Bahrain rights group calls on govt to check on recruitments


She expressed worry that more foreign women may be vulnerable to exploitation as recruitment agents begin taking recruits from new countries particularly from Africa and Southeast Asia.


She said that there are now even Kenyans being recruited as housemaids in Bahrain.

“I met them myself and they told me they were from Kenya,” Al Najjar said.


She said that the rules over the recruitments market should be regulated more strictly because it could lead to human trafficking violations.


A big change in the recruitments market is being anticipated by some rights workers as local agents venture into other countries to bring in foreign housemaids to work in Bahrain.


Recruiters are going to new non-traditional countries where they can recruit, such as Eritrea and Vietnam in Southeast Asia. These countries do not have embassies in Bahrain.


Recruitment in new countries began after the traditional country sources for housemaids, such as the Philippines, enforced higher salary requirements. Countries like India and Indonesia have began strictly enforcing the use of contracts for housemaids.


Labour Ministry officials said they are closely monitoring recruitment agency offices to ensure that they have proper facilities and they provide decent wages to new housemaids being recruited.


The ministry had temporarily suspended issuing permits to new manpower recruitment companies. There are still some 90 recruitment agency offices operating in the country – many of them specialising in the recruitment of housemaids.


There are an estimated 45,000 foreign housemaids working in the Kingdom.

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