Bahrain parliament to debate policy on illegals

Cairo: A number of Bahraini lawmakers have requested a parliamentary debate on the government policy on illegal migrant workers in the country amid repercussions spawned by the global coronavirus, according to a media report.

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The Council of Representatives, or the lower house of the parliament, will soon vote on the lawmakers’ requests, Bahraini newspaper Akhbar Al Khaleej said.

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Bahrain’s Labour Market Regulatory Authority has recently intensified a crackdown on illegal workers estimated at between 50,000 to 55,000 in the country.

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Last month, a Bahraini parliamentary committee approved a draft bill obliging employers to give job preferences to citizens as the kingdom is seeking to replace expatriates in work.

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Check records

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The draft commits employers to check records of Bahraini job-seekers and hire the qualified citizens. Failure to comply with the regulations will be punishable by a fine ranging from BD5,000 to 20,000,

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The numbers of foreign workers in Bahrain have recently dropped to 456,840 this year against 477,741 in 2019, according to figures released by Bahrain’s state Social Insurance organisation.

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Foreigners account for more than half of Bahrain’s 1.7 million population.

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