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Sat 24 Oct 2015 06:07 PM

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Bahrain to shut down expat shelters

Government-run facility to open in its place.

Bahrain to shut down expat shelters

Bahrain is set to open a 100-bed Expat Protection Centre which will force shelters run by foreign embassies and non-governmental organisations to be shut down.

Gulf Daily News reported that inspectors from the Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA) found it difficult to enter the shelters run by the diplomatic missions because they did not have the jurisdiction.

It means that shelters run by Migrant Workers Protection Society (MWPS) and the embassies of Indonesia and Philippines will be forced to close, with the government-run Expat Protection Centre to be supervised by the LMRA.

LMRA chief executive Ausamah Al Absi met with MWPS chairwoman Marietta Dias to discuss the project and she welcomed the development of the new centre, which will have two clinics, with psychologists and counsellors.

“This is a fantastic project which is a huge step in the right direction to help victims of abuse and other grievances,” Ms Dias told the Gulf Daily News.

“The centre will operate according to international standards and have a team of trained experts to help the victims.”

The newspaper also reports that the LMRA has not approached the embassies of Indonesia and Philippines, both of which operate shelters at their premises for victims of illegal recruitment, unpaid salaries, maltreatment, physical abuse and rape.

Al Absi last year accused the Philippines Embassy of sheltering runaway housemaids and other workers.

“The embassy has a residence inside its premises as documents and news say, which is a violation, but we don't have power as an executive body to enter the place, so we can't confirm or deny the situation,” he told Gulf Daily News.