Bahrain wants embassies to help in sending illegal nationals home

February 17, 2010
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LMRA officials briefing diplomats - LMRA

Bahrain’s labour market regulatory authority (LMRA) said that embassies and consulates should be actively engaged in addressing the issue of their nationals staying illegally in the country.
“Diplomatic and consular sections should promote awareness among their citizens to comply with the regulations and to leave Bahrain when their residence or work permits expire,” an LMRA official told diplomats from several Arab and Asian countries. “The representations also need to encourage their citizens to approach their offices as a first step to facilitate their deportation process,” the official said at the meeting attended by representatives from India, Iraq, Pakistan, Egypt, Jordon, Palestine, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, Tunisia, Bangladesh, The Philippines, Thailand, Turkey, Iran, Germany, Japan and Malaysia.
According to the LMRA, a positive role from the diplomatic missions will help tackle the growing problem of illegal foreigners staying in the country.
A national campaign to address the issue and help the exit of expatriates who do not possess proper documents has been recently launched in cooperation with the Ministry of Labour, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Ministry of Municipality and Agriculture, Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Bahrain Contractors Society.
LMRA said that the going home process would enable foreign workers who leave the country to come back regularly.
However, some diplomats said that they would have difficulties reaching out to people staying illegally in the country and who usually tend to keep away from their diplomatic missions. Others stressed that their priority is to secure the rights of their citizens before they can help in the process of sending them home.
Bahrain is home to 568,790 expatriates who make up 51.4 per cent of the total population, according to official figures released on Tuesday.
Although the growth of the expatriates’ population in the country has come down compared with previous years, it is the first time that the number of foreigners exceeds that of Bahrainis.
No figure is known about the expatriates staying illegally in Bahrain, but studies estimate it is in the thousands, mainly unskilled workers and run-away maids from Asia.

         

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About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Career
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
Education
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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