By Amy Glass
Bahrain promises to improve labour camps and upgrade conditions for workers.
The Bahrain government has admitted in a report to the United Nations Human Rights Council that its labour camps are being neglected by some private sector establishments, Bahrain’s Gulf Daily News reported on Sunday.
In a human rights record report prepared by Bahrain’s Foreign Affairs Ministry, the government said it will improve the situation of labour camps, and upgrade the working conditions of expatriate workers.
This would include more labour camp inspections to ensure that they were in line with the relevant security, health and humanitarian laws, the report said.
The report will be submitted to the United Nations Human Rights Council for discussion on April 7 in Geneva, the newspaper said.
The human rights report follows a series of strikes by Asian workers living in Bahraini labour camps, including protests by employees living in camps in the Durrat Al Bahrain manmade island project.
The high profile $6 billion development was last week hit by two strikes over poor living conditions and pay disputes, although nearly 1,300 GP Zachariades employees resumed work on Friday, after six days of industrial action.
The workers returned to work after receiving a pay increase of 15 Bahraini dinars a month. The deal which ended the strike was reportedly reached after Labour Minister Majid al-Alawi formed a commission to settle the dispute.
However 500 Asian workers from Bokhowa Construction Company based at a different camp on the Durrat Al Bahrain development are still refusing to work, the newspaper said.
The Bokhowa Construction Company workers are striking over a lack of pay increases and poor living conditions, although it is unclear how much they are asking for.
A spokesperson for Bokhowa Construction Company said the protesting workers were being locked inside the camps.
"We will not be threatened into increasing wages and will not tolerate strikes," the spokesperson said.