Why Amnesty Does Not Solve Gulf Labor, Kefala Issues

In Gulf Cooperation Council countries—Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates—amnesties for workers in irregular status are frequently declared, indicating that irregularity is a common and recurring phenomenon within the governing kefala, or work-sponsorship, system. However, even if implemented perfectly, amnesty is a temporary fix, and effective solutions to reduce the… [READ MORE]

Bahrain Union Congress Stands up for Democracy

Even as trade union representatives from Tunisia and other trade unionists were barred from entering Bahrain to attend the General Federation of Bahrain Trade Unions (GFBTU) Congress, hundreds of union members participated in open, spirited discussions and held free elections, capped by the secretary-general’s call for continuing the democratic process. “It is time for the… [READ MORE]

May Day: Workers Stand Strong in Face of Threats

Workers in Bahrain, Burundi, Morocco, Swaziland and Turkey are standing strong in the face of economic and political threats this May Day. May 1 is generally a time when workers around the world celebrate the dignity of work and working people’s social and economic achievements. But this year, governments in some countries have banned May… [READ MORE]

Bahrain Teachers Honored for Standing up to Repression

Leaders of the Bahrain Teachers Association were awarded the 2015 Arthur Svensson Prize for Trade Union Rights this week. The international honor recognizes Mahdi Abu Dheeb and Jalila al-Salman for “their encouragement of strike actions among teachers despite the personal risks they faced, including imprisonment and torture.” Abu Dheeb, association president, was arrested in 2011… [READ MORE]

Repression Still Reigns in Bahrain on Feb. 14 Anniversary

The Bahrain government continues to torture opponents, penalize union members and leaders, and suppress human rights four years after the people of Bahrain stood up for a more participatory government, says Mohammed Al-Tajer, general coordinator of the Bahrain Human Rights Observatory and a human rights lawyer. In fact, he says, “the situation has worsened. Security… [READ MORE]

Bahrain’s Sad Anniversary: Three Years of Worker Repression

Three years after the people of Bahrain stood up for a more participatory government, the crackdown on dissent and rampant discrimination in the workplace continues. Hundreds of workers—including teachers, doctors, nurses and journalists who were doing their jobs when marches were met with violence—have been fired, demoted or sidelined at their workplaces. Many were imprisoned… [READ MORE]

World Day for Decent Work: Migrant Workers Often Exploited

At age 22, N. Naga Durga Bhavani left her small village in India for Bahrain,  where she hoped a job as a domestic worker would help pay for her young daughter’s heart surgery. But when she arrived, after paying labor recruiters the equivalent of nearly two months’ wages, she says her passport and papers were… [READ MORE]

Bahrain: Medics, Patients Persecuted in Ongoing Repression

For sick or injured Bahrainis, going to the hospital means risking a prison term—or even death. Describing the “militarization of hospitals,” Rula Al-Saffar, president of the Bahrain Nursing Society, said patients with “head traumas, broken bones or burns” are first interrogated by police to determine if they are involved in protests against the government. Health… [READ MORE]