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67 Thousand Illegal Foreign Workers in Bahrain: Labor Minister

2021-03-09 - 9:29 am

Bahrain Mirror: In his response to a question raised by Shura Council member Rida Monfaridi on the plan to face irregular labor, Minister of Labor and Social Development Jameel Hmaidan said that the number of irregular foreigners has reached 67% until last month, according to the Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA) data, and that they constitute 11.3% of the total number of regular workers and the 531,000 foreigners who are authorized to work under flexible conditions.

He pointed out that this percentage is variable due to several factors that affect the labor market, adding that it increases and decreases depending on the nature of the economic conditions the Kingdom has been going through during previous years.

"The law in force addresses the phenomenon of irregular labor, thus no national plan is required to tackle it," Hamidan said, indicating that the law doesn't allow any foreigner to work without a work permit.

The minister said that "the number of violators arrested in the last three years was 3,357 through 176 inspection campaigns. 48 inspection campaigns were carried out last year and resulted in the arrest of 632 violators. In 2019, 79 inspection campaigns were carried out and 1448 violators were arrested. Besides, 1277 violators were arrested in 49 campaigns."

He explained that "there are no difficulties in complying with the law to address the phenomenon of irregular labor, but the difficulty lies in the process of reducing the reasons that change the legal status of a foreigner, from a regular foreign worker working for a law-abiding employer to a violator of the law."

Hmaidan noted that the Labour Market Regulatory Authority coordinates with the embassies of the countries that send labors to the Kingdom of Bahrain, in order to raise awareness among their citizens so that they do not fall into violation of the law. 

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