New GCC law to protect housemaids


"Such a joint move was initiated because the maids are not covered under the labour laws of the individual member countries of the GCC," he said.

"We do not know how long it will take to draft the law and get it approved.

"Once it is in force, the law will be considered as a reference document for all the GCC countries."

Though the housemaids do not come under the purview of the labour law in Bahrain, they are free to register complaints with the Labour Ministry if they face any exploitation, said Dr Al Alawi.

"Once we receive any complaint, it will be investigated in co-ordination with the Interior Ministry," he added.

"Non-governmental organisations like the Migrant Workers Protection Society also take up the cases of housemaids who fall victims of exploitation .

"The Labour Ministry supports them to ensure that the household workers are not mistreated by anyone and that their human rights are respected."

Meanwhile, the Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA) will introduce a special system to regulate the employment of housemaids, said Dr Al Alawi.

"The LMRA will start issuing work visas for all expatriates from July 1," he noted.

"The new regulations by LMRA, which will also protect the interest of housemaids, may come into force within two years." he added.


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