary for Migrant Workers' Affairs, commending the deep historical friendship between the Kingdom of Bahrain and the Republic of the Philippines, and their close, dynamic and ever-growing relations that reached ultimate levels of coordination and partnerships.
During the meeting, ways to promote and develop bilateral relations and cooperation in areas of mutual interest were discussed.
Dr. Shaikh Abdulla demonstrated how the two countries share many common elements, due to their strategic areas of trade and global stability, namely between GCC and ASEAN countries, and their commitment to the basic values of the Asian Cooperation Dialogue. He also praised the active role of the Filipino workforce in the sustainable development process of the Kingdom of Bahrain, which strengthens the existing partnership.
The Undersecretary for International Affairs affirmed that the Kingdom of Bahrain, under the wise leadership of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, is keen to develop and maintain human rights in its broad sense and has succeeded in applying the highest international standards, in accordance with religious and human values, and the protection of rights and freedoms under the state of institutions and the rule of law.
He also added that the royal care towards values of tolerance and co-existence has made the Kingdom of Bahrain a leading international model in this regard, stressing that the welfare of migrant workers of all nationalities is taken care of in humanitarian and legal levels.
Dr. Shaikh Abdullah reviewed Bahrain's most prominent efforts in the fight against forced labor and trafficking in persons, including: ratification of relevant international conventions, such as the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, as well as the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (Palermo Protocol). He also noted that the implementation of the Anti-Trafficking Act, which prohibits all forms of trafficking in persons, and the establishment of the National Committee to Combat Trafficking in Persons, which have put in place effective mechanisms to help ensure the safety of victims and provide means for their protection, as well as practical action taken by the Kingdom within the framework of a national plan of action to combat trafficking in persons and the prevention of individual abuse of migrant workers, such as the establishment of a specialized unit for trafficking crimes, the launch of a 24-hour hotline to receive communications, psychological support, and shelter for victims.
The LMRA has also introduced significant reforms in structuring the labor market and promoting awareness of the rights of expatriate workers.
The Undersecretary for International Affairs called for concerted international efforts to combat trafficking in persons, noting in this regard that the Kingdom of Bahrain has reached Tier 1 in the US Department of State Trafficking in Persons (TiP) Report last June, becoming the first country in the Middle East and North Africa to receive this global status. He also pointed out the honouring of Chief Executive Officer of Bahrain's Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA) and Chairman of the National Committee to Combat Trafficking in Persons, Ausamah Al Absi, as One of Ten Outstanding Individuals in this field.
He also noted that according to international reports and indicators, the Kingdom is one of the world's best destinations for expatriates, thanks to improved work environment, job satisfaction, and health and social care.
The Undersecretary for International Affairs stressed the importance of joint international action to combat terrorism in all its forms and to drain its sources of funding, as the scourge of terrorism is linked to crimes of racism and extremism.
For her part, the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers' Affairs expressed her country's will to expand cooperation with the Kingdom of Bahrain, praising the Kingdom in its role in protecting and safeguarding human rights, especially the rights of expatriate workers, wishing the Kingdom of Bahrain further progress and prosperity.